Are large scale demountable buildings feasible?

Traditionally demountable structures in Australia have been confined to small scale, carnival buildings, mining sites and school classrooms.

Steel is recyclable and is one of the worlds most recycled products, although the process consumes only marginally less energy than smelting from scratch.

The ability to reuse steel reduces that environmental cost to almost nothing and steel lends itself to reuse. Bolted construction is already commonplace in commercial structural steel buildings.

Needless to say that some research and development would be required to develop components and connections appropriate for disassembly.

Checks and measures would have to be put in place to follow reused steel and test and track the structural integrity and reuse of steel supports.

It is already industry standard to have unique barcodes on each steel component making steel an easily traceable product.

With an easily accessible list of available materials, architects, engineers or suppliers could conceivably track steel to the point that they could incorporate steel, currently used in an existing structure yet to be dismantled, into the early stages of a new construction design process.


Despite the difficulties in implementation, this idea deserves to be considered as a way to reduce economic strain and environmental impact.

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