Reclaimed materials are the materials that were originally used for one construction project and is later used for another one. There is a fine line of difference between reclaimed and recycled materials. Recycled materials are those which have been reprocessed in some way after their first or intended usage. Reclaimed materials, on the other hand, can be resized or modified in terms of their finish, but not reprocessed in any way.
Reclaimed materials have historically not been popular, but this notion is changing now, and people buy reclaimed materials for new constructions. With our increasing concern for the betterment of the environment, reclaimed materials are gaining popularity. Let us have a look at the various reasons for which we should use reclaimed material:
- Environmental cause
Perhaps the most important reason for which reclaimed materials should be used is because this practice will substantially decrease the landfill and wastage associated with demolition. Construction materials account for several tonnes of waste per person. This amount of waste can be substantially decreased by using reclaimed material.
- Judicious use of natural resources
Manufacturing construction materials requires use of many natural resources, both renewable and nonrenewable. By using reclaimed materials, we are making a more judicious use of the resources that Mother Earth has bestowed upon us.
- Great quality
Reclaimed material is in perfect condition for reuse, or it can be made perfect for reuse after some minor adjustments. The quality is not drastically compromised upon switching over to reclaimed material.
- Reduction in costs
The most direct implication on us when using reclaimed materials is that we save a lot of money. Reclaimed construction materials are considerably cheaper than the new ones, and making use of these materials will mean that we are spending less and saving more.
Sources of reclaimed material
There are many ways to buy reclaimed materials. Listed below are some of the options:
- Dedicated reclaimed material companies
Many companies deal exclusively with reclaimed and recycled materials for reuse. Such companies have strict procedures for procurement and quality control of the material before they deem it fit for reuse.
- Demolition sites
A very common source for arranging reclaimed material is the demolition site. When a building is undergoing demolition, a lot of material can be reused. Of course, the company that is performing the demolition should be made aware of the intent for reusing reclaimed material.
- Salvage centres
An increasing number of salvage centres is coming up because of the popularity of reclaimed materials. These centres arrange visits to demolition sites and re-modelling projects and collect all the material that can be reused. This material is then polished, resized or modified to make it fit for usage again. In fact, many salvage centres are involved in procuring and supplying only rare and heritage class materials.
- Reclamation and junkyard sales
Many times, the humble junkyard sales and garage sales are the sources of some of the best quality of reclaimed material, that too for a substantially lower price than salvage centres.
Though reclaimed materials have a lot of advantages, not many people are aware of the benefits of reusing them for new construction. Depending on the scale of the new construction, a lot of material from an old construction can be reclaimed.