All posts by guttercherry

Deep Energy Retrofit Demonstrates Significant Energy Savings With Help of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts – MarketWatch


CET has transformed a 100-year-old brick mill building into a modern green building with the help of funding from Columbia Gas. The building will house the EcoBuilding Bargains store, a non-profit recycled construction materials retail establishment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency similar commercial buildings and manufacturing plants account for nearly half of all U.S. energy consumption or $2 billion a year.

This EcoBuilding Bargains store is a green standard-bearer, using only about 1/2 of the energy than a normal building of its size, according to John Majercak, CET’s Executive Director.

The $3.3 million energy-efficient makeover of the historic structure is a forerunner in sustainable practices and is just one of the many “Deep Energy Retrofits” (or superbly-insulated, highly-airtight buildings that dramatically reduce heat loss) supported by Columbia Gas around the Commonwealth.



via Deep Energy Retrofit Demonstrates Significant Energy Savings With Help of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts – MarketWatch.

From Cleveland’s dilapidated buildings, salvage workers unearth treasures – The Washington Post


The neglected edifice, known as the Ardmore and built just after the turn of the century, has crumbling ceilings and busted-out windows. The copper pipes were stolen long ago. Graffiti artists tagged the walls. Weeds have taken over outside. It has sat empty for years, just like the building next door, and the one next to that, like thousands of others in Cleveland beset by population loss and a brutal housing crisis.

Recently, the Ardmore received a death sentence. It will be torn down in a matter of days, part of an ongoing effort to demolish vacant and abandoned properties and chip away at blight. But first, Hennessy and his colleagues have a chance to salvage whatever is worth saving.





via From Cleveland’s dilapidated buildings, salvage workers unearth treasures – The Washington Post.

Redesigners part of national project-Calaveras Enterprise

Interior Redesign Industry Specialists has announced ReDesign with ReStore, a nationwide philanthropic relationship with Habitat for Humanity. The initiative connects IRIS redesigners with the 700-plus Habitat for Humanity ReStore outlets throughout North America, including San Andreas.

Through ReDesign with ReStore, IRIS redesigners from coast to coast will show the public how to reuse and repurpose furniture and building supplies found in area ReStores.

“IRIS is delighted to be teaming up with Habitat for Humanity and ReStore,” said Anna Jacoby, executive director of IRIS.

Drew Meyer, senior director, ReStore and gift-in-kind support at Habitat for Humanity International, echoed Jacoby’s thought: “We are very excited about our new relationship with IRIS and its members.”

ReStore outlets sell donated building materials and home furnishings at discounted prices to aid Habitat’s mission to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income families.

IRIS members are certified interior redesigners and home-staging professionals who specialize in repurposing and reusing existing home furnishings when decorating rooms.

Meyer added, “The commitment and creativity the IRIS members bring to our relationship will make a real positive impact on the work Habitat for Humanity does to build homes and communities.”

“Our talented members are experts at thinking creatively and giving old things new life,” Jacoby said. “With the IRIS philosophy of ‘use what you have first,’ this collaboration is right up our alley.”

“Repurposing existing items in new and creative ways makes great sense economically and ecologically. This is what IRIS has always been about and we look forward to this terrific new partnership,” Jacoby concluded.

For more information about ReDesign with ReStore, contact Linda Lawrence at 728-2732 or

The Calaveras Habitat for Humanity ReStore is at 172 California St., San Andreas. Open hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information call 754-3234 or visit

via Calaveras Enterprise

Reworks Upcycle Shop | Avenue Magazine


Why recycle when you can upcycle?

According to the newest eco store in town, Reworks Upcycle Shop, upcycling is the “process of converting waste materials or useless products into new material or products of better quality of a higher environmental value.”

In short, it’s making new products out of old ones, without using the massive amounts of energy that is often required to proccess products for recycling.

Reworks Upcycle Shop’s owner, Solita Work, has tracked down upcycled furniture, lighting systems, jewelery and accessories from top notch artisans and small-scale manufacturers to provide Calgarians with products that are friendly to the environment and totally unique.

Quantities of all products are limited, so there are new things all the time, but here are a few upcycled products that Reworks has at their store right now:

These transit chairs by well-known American artist Boris Ballytransform recycled street signs into one-of-a-kind, handmade seating. The stainless steel hardware is rust proof, and recycled champagne corks are inserted on the bottom of the legs to protect floors.

Shovel chair by artist Nathan Smith (Nelson, B.C.)

via Reworks Upcycle Shop | Avenue Magazine.

