Published On: Tue, May 23rd, 2017

IIID BRC Explore Possibilities of Salvaging Waste from Construction Sites

The Institute of Indian Interior Designers, Bangalore Regional Chapter (IIID BRC), during its recently held festival ‘Design Yatra’, cogitated  over possibilities of salvaging waste from the construction project sites of its member architects and designers and coming up with design interventions.

As mounds of discarded construction material on site  gets transported to dump yards and landfills. But not all of this waste is unusable. There is a sizeable portion that can be salvaged, reused, recycled.

As a development of this initiative, the Social Warehouse Project (SWAP) and Community Design (CODE) were formed whereby construction waste would be stored under the SWAP and used in projects taken up under CODE.

IIID BRC member and architect Gunjan Das, along with co-member architect Kavita Sastry came up with the initiative of salvaging waste and utilising it in community projects.

Currently, there are large segments amongst the less privileged which have seen nil design intervention. The waste can be effectively used in such community projects to make a difference.

As part of CODE, member architects are expected to offer 5 percent of their professional time to execute community designs. IIID BRC has successfully executed one community project under the CODE umbrella which involved constructing bath and toilets for orphaned boys housed in Lakshya Udaan Boys Home at Siddapura Circle in Begaluru.

The orphanage, comprising four classrooms in a government school, lacked sufficient bathrooms and toilets for the boys.

Kavita Sastry said that the intervention involved not only designing but also constructing clean toilets and bath facilities. While IIID BRC provided the design intervention, sponsorship came from industry in the form of funds and materials, with FunderMax India providing the required funding while others like Ram Ceramics, and Sarda Plywood supplied materials.  They are planning similar interventions in the future especially with SWAP making available materials that can be used.

The storage issue was taken care of by the Dayananda Foundation who offered space for SWAP.  They do not want to stop this initiative with just Bengaluru, but would like to take it across the country where satellite warehouses can be created to which architects can divert waste from their project sites, adds Gunjan.

According to her, an inventory could then be maintained of what is being held at different places. This would facilitate easy access and effective use of the materials stored for community projects.  She is however quick to add that SWAP should not become a dump yard for architects where they can divert materials that are beyond reuse and meant only for landfills. The materials that will be received by the warehouses will be only those that can be effectively recycled, reused or upcycled.

Architect Shyamala Prabhu said that SWAP and CODE members not only salvage waste but also offer their time in the form of community design intervention as part of their social responsibility. Having trade members in their organisation makes it easier for industry funding and participation in community projects. Besides local government bodies, IIID BRC is also interacting with NGOs to participate in such community design interventions.

There are large segments amongst the less privileged that have seen nil design intervention. Construction waste can be used in community projects for their welfare.

A couple of projects are already underway as part of CODE, IIID BRC is confident that this initiative will gather momentum.

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