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It is well known that reserves of non-renewable resources are limited and that waste emitted into the air, soil and earth pollute the environment. In addition to proposing a change in the architects’ way of thinking, the climate change further requires an improvement in the environment, politics and social consciousness. The chase for sustainable architecture must also consider the end of the life cycles of materials. The aim of this work is to introduce new concepts regarding materials and building elements that reach the end of their first life cycle and to evaluate the potential for recyclability of those materials. The research method is based on a hierarchic upside down pyramid that gives priority to the reuse and recycling of materials and afterwards allows for the creation of recyclability levels of the materials and elements. The results show that the concepts created regarding recycled, infracycled, reused and infraused materials are more suitable to the current situation. The indexes of recyclability quantify the betterment of the environment in the construction processes of buildings that are made from recycled or recyclable materials. In this manner, recyclability allows changing the way architects design and construct buildings, and it is a step forward to the closed-loop material cycle.
CitationVefago, L.; Avellaneda, J. Recycling concepts and the index of recyclability for building materials. "Resources, conservation and recycling", Març 2013, vol. 72, núm. March, p. 127-135.
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