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Regenerative Construction: an Oxymoron?

By Rebecca Tasker from Simple Construct

At its most basic, construction is a destructive and consumptive process. It requires getting a lot of stuff from somewhere, processing it, and putting it together in a different way. It usually involves mining, logging, milling, refining, smelting, shaping, packaging, and shipping the materials. Then it often involves cutting, nailing, mixing, spraying, coating, sanding, and the use of all manner of power tools. It is inherently destructive (no raw materials = no stuff) and consumptive (no stuff = no building).

Destruction and consumption are fundamentally at odds with regeneration. Regeneration is about renewal, restoration, improvement. In a balanced system, regeneration is the other side of the scales from destruction and consumption.

Because of this, it is has been hard to imagine truly regenerative construction. It is a high bar. The green building movement first focused on doing less harm and using less energy, asking “How do we...

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