The Leland Lofts, formerly the Nellie Leland School for the Blind
Many of Detroit’s schools are structures worthy of redevelopment, irrespective of preservationist concerns. “They really are brilliantly designed,” says Landy. “These buildings were constructed with reinforced concrete and have a high fire rating. I can turn off the heat in dead of winter it’ll practically stay the same temperature for a week.”
Two-tiered loft living in the Leland Lofts
© James Harris
Originally milled in the 1950s, the Northwestern Douglas fir beams were once used to construct a Los Angeles building before being repurposed.
© James Harris
Detroit has been demolishing vacant and dilapidated structures for decades. But the effort could never keep pace with the need, with derelict factories, burned-out houses and trash-heaped lots becoming the subject of “ruin porn” viewed around the world.
But the effort to rid itself of blight ramped up earlier this year thanks to several related efforts.
Sandy River bridge could be part of Delaware mill town rebirth: Portland City Hall Roundup | OregonLive.com
Rather than building new bridges, Chesser said the idea is to “adopt” old ones. “As we’re trying to create this antique aesthetic and have this very vintage mill town feel, we also thought the idea of having these old bridges, not only is this the right thing to do, it adds something.” Chesser said the state wants to build a tourist attraction, complete with historical signage telling the story of the mill and the area.
If the PDC approves the expedited plan, deconstruction of the old mill could start as early as March of next year.
The deconstruction could take six to eight months to get the whole thing removed.
Once all of the buildings are taken apart, the city could start making plans on what to do with the property.
Rather than building using increasingly rare hardwoods, the architects decided to source timber utility poles that are gradually being replaced across the country by concrete columns.
Micheala: Summer 2014 Intern Extraordinaire
Michaela is a student at Metropolia University in Helsinki, Finland studying sustainable building engineering. Her interest in innovative building was sparked with an initial project in the Mojave Desert at Aquarius Ranch on a super adobe dome underneath UFOs and starry skies.
She stumbled into the natural building world through working on organic farms and continued on with projects utilizing cob, light-clay straw, adobe, and infinite recycled materials. After working at cafes and arts non-profits to support her wanderlust, she chose to return to the Nordic region to get back to her building passion.
This summer she was on work placement with Whole Trees Architecture in her native Wisconsin with one of her architectural heroes, Roald Gundersen. In the future she hopes to creatively develop accessible hybridized building techniques. She believes natural materials, inspiring integrated design, cradle-to-cradle material reuse, and updated vernacular architecture are the future for a sustainable built environment.
When she’s not brainstorming building compositions and calculating structural integrity you’ll find her biking aimlessly, foraging in the forests, enjoying beers at a sauna evening and flipping around with her acrobatics group.
Micheala researched and wrote many articles while interning at The Reclamation Administration.
Here are a couple:
Salvage Dawgs airs nationally on DIY Network, and will feature The Weatherford Farmhouse on the eleventh episode of the third season on Dec. 21 at 10 p.m.
He spoke of the 30-member crew spending money at local hotels and restaurants. The crew enjoyed local catering on site, and they even treated Wimbish and his wife to dinner at Bistro 1888.
“That part was interesting-how much impact it makes. They did business with local businesses, not chain stores,” he added.
This home on Lucky John Drive was recently deconstructed by The ReUse People, a California nonprofit that has recently expanded into Utah, which transported the salvaged materials to Recycle Utah. We had people standing in line waiting for the next pallet to be taken off the truck, said Recycle Utah Executive Director Insa Riepen. (Courtesy of Recycle Utah)
Sustainability is an increasingly important global issue and building demolitions and renovations appear to be an overlooked area of focus. When The ReUse People get a demolition project, they don’t rip everything out, load it into dumpsters and take it to a landfill — they take the building apart a little more carefully and save all the materials that can be salvaged — about 90 percent of a typical home.
Alfred from Details, courtesy Max Pollock/Baltimore Brick by Brick.
On December 13, Baltimore Heritage is offering an unusual behind the scenes look at deconstruction in process thanks to Details Deconstruction – a new social enterprise business started by Humanim to promote workforce development.
The company, which is based in Oakland, CA. works with Bay Area designers and artisans to make furniture and accessories that feature reclaimed fire hose, keeping them out of the landfill.
