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A QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FLEXIBLE PARTITIONS

Abstract
By : Jia Beisi

 
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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