Are recycled materials as durable as new materials? To find out the answer, we collaborated on a ground-breaking study of three apartment blocks that were built over 30 years ago using recycled materials.
Between 1990 and 1994, three apartment buildings were constructed in the cities of Horsens, Odense and Copenhagen in Denmark using 80 to 90 per cent of materials recycled from demolition waste.
Three decades later, the buildings’ owners, Realdania commissioned WSP (formerly Golder Associates A/S) and ØLLGAARD Rådgivende Ingeniører A/S to assess the condition of these buildings.
Through our study we determined that if recycled materials are carefully selected and tested prior to construction, they will have the same durability and properties of similar new materials. Therefore it makes no difference whether the materials are old or new, what matters is their quality.
Maximizing the use of recycled materials for construction is an important step in achieving a circular economy. The results of this study give new insight into these materials and will help to increase confidence in using recycled products on large scale developments.