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Cero desperdicio en la arquitectura: repensar, reducir, reutilizar y reciclar

Escrito por Eduardo Souza | Traducido por José Tomás Franco

Las actividades económicas humanas dependen naturalmente del ecosistema global, y las posibilidades de crecimiento económico pueden verse limitadas por la falta de materias primas para abastecer los stocks industriales y comerciales.

Mientras que para algunos recursos todavía hay reservas sin explotar, como ciertos metales y minerales, existen otros, como los combustibles fósiles e incluso el agua, con serios problemas de abastecimiento en muchos lugares.Es innegable que la industria de la construcción tiene un impacto significativo en el planeta.

Enormes cantidades de recursos, materiales, agua y energía se explotan, procesan y consumen para la ejecución de una obra, limitándose a la vida útil de los edificios. El Consejo Internacional de la Construcción (Conseil International du Bâtiment – CIB) señala que la construcción civil es el sector humano que consume la mayor cantidad de recursos naturales, utilizando energía de manera intensiva. Este impacto se ve exacerbado por procesos productivos ineficientes, el desplazamiento de suministros y el desperdicio excesivo durante varias otras etapas de la construcción.

Existen muchos problemas que abordar para hacer que nuestro mundo sea más sostenible y eficiente. Pero, ¿qué está a nuestro alcance como arquitectos?

Es cierto que la humanidad ya no puede explotar los recursos ambientales como si fueran infinitos y, sobre todo, debe dejar de generar tanto desperdicio.

Ser más eficiente en el uso de los recursos es un camino hacia el crecimiento económico sostenible. Esto se traduce en una menor demanda de recursos y energía, así como en una menor generación de residuos. Siempre es bueno pensar que cuando se habla de nuestro planeta, no hay nada que deba «desecharse». Este mantra problematiza las estadísticas que muestran que en Brasil, por ejemplo, los residuos de construcción representan entre el 50% y 70% del total de los residuos generados.

El concepto de economía circular busca cambiar este paradigma. Está inspirado en mecanismos naturales que funcionan en un proceso continuo de producción, reabsorción, reciclaje, autogestión y regulación natural, donde los residuos son el insumo para la producción de nuevos productos. A diferencia de la economía lineal, donde un producto se crea, se usa y luego se convierte en desperdicio, en una economía circular el producto vuelve a ser parte del proceso de producción. Así es como puede romperse la relación entre el crecimiento económico y el mayor consumo de recursos naturales, utilizando procesos más eficientes, inteligentes y sostenibles.

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