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Zero Plastic BuildTog++

RedditchBuildTog++ in brief

Building Description

CHARM Buildtog is the acronym of Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management virtually plastic free home. It’s located in Redditch UK and the owner is Accord Housing Association. The construction of this new building started on 1st May 2019 and it will be finished at the end of October 2022.

This building is for 12 dwellings, each dwelling is 35 m2 and the total project is 420 m2.

The challenge and the targets

CHARM is part of an international research project, designed to minimise waste in construction through the whole life cycle of the building. The target is to reduce from 90% to 64% the down-cycling construction materials.

Accord is tasked to construct a virtually plastic free home and remove a major part of the down-cycled material.

90% of the plastic produced ends up in the ocean, we can’t continue business as usual.

The building will follow the minimal requirements for the BuildTog++ projects: high energy efficiency and architectural quality.

Accord will use offsite construction as much as possible in both substructure and superstructure, this help to reduce timescale and get independent from weather constraints. They try to design better than minimum standards.

The properties are small fully fitted homes (all electric equipmentis supplied), designed for people without home, to give them a fresh restart in life. One big target is stop people use plastic, so they select materials with long life, but compliant with Building Regulation.

Accord will develop a material exchange platform to share best practice for plastic reduction in buildings. With this project they try to reduce waste by eliminating down-cycling and find alternative solutions.

They develop and share a list of materials as alternatives to plastic, the problem is what the market offers and usually construction companies choose the cheapest solution.

It is difficult to find alternative materials with equal or better performance than plastic; some products have no alternative to plastic (e.g. electrical wiring).

The aim of the Material Exchange Platform is to develop a network of partners across 4 different countries (France, Belgium, Netherlands and UK), contributing to the platform, sharing research and development by manufactures providing waste reducing alternatives. They want to encourage research by manufactures to fill gaps in the future plastic free market.

Project approach

When the project ends
Adoption of the circular building strategies will lead to an average of 36% of materials being prevented from downcycling in new construction and renovation projects carried out by the four SHOs. This will lead to an equivalent material recovery of 40,000 tonnes per year.

5 years after the project ends
Further development can lead to a recovery rate of 50%.
If CHARM approaches are adopted by 2% of SHOs in the 4 countries, there will be an increase of 170,000 tonnes of material recovery per year.

10 years after the project ends
Further development can lead to a 60% recovery rate.
If adopted by 10% of SHOs in the 4 countries, this leads to an increase of 850,000 tonnes of material recovery per year.

The objectives of CHARM are directly in line with the Built Environment Commitment, introduced in England in 2014 to stimulate low carbon and resource efficient construction.

Latest update

They are finding alternative solution to plastic:

  • wiring with mineral insulation copper clad cable;
  • wood fibre insulation;
  • metal ducts;
  • paint with grapheme;
  • bathroom and kitchen without plastic;
  • metal ducts and boxes for the systems;
  • windows with aluminium frame.

Fire regulation is now changing in UK and there are more restrictive criteria for construction materials.

They have difficulties to find wood fibre insulation without plastic percentage.

At the moment there are some delays due to Covid-19, but hey are hoping to start on site on September 2020 and completed the construction in one year.

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