Master of Special Problem Solving, Dave Bennink Disassembles 1,000 Buildings by Hand
by Sara Badiali
Imagine you are packing your car for a trip. You can only move your gear once, but you still have to maximize space. Sound difficult? Now imagine you have to do it with a stranger’s gear. That’s what Dave Bennink of Re-Use Consulting has been doing almost every week for the past 25 years.
But instead of gear, he does it with entire dismantled buildings. Dave’s expertise is in disassembling structures, staging the components for transport, and then moving them to be resold.
Dave deconstructs buildings for reuse. He’s dismantled 1,000 structures, in 42 states and 4 providences. He is a master of spatial problem solving. The materials are so big and take up so much space on site that they can only be moved once.
Dave Bennink’s extensive knowledge and experience meant that when the City of Portland passed their new Deconstruction Ordinance, they asked Dave to train the City’s first Certified Deconstruction Contractors. They also tapped him to train and certify a new deconstruction workforce.
In addition to his own business dismantling structures, Dave is a certified Deconstruction Trainer for the Building Material Reuse Association. He’s done trainings for the City of Seattle, Vancouver, other municipalities, numerous small businesses and organizations.
Students are drilled in safety, technique, material recovery, recycling, diversion equations, staging and selling materials. All of the lessons take place in the actual building the students are deconstructing.
It is a common site to see Dave drawing out waste diversion calculations on the interior walls one day, and the next day the walls are gone. If you ever buy reclaimed materials with calculations on them, you may have just purchased a piece of one of Dave’s many classrooms.
Along with his own business, and deconstruction training, Dave also is a consultant for reclaimed building material reuse start-ups. Guiding entrepreneurs with reuse business planning, deconstruction jobs, and marketing used building materials is Dave’s passion.
He is happy to help new converts into the world of environmental stewardship, job creation, community building, and healthy alternatives to demolition. His motto is “Say no to the track hoe”.
If you are interested in meeting Dave Bennink you can see him present twice at the Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo: Saving Our Past, Building the Future conference in Portland, Oregon on September 24th-27th. Dave will be on a panel with some of his certified deconstruction students. He will also be speaking on the basic principles of starting a reuse business (including spatial acumen).
Dave will be presenting at the Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo with over 50 other building material reuse experts, and hundreds of participants. This is the largest building material reuse event in the country and is being hosted by the City of Portland, Metro, the Reclamation Administration, and Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions.