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Why Architects and Designers Love Shopping at Reclamation Yards

David Johnson |

Why Architects and Designers Love Shopping at Reclamation Yards

Introduction to Reclamation Yards

Reclamation yards, often brimming with historical and unique materials, offer architects and designers a treasure trove of elements to incorporate into their projects. These yards are not just stores; they are gateways to the past and a testament to the sustainability of reclaimed materials.

If you watch the TV shows where architects and designers renovate old properties, you will notice many of them are browsing reclamation yards for architectural salvage to fit in with either a new project that needs an injection of character or an old property that is being restored or extended and needs older items such as reclaimed bricks to match current building structures or items of stone, lintels, or old flooring to fit with the age and character of the building.


Historical Significance of Reclamation Yards

Exploring the historical significance, these yards often house materials with rich histories, providing a narrative element to modern designs.

Most old demolished buildings end up in a reclamation yard. They clean and restore pieces such as bricks, stone and internal features such as flooring, lighting and sinks. Some buildings such as pubs hold a great deal of history and memories for local people, they enjoy owning an unusual piece of it and it being a part of their home.

Environmental Benefits of Using Reclaimed Materials

Utilising reclaimed materials is a step towards sustainable architecture, significantly reducing the carbon footprint associated with new material production. By reusing old bricks and stone and not purchasing new, you are contributing to the sustainability of our world.

The Aesthetic Appeal of Reclaimed Materials

The unique aesthetic of reclaimed materials – which range from weathered woods to vintage bricks – adds an irreplaceable charm and character to architectural projects. Displaying an old whiskey barrel or belfast sink with plants in a garden adds a unique twist to the average plant pot from a garden centre.

A beautiful garden path paved with old reclaimed bricks add a rustic cottage charm to a garden over perfectly cut new bricks. Or restoring a stone wall looks much better with weathered reclaimed stone over new. Its all about the aesthetics and how you want your overall look to be.

Reclamation Yards as a Source of Inspiration

For many architects and designers, reclamation yards serve as a source of inspiration, sparking creativity and innovative thinking. Have a walk through a yard or browse the online shop to see what interesting things you can find.

Durability and Quality of Reclaimed Materials

Reclaimed materials are not just aesthetically pleasing; they often boast a reputation for superior durability and quality, having stood the test of time. Modern building materials are often not a durable as older materials. Some have been standing in buildings for hundreds or thousands of years, and to buy the same level of quality of a new piece would set you back much more in cash.

Navigating the Challenges of Using Reclaimed Materials

Due to the fact that reclaimed materials are not uniform in shape and size like new items are, you may have to adjust your build plans or stone placing and work with the shape of the items you have. This can make sticking to a plan a little more tricky but worth the end result.

Case Studies: Successful Projects Using Reclaimed Materials

Take a look at a few of the images we have of our clients and customers projects using reclaimed materials from our yard. You can take some inspiration from how they have used them to create a beautiful look unique to you.

Tips for Architects and Designers Shopping at Reclamation Yards

When looking for stock or for certain pieces from a reclamation yard it can be a good idea to contact them first. If you have a brick to match up for example they can locate the right brick or let you know when they come into stock.

The Future of Reclamation Yards in Design and Architecture

The future of reclamation yards in design and architecture is set for a period of growth, driven by a rising focus on sustainability. These yards will become integral to the circular economy, emphasising the reuse of materials in construction. As architects and designers increasingly value the unique aesthetics and history of reclaimed materials, we can expect innovations in sourcing and integrating these elements into modern designs. This trend highlights the importance of reclamation yards in offering eco-friendly, cost-effective, and authentic materials, shaping future architectural trends and practices.

The Growing Trend of Reclamation in Architecture

The growing trend of reclamation in architecture reflects a shift towards sustainability and creativity in the industry. Architects and designers are increasingly embracing reclaimed materials for their unique character, environmental benefits, and cost-effectiveness. This trend not only contributes to the reduction of waste and the conservation of resources but also adds a distinct historical and aesthetic value to modern structures. As this practice gains popularity, it's reshaping the way we think about building materials and design, blending the old with the new to create innovative, eco-conscious spaces.


  1. What makes reclaimed materials environmentally friendly? Reclaimed materials are environmentally friendly because they reduce the need for new resource extraction and minimize waste. By reusing existing materials, the environmental impact associated with manufacturing and processing new materials is significantly lowered, leading to reduced carbon emissions and conservation of natural resources.

  2. How can architects integrate reclaimed materials into modern designs? Architects can integrate reclaimed materials into modern designs by creatively using them as focal points or complementary elements. This can involve repurposing old wood for flooring or beams, using vintage bricks for walls or pathways, or incorporating unique pieces as accent features. Balancing these with contemporary design elements can create a harmonious blend of old and new.

  3. What are the cost benefits of using reclaimed materials? The cost benefits of using reclaimed materials include lower purchase prices compared to new materials, potential savings in waste disposal, and reduced processing costs. Additionally, the unique character of reclaimed materials can add value to a project without the expense of custom fabrication.

  4. How do reclamation yards contribute to sustainable architecture? Reclamation yards contribute to sustainable architecture by providing a source of quality, recycled materials. They support the practice of material reuse, which is a key aspect of sustainable building practices. By salvaging and reselling materials that would otherwise be discarded, these yards help reduce landfill waste and encourage the recycling of resources within the construction industry.

  5. What should architects look for when visiting a reclamation yard? When visiting a reclamation yard, architects should look for materials that are in good condition and suitable for their specific project needs. They should consider the history and authenticity of the materials, their structural integrity, and any unique characteristics that could add aesthetic value. It's also important to evaluate the potential for repurposing and compatibility with modern building standards and requirements.

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