New Law Building delivers big on sustainability

15 April 2024
Sydney Law School leading the way with sustainability
The NSW Cladding Replacement program provided the University of Sydney a unique opportunity to reinvent the New Law building and to help meet its strategy of sending zero waste to landfill.
Sydney Law School

When the NSW Government introduced new legislative requirements in 2018 banning certain products used for building cladding, it offered the University an opportunity to reinvent the New Law building and help the meet the organisation's strategy to 'Demonstrate leadership in waste reduction and management.'

Since that time, a cladding removal and replacement program of buildings identified as containing the banned material commenced across campus and is continuing to be rolled out by University Infrastructure (UI).

UI have made the recycling of the panels a mandatory part of the project for each building to divert the material from going into landfill.

The New Law Building is one of the buildings in the program that has been completed and both the Faculty of Law and UI are proud to report that in line with the University’s Sustainability Strategy, circa 12 tonnes of prodema, circa 13 tonnes of plywood louvres and circa 10 tonnes of aluminium composite panels were recycled, with the materials being repurposed into new products.

Simon Bronitt and Andy Netherington standing in front of recycled timber

Professor Simon Bronitt and Andy Netherington

The recycling process of the timber consisted of the collected panels being processed using machinery to be repurposed into new products.

The process for the aluminium composite panels consisted of the collected panels being broken down through a specialised machine and separated into aluminium and polyethylene with over 99% of the cladding being recycled.

Dean and Head of Sydney Law School Simon Bronitt along with colleague Andy Netherington joined the UI and Growthbuilt team on a visit to the panel recycling plants to see the separation process in action.

“We all talk about recycling and not dumping things and this project actively demonstrates the University’s aspirations to send zero waste to landfill,” Professor Bronitt said.

“It was exciting and inspirational to see the recycling process and how we could go above and beyond the project brief to create something responsible and sustainable and I commend UI and Growthbuilt for their work.”

The recycled timber and aluminium have been manufactured into particle boards, de-oxidant pucks, wheel stops, bollards, fence posts, mounting blocks, and garden edging.

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