Book and Soda Can Wall



Since traditional building materials were partly conceived based on availability, it is always best to find the medium for secondary reuse projects from what easily accessible through mapping waste in a given area. In this case, I discovered that books and magazines are the most plentiful items that many feel guilty to discard and end up circulating amongst reluctant individuals. Thereby making this installation out of books would not only help to divert waste paper from landfills, as over 50 percent of landfill materials are from paper and paper products, but also save resources, energy, and chemical processes hazardous to the environment.

Soda cans are rendered useless after single consumption and therefore become ubiquitous objects in the landscape even though many do get recycled. It is worth noting that even recycling cans are often down-cycled and not as straight forward as recycling pure aluminum. The body is made up of aluminum, while the top and bottom of the can is made up of an aluminum magnesium alloy. During the recycling process, both the aluminum body and alloy mix together and results in a weaker product.

After collecting over 500 cans, they were implemented as an exterior cladding system made up of shingles. A jig encompassing a Dremmel tool was developed (though it can also be easily done by hand) to slice the top and bottoms off the cans, separating the aluminum from the alloy, thereby retaining the value of the material upon future dismantling. The sheets are then cut and rolled out, the edges bent with a break press to resist the sheets from going back to its circular form, while preventing sharp edges. Soda cans prove to be an ideal material choice because aluminum is impermeable, rustproof, and versatile by nature. It is also easy to acquire seeing that an average of 1,500 beverage cans are produced every minute in Canada, a huge amount of embodied energy being wasted after 5 minutes from its consumption.

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Toon Verberg