Buildings, Reborn: Dave Hakkens' Rubble Flooring

Buildings, Reborn: Dave Hakkens' Rubble Flooring

Tess Wilson
Nov 1, 2012

On Tuesday, we discussed greener ways of burying loved ones, including an urn that uses ashes to fertilize a newly planted tree, and today I found a method for getting beautiful new life out of a building that is no longer with us.

As Dave Hakkens writes:

Usually when a building/bathroom/shed etc. is being demolished a completely new one takes over its place. This is done without leaving any trace of what has been there before, perhaps a little picture on the wall but that's it. I was interested in using the materials from the old building in the new one.

I love this idea so much. As heartening as it is to know that more and more salvage is being done these days (with the saved building materials being sold at great places like Building REsources), what about all the bits and pieces, the parts that can't easily be saved?

Dave Hakkens is turning them into lovely new floors, inspired by terrazzo floors which, for all their luxurious feel, use "waste produced in the marble mines". Dave's floors utilize bricks, tiles, roof tiles, glass, nails, and screws, with crushed bricks and tiles used as pigment. The red one above is my favorite, probably because it reminds me of my parents' beautiful old red brick house, but there's a whole range of fascinating combinations.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if this was just part of the standard building process? You have a structure knocked down after saving everything that can be saved, then the rubble is brought to a processing center and returned to you as amazing flooring. Or if you don't need new floors, perhaps you could even sell your rubble, knowing it would become part of someone's floors someday.

(Images: Dave Hakkens)

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