NASA Sustainability Base featured in design for deconstruction story

The Oakland Museum of California announced a new public arts grant program. The selected artists would receive steel instead of money. The Bay Bridge Steel Program was created out of a desire to salvage and repurpose the metal that once made up the eastern span of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. When introduced to the idea of designing for deconstruction, Bradley Guy- assistant professor of sustainable design at the Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning, has slowly been advocating for this concept since the mid-1990’s.  Guy encourages his students to design a building’s second life in addition to its first.  “The renovation and demolition of buildings produces 91 percent of all construction and demolition waste in the United States every year,” according to Guy.

NASA Sustainability Base

Product design and manufacturing process of products has evolved over the last decade, taking into account the environmental impact, and what happens to these products at the end of their life.  NASA Sustainability Base, designed by William McDonough + Partners, was highlighted as an example of a building designed with these ideals, just as Guy continues to advocate for. “It can get very specific, such as how many tasks are required to recover a material and make it acceptable for reuse,” Guy stated. It will be many decades before NASA’s Sustainability Base reaches the end of its life, but Guy does hope that someone will be around to study it.

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