In nature there is a system, which operates, in such a way that there is no waste. Nutrients and metabolisms go through a cycle, going through different transformations. One simple cycle is the process of exhalation of carbon dioxide. Animals and human beings exhale carbon dioxide, which is taken in by plants, as it is an important component for its food making process called photosynthesis. Leaves that fall to the ground are naturally broken down into nutrients for the soil and fertilisers for trees. (McDonough and Braungart, 2002, Pg. 92) These relationship cycles in nature can be applied in architecture as well. Buildings as living organisms constantly change in time. It could be due to a change in use, weathering, and vandalism or by the materials that they are built with. They grow and degenerate, absorbing the unnecessary that they find in their surroundings and setting free whatever is no longer needed. (Hinte, Peeren and Jongert, 2007, Pg. 18) When we recycle buildings, there are many strategies that can be applied, reusing the facade, and incorporating materials, which remain on site and even by encapsulation. There are various approaches as each derelict building has its historical identity and complications. This essay explores typologies of derelict buildings around Manchester as case studies and explores the strategies used. Some strategies reuse materials that are found on site. There will be an analysis whereby building materials would be extracted, either for it to be restored and incorporated into the new design or totally reformed into a different material for different use. This essay looks into the similarities of biological cycles and building-recycling taking different perspective to building reuse by analyzing how nature plays its role in evolution of species.
Nature’s relation to Building Recycling
Relating buildings to living organisms in an ecosystem, derelict structures would be classified as endangered species. Dereliction and abandonment of waste buildings occur through a timespan, which the level of decay increases over time. People do not realize the process of decay until there is dumping of waste such as litter and rubbish; Weeds and fungus would have outgrown landscapes surrounding the building. The timeline of dereliction usually goes through different phases within a span of many years or decades. “The creation of waste space often begins with gradual and unintentional decline.”(Southworth, 2001) Using the city to relate to the ecosystem in this topic of discussion, the city is filled with many abandoned buildings, factories, land, railways and many other forms. This is a similar situation, which the natural habitat of wildlife is facing when the list of endangered species is ever-growing due to the effects of global warming. Human beings are the main cause of global warming, which is depleting the ozone layer and thereby causing temperatures to increase and decrease drastically causing...