Industrial Ecology, an exploration of construction demolition waste, was chosen by our 2017 intern Jill Stone based on her observation of record high construction activity throughout Seattle and her curiosity of its impact on the waste stream and ecology.
As buildings were demolished to make way for office buildings to support the fast growing technology industry and housing for the just over 50 people per day who moved to the city, the question arose as to what impact this deconstruction had on landfills and the environment. At the time of the report, demolition waste made up 90% of the total construction waste stream.
The findings and compiled statistics are graphically represented in a series of three maps called Wood, Materials, and Growth. “Wood” tracks the movement of demolition of wood waste from Seattle to the regional landfills and recycling centers. “Materials” explores the materials impact of McGilvra Place Park and the quantity of six different materials created by demolition. “Growth” Measures Seattle’s construction value as compared to other high-population growth centers throughout the country.
The internship report supports the concept and deeper exploration of a closed waste loop to encourage the development of construction material that can be disassembled, moved, and reconstructed much like the tipis used by some Native American tribes or the Discovery Center in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.