London - ECOBUILD was bereft of any sign of reclaimed building material at Earl's Court this week, but Masco's Steve Tomlin gave a rabble-rousing twenty minute rant in support of all things reclaimed at one of the trade seminars on Tuesday.
Aside from the more normal 'reclaim and reuse, don't recycle and destroy' message, Steve mentioned the work he was doing for a major UK retailer on sustainable building practices to encourage future reuse when building newbuild stores.
"I can't divulge too much," he said, "but they have now started barcoding every item in their newbuilds, including things like the steel frame members, with its specification and provenance, using microchips." Being contractually sworn to secrecy, it was unclear exactly what this depth of chain of custody was designed to achieve. A member of the audience asked whether this was forward planning for reuse by the store owner, or whether it was intended that this information would make it easier to dismantle and resell the components to a third party in thirty years time. The answer was noncommittal, we suspect for commercial reasons, which was intriguing and tantalising to some present.