Carbon benefits of reuse

The Multiple reclamation assessment (MRA) is a pioneering new method of defining and measuring the carbon benefit of the reuse of reclaimed building material and other products. It is crucial that we measure the carbon benefit of reuse to encourage wide scale adoption of reclaimed materials and strengthen the reuse economy. We have reached a critical time where the need to reuse finite materials is imperative to reduce our impact on the climate.

 

MRA measures the difference between the embodied carbon of cycles of reclamation and reuse and the carbon cost of the use of new material. It is analogous to LCA (life cycle assessment), which measures the environmental impacts of building material or product, usually with a single life, no comparable method has been devised for measuring reclamation; the embodied carbon of repeated stages (cycles, episodes or periods) of reuse.

This new method will provide comparisons between multiple reuses of old material and multiple single uses of new material for circular economy and reuse economy, to measure and help reduce the carbon footprint of construction. It will work:

  • at building project level to measure comparative reuse of reclaimed material, products and elements
  • for architects practices to measure annual embodied carbon emissions metrics, for example, embodied carbon per m2 for different building types and locations
  • for policymakers or government to measure emission reductions at national and regional level
  • for reclamation businesses to measure annual carbon emission saving

 

The MRA will illustrate the carbon consequences of not reclaiming and reusing with the ambition to encourage the reuse of durable building material created in the past 250 years using fossil fuels. The overall aim is to increase the existing levels of reuse of reclaimed building material by 50% which is the prime objective of the FCRBE futuREuse project.

Get in touch

If you would like to calculate the carbon benefits of reuse in your project or learn more about the MRA please get in touch.