Buildings – The former airport hangars are being deconstructed instead of demolished. Through the deconstruction process, a building is slowly dismantled to allow the building materials to be sorted for recycling, reuse or waste management.
Part of this process is revamping our logo. We get to work closely with Hilary Meehan of Flying Hot Productions on the evolution of a theme (can’t tell you the theme yet – stay tuned).
Here we have a sketch closer to the image in my brain. It amazes me when artists can reproduce ideas that are poorly articulated. Based on my descriptions Hilary is Wonder Woman!
Here we are getting closer to goal. I made Hilary reverse the image because first and foremost, The Reclamation Administration is about building materials (even though I love the little skull face). Most people track from left to right, and I didn’t want them to see the skull first. Again, this is the kind of feedback graphic designers process every day – they are the hardest working artists!
We are far from finished with the design. Stay tuned to the process and if you like what you see - please support our campaign on Indiegogo!
Since 2011 the RA has been a primary site for news and research on building material waste prevention. Posts on projects, programs, policy, people and the amazing progress made in reclaiming beautiful materials from going to waste!
- Over 3,000 links to inspiring stories, collaboration, and design
- Resource pages on reuse centers, regional policy, reuse design links
- Original content articles, featured artists, announcements, and internships
The building material reuse community is a thriving growing industry of professionals and policy-makers who are changing the world for the better! The Reclamation Administration is uniting this diverse community through daily news.
This free site needs capital to evolve. We need $5,000 for:
- Publication of our First Book on reclaimed designs by the talented craftspeople featured over the years
- New Logo and Marketing campaign to reach more readers
- Additional supply & demand Resource Pages to connect people to materials
- To become a Limited Liability Corporation: The Reclamation Administration, LLC
If the funding goal isn’t reached, The Reclamation Administration will continue to provide these services but at a much slower pace. There is a high demand for inspirational news on reclaimed building materials – and we want to answer the call!
The RA is an ongoing source of inspiration for design, policy, collaboration, business, environmental issues, job creation, and education. The RA features daily information highlighting the “Triple Bottom Line” model of sustainability. The RA provides daily news that People, Planet, and Profit are synergistic when reclaiming building materials.
- Social change in the form of job creation, and the establishment of Deconstruction as a Trade Skill
- Environmental and ecological impact through reducing the waste stream and limiting the need for consuming raw materials
- Financial profit from creating a new industry in harvesting and producing products from reclaimed building materials
Over 100,000 people have visited the RA since it’s creation with an average of 100 new visitors a day. Over 400 readers are dedicated followers.
Risks & Challenges
The RA has been operating as a blog for over three years. The new funds will go to registering The Reclamation Administration as a LLC. The RA is a Social Entrepreneurship – a business with a mission and we have a lot more to learn!
Here’s what we have so far:
- Over three years of support in consistent & reliable information on building material reuse
- Partnerships with national organizations, businesses, craftspeople, and government
- Small business graduate through Mercy Corps North West
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can’t contribute financially send us your news instead! We are always looking to spread the word and hear people’s stories on reuse. Send our campaign to someone you know, take a moment to pass it on – thank you.
- Get the word out about The Reclamation Administration
- Use the Indiegogo share tools!
Stefan’s home measures just 215 square feet and his main aim when building it was to create a comfortable home while keeping the building costs down. While the home is sustainable, Stefan does not consider himself a dedicated greenie or tree hugger. He simply did what he had to given the circumstances.
The practice dates “back to ancient Egypt and perhaps beyond,” Mergold says. “It’s extremely pragmatic and symbolically charged. More than recycling, spolia also has social, cultural and even political dimensions. We think of it as an archaic practice, yet we also think that we have just invented recycling, life hacking and adaptive reuse. In fact, it has been practiced for millennia.”
Demolition planning as part of construction – reuse and recycling of parts improves the eco-efficiency of buildings
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland studied the reuse of structural elements in the ReUSE (Repetitive Utilization of Structural Elements) project, which recently ended. VTT also proposes the development requirements for improving the planning linked with demolition and repair. Of these, the most pivotal are the development of the guidelines and legislation supporting reuse, in addition to showing, by means of example targets, the commercial and ecological benefits that can be obtained.
Two Oslo-based designers looked at the everyday, commonplace objects and re-imagined its potential for use in our everyday life. The result? A one-of-a-kind urban mashup.
