Around half of all non-renewable resources humans consume are used in construction, making it one of the least sustainable industries in the world (Hawken, Loven, & Loven, 1999). This statistic aside, mankind has spent the majority of its existence trying to manipulate the natural environment to better suit its needs. Most of us live in houses, travel on roads daily, work in constructed spaces, and socialize in buildings of all kinds. In fact, a majority of the nearly seven billion inhabitants of the world carry out most of their life within landscapes and human fabrications of one sort or another, thus, human life is deeply intertwined with constructed space.
It is important to note that contemporary human civilization depends on buildings and constructed space for survival, in simple form, buildings shelter us from weather and climate conditions that would otherwise threaten our survival. Constructed space also has the ability to impact human psychology in a positive manner. Benefits aside, evidence suggests that our planet cannot support the current levels of resource consumption associated with new construction and development. Part of the solution is to acknowledge and identify resource constraints and to engineer more efficient ways to manage and utilize materials employed in construction. The other simple solution is to reduce the rate of new construction; this suggests that we apply the reuse, recycle, and repeat mantra. The end result is that humans will probably have to live differently then we do now in the near future.
In 2014, I stumbled across two lots being developed about eight blocks from my home. The construction project involved the demolition of a very nice bungalow, which was a habitable space. The newly developed site will house 6 condominiums instead of 2 homes. This body of work documents the entirety of the demolition process on the lot and is a photo survey of the larger development and construction process.
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Hawken, P., Lovins, E., and Lovins, H. (1999). Natural capitalism, creating the next industrial revolution. pp.369. Published by: Little Brown and Co. Retrieved from: http://www.willmottdixongroup.co.uk