Recycling, upcycling and repurposing

In this post,  some of the things we recycled, upcycled, reclaimed, reused or repurposed.

A good article how these terms differ or are interchangeable is at And as it rightly points out “not all the “cycling’s” are created equal”.

Throughout the building project – from the design stage, to all the sourcing of the materials –  efforts were made to minimise the amount of new resources committed to the completion of the project. In the design for example, the foundations had gaps included to minimise the amount of concrete used. In addition, the open design of the house itself, while ensuring the most efficient heating, cooling and natural lighting, also meant less walls – so less wood, drywall, and paint.

A big part of this effort also involved finding discarded and unused materials that could be used instead of new materials. Wood, stone, bathroom fixtures and fittings are all examples.

Notes on the gallery: The first stage of the project was to demolish an old guest house (see demolition stage for a detailed photo gallery of the demolition) and the wood from the building, was all kept for use in and around the new house. The photo gallery includes some shots of frame of the main deck which was all made from this wood. Car tyres were used for creating a network of natural drainage around the house, and also for landscaping. Other items were reclaimed from other building sites in and around Kyoto city.




About ifd66

From UK and living in Japan. I am very interested in sustainable development and in general ecology and conservation issues and solutions. Finished building a low impact family house in Shiga, Japan in 2013 and am now focused on using permaculture to develop our plot of land into a more sustainable, productive, and attractive space. My hope is that this blog is useful to those interested in similar issues and way of life.
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2 Responses to Recycling, upcycling and repurposing

  1. Yuki says:

    Hi,I’m Yuki,a student in Kyoto Gaidai.
    Do you know who am I?
    Did you build this house by yourself?
    It’s amazing.

    I’m looking forward to next class.
    See you.


    • ifd66 says:

      Hi Yuki, yes we built the house ourselves but of course with help of some professional builders. Glad you found the house interesting. Yes, see you in the next class…


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