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Green transition and recycling during reconstruction

Green transition and recycling during reconstruction

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As we know, the most sustainable building is one that has already been built. Preserving existing buildings and repurposing them is significantly more environmentally friendly than building new ones.

When evaluating the life cycle of a building, factors such as the building’s age, its construction process, the production, transport and disposal of construction materials as well as other factors are taken into account. These elements show that the environmental footprint of old buildings is significantly smaller than the footprint of new buildings (including energy-efficient ones).

By preserving the old and existing, we can protect the environment and value heritage:
  • Regular maintenance and a prudent mindset extend the life of the building in use and significantly reduce the footprint of construction activities.
  • A house that has been built from natural and locally available materials is best for the environment. These materials can be recycled and/or easily disposed of. Using materials specific to the area (limestone, lime, sand, wood, clay, reed, etc.) also reduces transport and construction costs.
  • Natural building materials age well. They have a longer life than synthetic and artificial materials (plastic window vs wood window, synthetic plaster vs lime plaster).
  • The disposal of natural building materials is significantly more environmentally friendly. These materials can be recycled to a greater extent.
  • Handmade and high-quality building materials can be recycled for their intended purpose and/or used for secondary purposes. According to Regulation ‘Requirements for building design documentation’ (RT I, 18.07.2015, 7) imposed by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, historical documentation on the history of the building’s construction must be submitted for buildings built before 1940. The documentation must also include a list and photos of preserved and valuable details as well as suggestions on how to reuse them (subsection 25 (9)). If the conditions of protection and use outlined in the comprehensive plan apply to a building, the requirement of historical documentation can be applied to buildings built after 1940.
  • We advise recycling windows, doors, stairs, wooden lace cornices, saw-cut rafters, limestone steps, canopies, shutters, glaze pots, oven doors, old handmade bricks and roof stones, furniture, etc. If you have any questions, please contact SRIK scrap material collection point.
  • Using environmentally friendly and natural construction materials creates a good and healthy indoor climate.
  • During the construction of old buildings, more consideration was given to climate and geographical factors that significantly impact the building’s life cycle and technical condition. Centuries of experience has shaped practical and effective construction practices.
  • Even though it is difficult to modernise existing buildings and make them more energy efficient, doing so creates a smaller environmental footprint than building new ones.
  • Ventilation systems based on physics and nature cannot be underestimated; electric systems are often not the most sustainable and sustainable solutions (e.g. natural vs forced ventilation).
SRIK scrap material collection point in Paljassaare offers a variety of reusable details: doors, windows, locks, building blocks, rafters, furniture parts, etc. Contact: 523 5513, [email protected]

An old house can never be turned into a new one. The value of an old building lies in its authenticity, the feel of its era and its historical details, materials and construction methods. These values can be preserved, not recreated.





Joonis: Sõjajärgne individuaalelamu. Allikas: Kultuuriväärtuste Amet

Last modified 30.04.2024