“I always think about the journey of this material,” he says over the phone. “I find little engravings or even just the chisel marks of Roman numerals,” left by early American sawmills as assembly instructions.
Craig Moore of the Ontario Association of Demolition Contractors OADC says for their part, materials sent to landfill are missed opportunities to cash in since jobs are bid with scrap in mind and both contractors and owners are well aware of the value of metals and other high demand materials.
Derek Keenan’s amazing sculpture of an AT-AT made from reclaimed skateboard decks.
The 1890 Doulton & Co urinals of the Attendant were carefully cleaned and converted into a seating bar, while original payment windows are still being used in a new capacity.
STAFF PHOTO / MIKE LANG Edward and Lesa Stroop are co-owners of Architectural Revival. Their son, Taylor Stroop, right, is a furniture designer. They plan to open a showroom on Central Avenue in the Rosemary District.
The store will feature reclaimed and repurposed furniture, though it also will sell new and vintage pieces. The Stroops pride themselves on finding one-of-kind items. For example, Architectural Revival will sell some teak wood furniture built with wood repurposed from Indonesian fishing boats.
Provided photo / Ben Baker plays a “canjo,” or a banjo made with a can resonator. He created the canjo from salvaged pieces of materials from the American Crayon factory.
Maple hardwood floorboards found inside American Crayon — some 100 years older or more — make great necks for string instruments, including guitars, Baker said.
So far, Baker has salvaged some of the hardwood for guitar necks. Meanwhile, he also repurposed some of the factory’s supporting beams into guitar bodies and custom ukeleles as well.
A stained-glass window is one of two pairs remaining from a 1904 house.
Earthwise got the windows when a South Park man decided to rent out his home after living there for 25 years, according to Earthwise director Kadence Englehardt. Rather than risk the windows being broken by renters, the man brought them to the salvage shop to ensure their safety.
Michael Gerrand from Salvage Solutions, a company in Pincher Creek, Alberta that tears down old barns, then sells the wood and extras for flooring, doors and furniture. Photograph by: Greg Southam , Edmonton Journal
“It adds a soul to a house,” Gerrand said of the antique wood additions. “All I see from my drive up from Pincher Creek to Edmonton is thousands of soulless houses and I think that there’s a market to putting a little bit of soul into some of these places and a little bit of history. I think people want it.
“I think Albertans, just like they want to know where their food comes from nowadays, I think they’d be pretty interested to know where some of their building materials came from.”
Deconstruction Works crew and Liza Walker, Mad River Valley director for Vermont Land Trust, in front of Tenney farmhouse on Marble Hill in Fayston. Photo: John Atkinson
In an effort to revitalize the Tenney property on Marble Hill Road in Fayston as a working farm and forest in the Mad River Valley, Vermont Land Trust has contracted with Deconstruction Works to remove one of two farmhouses located on the property. Deconstruction Works is a team of deconstructionists specializing in the salvage and repurposing of the built environment. The team will carefully dismantle, salvage and repurpose components of the red farmhouse located at the top of Marble Hill Road. This undertaking is driven by the significant disrepair of the building and the financial burden that would be transferred to the next farm owner if it were left on the site.
Photo via Collaborative Design Architects via Houzz
The original bin, which measures 36 feet in diameter and 20 feet in height, has stayed largely intact; inside it, the primary living space is enclosed in a 900-square-foot insulated box. There are, however, stairs that lead to the unfinished space below, which Morris currently uses as an art studio.
The 1915 building once was a former tavern house, appropriate for its latest incarnation. Construction will include reclaimed wood from a nearby home that dates to the 1880s. The part of the building that will house the brewery has a barn-like look to it, with high wooden strips forming the rafters. And in a neat homage to the past, bricks were salvaged from a former Forest City Brewery.
Haines says he works with many artisans and craftspeople throughout the region that are developing unique ways of reusing the material, a phenomenon that is aggregating into a burgeoning economy around deconstruction.
Desso is collaborating with Reststoffenunie, an association of drinking water companies in the Netherlands, to upcycle re-engineered calcium carbonate (chalk) from local drinking water companies such as Brabant Water and WML (Water Maatschappij Limburg). The chalk is positively defined in accordance with C2C criteria and is used for the production of Desso’s carpet tiles with EcoBase backing, which is C2C Silver certified and 100% recyclable in Desso’s own production process.
