Michael Green Architecture and Unbuilders present Re-Grow at Buildex

The display confronts the largest contributor to overflowing landfills—construction and demolition waste.

Unbuilders and Michael Green Architecture (MGA) have created an experiential display that confronts the largest contributor to overflowing landfills — construction and demolition waste.

According to the team, current practices of construction and demolition produce 40 per cent of the solid waste in Canada (equal to 4M tonnes of waste per year), and within this wastelies tools to build a net-zero future.

Photo by Ema Peter

“Re-grow is a visual representation of the alternative life reclaimed wood can take when we consciously choose to deconstruct instead of demolish old buildings. This invaluable resource, the majority of which being old growth lumber, is currently overflowing our landfills. It’s not waste, it’s just wasted,” says Adam Corneil.

The installation is a visual display of the circular economy. Starting with a large pile of waste from demolition – the issue of waste within the industry is brought to the forefront. The story of what needs to change from the traditional linear economy model of take, make, dispose.

As an alternative, a pile of carefully de-constructed building materials is presented.  These timber materials can be saved, sorted and re-used. Within this material lies huge value, the timber is a natural carbon storage system.

A large canopy spans rises from the pile of waste above the exhibition. The structure is designed to be built and deconstructed and provides a roof canopy, vertical walls and floor – an abstracted tree. This is a representation that buildings are not just shelter, they are material banks.

Touring around the base of the canopy, the story of the circular economy is presented. A story from tree to extraction, to fabrication, to building, to waste”, to the opportunity to build again. The wood material is celebrated in various finishes from its most raw, salvaged state, all the way to a refined finished quality within high design furniture elements.

“The material within our buildings has real value, both as a carbon storage, and as pieces of our history. Just as every tree in our forest is unique and has a unique story, every piece of thoughtfully deconstructed material has a story to tell.”

Photo by Ema Peter

Photo by Ema Peter