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The process and feasibility of building deconstruction: a case study in Ankara

Çakıcı, Fatma Zehra
Today because of changes in the zoning plans, structural problems, building obsolescence and owner̕s wishes, old buildings are being demolished to erect newer, larger and taller ones. The objective of this study was to investigate the process and feasibility of building deconstruction. A literature survey was conducted on two unpublished theses at Middle East Technical University (METU), and publications available on web sites and international conference proceedings. Case studies were conducted on building deconstruction and demolition processes, and recovery of used building materials (UBMs) in Ankara. Information related to these issues was obtained through informal interviews with demolition contractors, demolition teams, merchants of UBMs and building contractors. Information regarding the official procedure of demolition was gathered from Çankaya and Yenimahalle Municipalities. This study confirmed that recovery and reuse of UBMs is a continual practice in Ankara. In the light of case studies and interviews, it was possible to determine the problems in building deconstruction, such as building systems, materials, components and connections that give rise to difficulties during the deconstruction of buildings. It was also observed that UBMs are being reused either as it is or after modifications, and waste timber components are sold for fuel, while only metals are recycled to be used in new production. On the other hand, reinforced concrete components such as slabs, columns and beams can neither be reused nor recycled, and thus they are wasted. The findings of the investigation indicated that building deconstruction practices were found to be feasible and profitable job. The success of building deconstruction is dependent on type of tools used, sufficient time, and worker ability and experience, whereas the feasibility of deconstruction depends on the quality quantity, type and condition of materials, components and connections used in a building.