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It is difficult to know exactly what percentage of waste comes from construction, renovation, and demolition (CRD), but according to a 2006 Recycling Council of Ontario report, in the U.S. anywhere between 20% and 50% of total waste comes from CRD (Canadian figures were unavailable for the report).

Given that in 2010 Canada produced almost 25 million tonnes of waste, Canadian waste coming from CRD could total anywhere from 5 to 12 million tonnes annually. In addition, CRD waste often consists of large amounts of toxic and hazardous materials and so its effect on the environment can sometimes be dramatic. Fortunately, many CAD designers are advocating for the idea of ‘designing for deconstruction’—a term used to describe the construction of buildings with their eventual deconstruction and reuse in mind. With global waste production slated to triple by 2100, this method of design is as important as ever for CAD students to keep in mind.

Read on to discover how CAD students can use their training to ‘design for deconstruction’ and keep our landfills waste-free.

A Brief History of Designing for Deconstruction for Students in CAD Training

Built in 1851 for The Great Exhibition, the Crystal Palace was an almost one-million-square-foot building and was maybe the first building ever designed for deconstruction. The plate-glass and a cast-iron structure were originally built in Hyde Park, London, and then was taken apart, piece by piece, transported, and built again at Sydenham Hill in 1852. It received over six million visitors during its celebrated history—making it one of the most popular destinations of its time.

Despite the success of the Crystal Palace, designing for deconstruction didn’t take off right away as a design and construction method. Fortunately, it has re-emerged with the building of NASA’s new Sustainability Base. The base acts as an example for future buildings to copy, as it is built to minimize energy use as well as with Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM materials—materials that are certified according to their sustainability and their ability to be reused. NASA’s Sustainability Base is its newest mission on earth, and it’s designed with deconstruction in mind.

Students in CAD Training can Incorporate Reclaimed Materials into their Designs

Student enrolled in a CAD course may know that there has been a movement amongst builders and designers to utilize reclaimed building materials. Builders are now using old windows, doors, wood, and even shipping containers to build homes, offices, and lounges. Using these materials is an important part of designing for deconstruction, since it’s important for materials to be reused in new designs. For example, shipping containers are ideal for designing for deconstruction because they can be re-purposed multiple times with endless design possibilities for future use.

Some homes are even being constructed out of shipping containers

Some homes are even being constructed out of shipping containers

There are many benefits to incorporating reclaimed materials into your designs once you begin your CAD technician career. Not only do they keep our environment healthy, they are also much more affordable, at only a fraction of the cost of new materials.

Of course, in order to learn to work with these materials, you’ll need the help of an in-depth CAD course like the Construction Materials and Methods course. This course, which is included in each CAD program at Digital School, can teach you the specifications behind each building material so that they can be safely added to your designs.

Top 3 Deconstruction Design Principles That Students in CAD Training Should Know

If you’re interested in pursuing a CAD technician career, you might know that designing buildings takes careful consideration. Yet one of the major issues with the practice of designing for deconstruction is that there are no regulations for it, and there is no ‘deconstruction code’ for the building. Fortunately, some general guidelines have been put forward by King County in Washington. Their guidelines include the following steps, which you can use when creating your own designs:

  1. Record and document all materials and plans of construction to help ease the process of deconstruction.
  2. Select building materials that will retain their strength and are not harmful to the environment.
  3. Design easily accessible connection points (the points where building materials link together) so that deconstruction can be done cost-effectively and efficiently.

Designing for deconstruction is far from new, but by adopting this approach, students can keep used materials out of landfills and instead put them into innovative building designs.

Want to begin constructing a CAD career through CAD training?

Contact an advisor at Digital School today!