With thanks to Marks Barfield Architects (MBA) for providing the content for this case study
The main ambition of Marks Barfield Architects is to move from a linear to a circular economy, mining the Anthropocene and identifying as many reuse opportunities as possible to reduce both upfront and life cycle embodied carbon, waste in the built environment and respect planetary boundaries.
The project will implement Circular Economy principles and processes in the construction of the new Oasis Nature Building and the aim is to build it exclusively out of pre-used materials. A number of waste materials have been identified from other projects and organisations to be donated and re-used in Oasis Nature Garden. These are being deconstructed, protected, and stored for use when the charity project starts on site. The ultimate aim of this process is to create a “circularity network” to demonstrate and encourage other organisations to follow a similar process of re-use.
Several organisations have agreed to donate materials for the Nature Garden Building. The list of materials is captured in a material inventory that is used to identify routes to use the available materials in the design. The design is being adapted to suit the components that have been sourced.
Oasis is a charity that provides diverse educational play space and learning opportunities for children and young people in Stockwell. The existing building is used for educational play, but as demand has grown, the current space has become too small. The new building will house: a larger separate space for existing activities, a staff office, a communal space for staff and parents, and an additional classroom for a ‘forest school’ nursery.
The proposed building is split into two volumes that correspond with the two main uses: forest nursery on the north side, and Nature Garden classroom with staff office on the south. The two volumes are connected by a shared external lobby and a veranda that opens to the garden on the west side facing Allen Edwards Primary School.
- Targeted to be built out of 100% reused materials
- A recipient building for reused materials from donor projects such as 22 Baker Street
- Move to ‘upcycling’ rather ‘recycling’ or ‘downcycling’
- Ultimate aim to create a circularity network to encourage mainstream reuse
- ‘Reuse in Reality’ pocketbook currently being created
- Storage has been the key barrier and lack of infrastructure to facilitate reuse in London
- Initiatives to push for circular infrastructure in London currently underway
Oasis Nature Building
|Stockwell, London, UK
|Community education building
Gross internal area (post refurbishment)
165 m² GIA
Planning / Stage 3
|Oasis Children’s Venture
|Engineers and consultants
Structural Engineer: Term Engineering
Gardiner and Theobald
- Need for a large space to store the materials. Some materials will need to be secured long before the project is on site or suitably protected from weather conditions.
- Keep an updated inventory with all the materials that are to be re-used in the project and survey the materials as soon as possible (check dimensions, condition, etc). It will help to keep the design updated and assess the quantities needed to avoid excess or shortage.
- Keep the planning information open to changes within some basic project parameters and advise the planners that changes of materials may be required. For example, we know that the external cladding will be re-used timber, but we do not know the type of timber.
- Be open to re-purpose opportunities and innovation. For example, the reception stone cladding from Baker Street used for the external wall plinth in Oasis.
- If possible, get involved in the demolition or deconstruction phase of the donor projects with the contractors. It saves time, money and will allow for a more efficient use of the materials. For example, with the Tapster, labelling each member, advising on the best method of disassembly for re-use, cutting some elements to suit dimensions that will fit in the storage space and deciding what elements can be re-used and what elements are not re-usable.
- Keep an eye on re-use opportunities and collaborate with projects that have a similar approach. Extend the circularity network. For example, with the CLT, we initiated a CLT committee and established a network to rescue 200 tonnes of CLT from wastage and will (hopefully) allow everyone involved to benefit from it.
Offcuts and new panels from supplier – NuLiving, factory in Basildon.
11000 kg CO2e
In the latest cost plan it was estimated that the cost saving would be £22K
Logistics and storage – CLT must be stored in specific conditions to ensure it is protected from moisture and damage.
Re-used material sources are less reliable at present – the CLT offcuts were promised to us by NuLiving who unfortunately proceeded to go bust and auction off the CLT. As the material was seen as ‘waste material’ the team had to go to exceeding length to salvage it, taking a lot of time communicating with potential buyers, eventually storing the CLT stock in the Council of Newham.
Timber pavilion structure
One Exchange Square, London
The area of the pavilion is 87sqm.
John F. Hunt
Timber elements had to be carefully deconstructed and labelled by contractors in order to reconstruct in the exact same format.
The donor project was a large office refurbishment and highlighted the vast amount of good quality materials (timber, marble, partitions and finishes etc) being demolished and going to waste in the built environment which could otherwise be put to good use in both smaller community and charity projects, as well as larger developments as urban mining becomes more mainstream.
22 Baker Street, London, 2002
544 kg CO2e
In the latest cost plan it was estimated that the cost saving would be £1,200
White goods will need to be cleaned and sanitised well before reuse.
22 Baker Street, London, 2002
110 kg CO2e
Larger, thicker stone tiles are easier to deconstruct as thinner tiles are more likely to break. A mechanical fixing system is much easier to disassemble rather than glue/ adhesives.
22 Baker Street, London, 2002
1500 kg CO2e
Has not been assessed yet.
Internal layout had to be adjusted to suit the dimensions of the donor materials – flexibility is key in reuse.
Nature and biodiversity
The OASIS Nature garden project has effectively created this open space from a derelict site and is all about en¬hancing biodiversity in the inner city and bringing its ben¬efits to hundreds of young children in the area who oth¬erwise would not experience nature and the countryside. The open space has been developed organically, involving the community and children as part of the learning activi¬ties organised in the Nature Garden; environmental play and community participation is at the core of the Nature Garden and it has helped to preserve its unique character In order to minimise the impact on existing trees and veg¬etation, the new building will be placed on the south west corner of the site, where the greenery is more sparse.
Only two trees or moderate quality (B Category) would be removed and none of the retained trees would be affected by the impact of the new building’s foundations.
With regards loss of open space, there is a loss of 284sqm, just over 10% of the site area. The loss of vegetation and bio-diversity will be compensat¬ed alongside the fence line in the southeastern corner of the site and in the location of the existing building.
An in-house tree surgeon makes sure that all the planting is kept healthy and in good condition and will ensure that the ecologist’s recommendations are followed.
ASBP's Reuse Now Campaign
This case study is part of ASBP’s Reuse Now Campaign. The campaign builds upon the ASBP-led DISRUPT project, which is exploring the innovative reuse of structural steel in construction through the creation and adoption of new circular business models. Project partners and supporters include reuse stalwarts Cleveland Steel & Tubes, global construction specialist ISG, National Federation of Demolition Contractors, and Grosvenor, the world’s largest privately-owned international property business.
ASBP has been working on the topic of material reuse for nearly 10 years, with past activities including the Re-Fab House feasibility study, research with University of Cambridge identifying the barriers to structural steel reuse, and more recently, a sold-out Reuse Summit.
This previous experience is further enhanced with in-house expertise from Technical Director Dr. Katherine Adams and Research Associate Dr. Asselya Katenbayeva, who bring 25+ years of academic and industry-focussed research and development on the topics of waste, reuse and circular economy.