Reducing waste through deconstruction
31 August 2020
A development in Auckland has shown how an alternate method of demolition can create more sustainable results.
Kāinga Ora has completed its first public housing deconstruction project at a Mount Albert development in Auckland known as Martin Leone. The 5,537 sqm site will see 50 homes built across 3 levels.
As part of a pilot programme, 8 of the 10 existing houses were removed using deconstruction. This is a type of demolition which seeks to reuse and recycle as many construction materials as possible which may otherwise go to landfill. The remaining 2 homes were lifted offsite by Fistonich Removalists for resale on the salvage market.
Kāinga Ora adopted an 80% diversion from landfill target across its large scale development projects several years ago. This means we aim to reuse or recycle up to 80% of building materials. The target is measured by weight and excludes contaminated materials.
The target was recently extended to include small to medium sized public housing developments in Auckland. Diversion targets will follow in other regions later this year.
Senior Development Manager Nick says a big driver for selecting Martin Leone for the deconstruction pilot was the level of community interest in the sustainability of the development.
“When we had an initial meeting with community members about the proposed development, there was a significant focus on environmental outcomes. We got a number of questions about such things as how we planned to reduce the effect of the development on local streams.
“It so happened that the timing also worked to make this our first deconstruction pilot. We were able to spread the word on the opportunities to pick up building materials and there was good uptake on this from the community.”
Among the items collected were 37 doors, 6 trailer loads of native timber flooring and joists, 10 sheets of iron, as well as weather boards, grass landscaping, rocks, bricks and firewood.
At Martin Leone, Kāinga Ora worked with deconstruction company Green Way to achieve 85% diversion from landfill. This meant we were able to divert 203 tonnes of building materials. What’s more, the cost and duration of the deconstruction were found to be similar to conventional demolition.
Programme Manager Jakub says working on the project was hugely satisfying.
“The outcomes we achieved are unprecedented for Kāinga Ora. There is always room for improvement, but this positive result was largely down to great teamwork during preparation, as well as completion, of the pilot.”
The next deconstruction is expected to take place in September at a significantly larger site in Avondale known as Highbury Triangle where 236 homes are proposed.
The pilot programme sits under the Kāinga Ora Environment Strategy which includes a range of initiatives aimed at reducing the impact of our operations on the environment and improving sustainability outcomes.
Page updated: 31 August 2020