Mining the City: A Reimagination of Old City Hall
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The built environment is a building resource with enormous potential, but in today’s society, it is largely ignored. By mining the city for construction and demolition materials that have been deemed as “waste” before they reach the landfill, valuable waste streams can be used to create new buildings in our cities. This thesis imagines how Dartmouth Old City Hall, a building currently vacant located in Nova Scotia, Canada, might become a precedent for a different approach to demolition and the reuse of construction waste — employing careful disassembly, re-use of construction materials, and re-purposing them to support a new use for the building. By establishing a methodology to design with waste, a circular economy in architecture begins to take shape. Through a hierarchy of reducing, reusing, repurposing, and recycling, we can help extend the life expectancy of valuable materials found within the city limits.