Resources, Infrastructure Systems and built Environments

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering

Design for Deconstruction


This research assessed the sustainability benefits of design for deconstruction. Environmental assessment methods were identified as a way to incentivise design for deconstruction but presently they fail to do so. Quantifying the environmental benefits of design for deconstruction is necessary to encourage designers to consider the incorporation of design for deconstruction. A methodology was developed to account for designed-in future reuse at the initial design stage. Based on a PAS2050 methodology, the method shares the environmental impact of an element over the number of predicted lives. The methodology was used as a basis for the calculation of savings that occur by designing for deconstruction. Initial feasibility studies showed significant savings in embodied carbon by designing for deconstruction. A web-based tool, Sakura, was developed to enable designers to investigate the savings in embodied energy and carbon for their own schemes. Sakura was used to assess the savings that could be achieved for a range of case studies. Steel and timber frame structures demonstrated the greatest potential savings from design for deconstruction. School projects exhibited the highest savings when the building types were compared. 

Further information can be found here.


Densley Tingley, D., & Davison, J. B. (2012). Developing an LCA methodology to account for the environmental benefits of design for deconstruction. Building & Environment. 57, 387-395 DOI:10.1016/j.buildenv.2012.06.005

Densley Tingley, D. & Davison, J. B.(2011, November). Design for deconstruction and material reuse. Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers:Energy, 164(EN4), 195-204. DOI: 10.1680/ener.2011.164.4.195

Densley Tingley, D., & Davison, J. B. (2011, June). Supporting Design for Deconstruction throughEnvironmental Assessment Methods. Architectural Science, 3, 1-18.

Densley Tingley, D., & Davison, J. B (2014) Designing for deconstruction - will it catch on? Sustainable Structures Symposium 2014, Portland State university, Oregon, 17-18 April



Research area(s)

Project dates

Start date: 
January 2009
End date: 
December 2013