Of the thesis entitled: On the Path to Material Re-use: Navigating the complexity of material sustainability for architectural practice
The aim of this thesis was to understand how to define sustainability holistically, and how architecture can contribute to holistic sustainability by way of its material form. I conducted a literature review of definitions for sustainable development, looking for a holistic definition that addressed common attitudinal barriers to its practice. It became apparent that it’s useful to study sustainability under a systems science framework that takes environmental, social, and psychological sustainability as interdependent variables. In accordance with this, I reviewed different approaches to material sustainability in architecture, the lifecycles of several common building materials, and the links between material industries, to establish a system-based understanding of how material sustainability can be practiced. In the latter part of my thesis I focus on material re-use as an underrepresented approach to material sustainability, and study the opportunities and barriers in practicing it, particularly in the context of Southern Ontario. I propose that a monitoring tool that draws on public data sources could relieve one barrier to using reclaimed materials by making it easier to find available sources. I find that material re-use can be an architect-driven way to practice material sustainability, it conveys a message about the problems of materialism in our society, and it provides challenging but fulfilling craft-based work.
The examining committee is as follows:
Anne Bordeleau, University of Waterloo
Robert Jan van Pelt, University of Waterloo
John Straube, University of Waterloo
Janna Levitt, LGA Architectural Partners
The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.
The Defence Examination will take place:
Tuesday September 13, 2016
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.
7 Melville Street South
Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4