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How One New York Program Is Giving New Life to Architectural Mock-Ups

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Environmental

How One New York Program Is Giving New Life to Architectural Mock-Ups

New York-based Testbeds is reusing visual and performance construction mock-ups in community gardens to divert them from landfills


November 30, 2022
Plants in garden with small greenhouse sheds in background
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Construction waste, though largely accumulated on the jobsite, can be traced back to a project’s conception, beginning with architectural mock-ups that are almost always destined to end up in landfills. In order to give them a new life, a New York-based program called Testbeds is repurposing mock-up structures for practical purposes in community gardens, The New York Times reports. 

Though visual and performance mock-ups only comprise a small subset of construction waste across the nation, finding innovative ways to reuse them opens the door to more construction repurposing projects, saving money and materials from a fast-track to the dump.

Created before construction starts on a large real estate development, a mock-up is a one- to three-story model of a facade, often including windows, part of a roof and other features. It is used to test a design before embarking on a project, but afterward, it often ends up in a garbage heap.

“These are brand-new, highly sophisticated, incredibly intelligent assemblages ready to have a new life,” said Ivi Diamantopoulou, an architect who, with her partner Jaffer Kolb, founded New Affiliates, a boutique design firm in Manhattan.

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