Building energy efficiency and urban waste management are two focal issues for improving environmental status and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The main aim of this paper is to compare economic costs of new building envelope structures designed by authors reusing and upcycling municipal waste in order to decrease energy demand from the building sector and, at the same time, improve eco-friendly waste management at the local scale. The reuse of waste for building envelope structures is one of the main principles of the Earthship buildings model, based on the use of passive solar principles in autonomous earth-sheltered homes. This Earthship principle has been analyzed in order to optimize buildings’ energy performance and reuse municipal waste for new building envelope structures in urban areas. Indeed, the elaborated structures have been designed for urban contexts, with the aim of reuse waste coming from surrounding landfills. The methods include an analysis of thermal performance of urban waste for designing new building envelope structures realized by assembling waste and isolating materials not foreseen in Earthship buildings. The reused materials are: cardboard tubes, automobile tires, wood pallets, and plastic and glass bottles. Finally, comparing economic costs of these new building envelope structures, the obtained results highlight their economic feasibility compared to a traditional structure with similar thermal transmittance.
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