Creating Reusable Buildings: Can DfDA + Mass Timber Change the Construction Industry?

Tom Jaleski

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Jun 11, 2024

As our natural resources become further strained and housing costs increase, the need for sustainable and affordable construction is more apparent than ever. Coupled with the use of mass timber elements, Design for Disassembly and Adaptability (DfDA) could be just the solution needed to help reduce waste, improve sustainability and lower costs in the construction sector.

In his article for World Construction Today, Tom Jaleski explores how bringing together DfDA and mass timber can enhance the potential for reusing and repurposing building materials. DfDA is the strategy of designing and building a structure with the intent of eventually dismantling it and reusing the pieces. Mass timber’s ability to withstand repeated manipulation makes it an ideal material for this process.

Around 30% of building elements go into landfills, while most of the rest are recycled or downcycled to make new elements for reuse. Reusing a building's primary structure in its original form multiple times without reprocessing greatly reduces the amount of construction waste deposited into a landfill and cuts back on the additional energy and material required.

Using mass timber standardization, DfDA can become a viable option for saving costs and materials, with little effort needed to make it happen. Building elements can be reused for many decades, all while making housing more affordable for everyone.

Read the article “Creating Reusable Buildings: Can DfDA and MassTimber Change the Construction Industry?” in World Construction Today.

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About the author

Tom Jaleski
Tom is an expert in accessibility and code regulations for high-rise, healthcare, residential, assembly, commercial, public and aviation facilities.