Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Vancouver designer to build housing from construction waste

home builder construction waste

A Vancouver designer is exploring the idea of building houses out of excess construction supplies, saving truckloads of brand-new materials from the landfill.

Callahan Tufts was a student at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design when the idea came to him during a shift at 1-800-GOT-JUNK, a recycling and disposal company.

“I see a lot of waste that goes into transfer facilities and I thought it was kind of crazy that a lot of what in my opinion was perfectly good building material, brand-new building material, was not being used,” he said.

“I thought there must be a better way.”

He decided to collect plywood, tiles, nails, insulation and more at transfer stations in order to build shelters at increasing sizes to prove his idea would work. He began by building a doghouse and this May, he constructed a tiny house at a public event at Science World. All the material used in the proof-of-concept was brand new, and Tufts found most of it at the dump.

Tufts believes his idea, with the right industry partners, can revolutionize the way companies source materials for mobile, modular and laneway homes. It is currently illegal to live in a mobile home or tiny house in Vancouver.

Designers often work with tangible objects but they can also change entire systems and in this case, supply chains, he explained.

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