Each person in Hong Kong produces three times more waste than that of Singapore. This is because a large portion of
the waste in Hong Kong is from the construction sector. Re-decoration work carried out by dwellers in Hong Kong is
one of the major sources of the construction and demolition waste. Development of flexible reusable infill systems with
high recycling potential is significant. A number of these systems are currently used, mainly in public and commercial
buildings. They may have potential to be applied in residential buildings in the future.
This paper starts with an introduction to the infill systems applied in open building history. It then points out the need to
investigate the development of infill processes by integrating infill products available in the market. The paper further
introduces current open building studies on reusability of infill systems and addresses the problem that there is a lack
of quantitative information on embodied energy and other environmental impacts of infill systems.
In the methodology section the paper describes five types of partition walls selected, ranging from low flexibility to high
flexibility. Applying an evaluation model for environmental impact, the paper analyzes embodied energy intensity, and
environmental impacts of each partition systems in two simulated situations. One is in a two room unit of a public housing
prototype and the other is in private apartment. It concludes that partition walls with higher flexibility are highly intensive
in their embodied energy. In other environmental impacts, especially recycling potential, flexible partition wall panels
exceed that of conventional block-work partitions. The study will enable more complete information to be obtained
concerning the environmental impact of infill components and will assist architects and other building professional wisely
apply open building design concepts.
Keywords : Environmental Impact, Assessment, Flexible Partition, Embody Energy
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