Last edited 24 Nov 2021

Reused construction products

The Home Quality Mark One, Technical Manual SD239, England, Scotland & Wales, published by BRE in 2018, suggests that ‘reused construction products’ are: 'Construction products that can be extracted from the waste stream and used again without further processing, or with only minor processing, that does not alter the nature of the construction product (e.g. cleaning, cutting, fixing to other construction products).'

However, reused construction products can only be - 'Construction products that can be extracted from the waste stream and used again …' unless they have already been reclaimed at least once before. A product that can be extracted has, by definition, not yet been extracted (the normal term in the reclamation sector is 'reclaimed' not 'extracted') and therefore cannot be described as reused prior to actual reuse. Standard parlance in the reclaimed building material and demolition sector for the past 50 years is:

'Reclaimable' - can be carefully dismantled reused

'Reclaimed' - has been carefully removed, either for reuse on the same site, or for processing and storage in a 'salvage yard' or 'reclamation yard' prior to sale and reuse.

'Reuse' - the fixing of reclaimed building material, products or elements in a project, often as a substitution for new material saving embodied carbon, resources, and historic artefacts.

The Interreg-funded FCRBE - Facilitating the circulation of reclaimed building elements in Northwestern Europe project has produced a collection of 36 material sheets intended for designers, specifiers and other members of construction project teams wishing to reuse these building materials or product. This collection of sheets is aimed at bringing together the available information to date that is likely to facilitate the reuse of building materials and products. The sheets are available in English, French and Dutch.

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