Kickstarter for the Holidays! Check Out These Reclaimed Projects and Give the Gift of Innovation by Pledging Today
Recycled Pedalboards by Cory Scanlon
The BeamBox joins the aesthetic of reclaimed wood with modern technology to create a completely unique home audio experience.
Go Green Furniture From Reclaimed Old Forrest Lumber by Toby
Reclaimed wood carving projects by Anthony “Doc” Cook
Abandoned Torpedo Station Transformed Into the Coolest Water Sports Venue in the Baltic Sea | Inhabitat
The long abandoned structure, only accessible by boat, will be refurbished to be enjoyed by boating enthusiasts.
Philadelphia Community Corps is providing first-phase deconstruction of nine vacant homes in Germantown-Logan, just outside the main entrance of La Salle University. (Emily Brooks/for NewsWorks)
“Chris immediately saw the potential,” Trainor said. “Philadelphia Community Corps needs an experienced for-profit partner to break through the barriers to entry into the structure removal industry, and Philadelphia Salvage Company needs a reliable supply of reclaimed building materials.”
They immediately got to work seeking opportunities, and through the collaboration PCC was awarded their first contract — to provide first-phase deconstruction of nine vacant homes in the Germantown-Logan section of Philadelphia, just outside the main entrance of La Salle University.
We have done our best to save money by using unusual materials, such as bricks for flooring, old garden fencing for stair railings and discarded fence boards as countertops.
Australian builder James Galletly, also known as The Upcyclist, teamed up with the Bower Reuse and Repair Center to design and build The Tiny, a small and cozy retreat constructed atop a box trailer and assembled with more than 95% recycled materials.
The company had to carefully de-nail the beams, as well as chop back the parts that had extensive rot caused by long-term water leaks in the building. The company was able to manufacture the salvaged wood into six grades of flooring.
Love the industrial feel of the reclaim wood against the subway tiles. Eat Drink Americano, Los Angeles (photo from Dustjacket Attic).
I am also very drawn to the industrial interiors of the gastropubs and retail stores that are popping up all over downtown LA. Reclaimed wood, wrought iron, subway tiles with dark grout, concrete, pre rinse faucets, and vintage filament light bulbs are characteristic of this style.
A salvage effort is set to recover some bricks as souvenirs from Connaught School in Regina. (CBC)
According to Elliot, some of the material includes decorative limestone and terrazzo pieces along with intact bricks.
Elliot said she learned that the bricks were destined to be crushed.
“Some of it may be used for roadways,” she said. “But … it sounded like they were just pulverizing it into the landfill itself.”
GOING NATIVE: Grant Scaife at his salvage yard at Mangaroa, Upper Hutt.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of native timber is being salvaged from earthquake-prone Wellington buildings.
But while some items such as matai flooring are in hot demand, “stacks” of rimu beams and other forms of native timber are languishing in recycling yards because of a lack of demand.
Roger Brabant of Rigaud relaxes inside a disassembled barn as he works to reclaim some of the wooden beams and planks Monday, October 27, 2014.
Known in the area as Roger “Barnwood” Brabant, he has spent the last 20 years dismantling old barns from local farms, recuperating the aged wood they’re made of and either selling it as is or turning it into furniture. Montreal café and bar owners, especially Irish pubs, have become popular clientele, condo owners and designers as well.
The underside of the church roof, above, will remain exposed to the new second floor and mezzanine. Below, the church’s steeple also will be retained. (Photos by John T. Ward.)
“It’s like architectural sculpture,” developer Bob Silver, of Bravitas Group, said of the intricate lacing of timbers. “We never even considered taking it down.”
Interestingly enough Geiger has managed to capture Apple’s essence in his design, especially when you think about how Apple Stores are typically furnished using wood, glass, and metal.
It all began with me wanting to create a modern lamp out of an antique vacuum. The idea of constructing something old into something new and seeing the final product inspired me to create more.
The years-long conversion is the work of Canadian-born architect Sanit Manku and French designer Patrick Jouin of Jouin Manku.
The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) has finalized their vessel deconstruction general permit, which allows businesses and boat owners to deconstruct older vessels that are still in the water.