6 Tips For Green Renovation –



For architects, builders and suppliers, Greenbuild is like Thanksgiving, Earth Day and a little bit of New Years all wrapped up into one. It’s a time to exchange ideas about sustainable construction, which for me is an opportunity to talk about how to plan for the resulting waste streams that every project generates.

You know, people are usually surprised to learn this, but managing waste is ranked by green building experts as the second most important element of environmental performance (just behind energy efficiency). To get you started on a path to success, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Make a plan

Before you tear down that kitchen wall or pull up an old carpet, make sure you have a plan to dispose of that waste. First, identify where you are going to send your materials to be recycled. Whether you have copper piping, lumber or linoleum, Earth911’s search database can be helpful in finding recycling facilities.

Next, establish a process for separating and collecting each type of waste for recycling. It’s more efficient and safer to collect materials from the start of a project, rather than sifting through a full mixed pile at the very end. With proper planning and careful sorting, almost all construction debris can be recycled. On some of the projects Waste Management has worked on, we were able to recycle more than 80 percent of total waste.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so if during a build, you are looking to earn LEED certification, keep in mind that some large construction teams use tracking systems, like WM’s Diversion and Recycling Tracking Tool, to collect data on their waste diversion rates. This information makes its easier to monitor (day or night) your recycling performance when applying for LEED certification. Home renovators may not need such a technical tracking system, but keeping tabs on your overall performance is important, too. Even if it’s just to share with your friends on Facebook.

2. Build with recycled materials

Save money and our environment’s resources by using recycled materials rather than new in your next construction project. There are many places to get “used” building materials, including Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore locations throughout the country or websites like and Here’s one example of building with recycled materials in WM’s Recycling Education Center in Houston.

3. Recycle wall materials

Cardboard, paper, plastics and metals can all be converted into new goods through traditional recycling methods, but the walls in your house can also be carefully recycled. First, remove all nails and screws from your clean wood and drywall scraps. Next, you can send larger, useable pieces to charities like Habitat for Humanity and the smaller scraps to specialized facilities to be processed.

Wood scraps can be recycled into mulch or biomass fuel. Biomass fuel – or tiny bits of wood and other organic material – is burned or gasified to produce renewable energy. Like wood recycling, drywall can be recycled in specialized facilities to be chopped up and made into new drywall.

4. Recycle roof materials

Thanks to new recycling technology, we can now recycle more than just bottles and cans. Check with waste collection facilities in your area to see if your roofing shingles can be recycled near you. Certain types of roofing shingles are made from asphalt, and can be recycled back into asphalt to pave roads in some areas.

5. Recycle floor materials

It’s important to recognize that from ceilings, to walls, to flooring, many construction materials are recyclable. Conduct some research to see what recycling facilities are available near you. Send your carpets to be broken down and reused to make everything from composite lumber to carpet cushion to automotive parts. Tile and crushed concrete can live a second life as gravel or dry aggregate for new concrete. Dirt, rock and sand can be used in landfills for Alternative Daily Cover (ADC), which when layered over incoming waste helps to keep those items contained.

6. Remember that it’s a cycle

Environmental performance doesn’t stop when you drive in the last nail. It’s important to remember that sustainability must continue during occupancy. So, build with recycling in mind. Design a space for a recycling container; since there’s very often little space for even an everyday waste receptacle (a lot of people squeeze a small container under the sink). Be vigilant when it comes to maintenance and keep tabs on different innovations that come out to make your home or office better for the environment.

According to Waste Business Journal, only 25 percent of construction and demolition waste is currently put to reuse. Recycling opportunities vary depending on your location, but when available it can really send this percentage much higher. Consider these tips next time you dust off your sledge hammer and saw. Even small residential projects can help drive us towards a zero waste future.

via 6 Tips For Green Renovation –

New Product Label To Promote Green Building Materials – Forbes

We live, we’re told, in an age of transparency.

I can point my iPhone at a box of cereal in the grocery store and GoodGuide will tell me how healthy it is for my family. Wikileaks has infamously bared the inner workings of the U.S. government for all to see. Twitter and Facebook have made it harder for companies to bury bad products and decisions.

Yet our homes and office buildings remain black boxes. Are there toxins in the wallboard? Were those hardwood floors sustainably produced? Can any of the building materials be recycled? Your guess is as good as mine.

That’s about to change, however. Perkins+Will, an international design firm, and Construction Specialties, an architectural products supplier, have teamed up to create what is apparently the first green label for building materials. It is first being applied, literally, to a commercial flooring product called the PediTred G4 made by Construction Specialties.

The label and a companion website details the components and recycled content of the flooring used in commercial building entrances, as well as where the components were manufactured and whether it meets indoor air quality standards.

“We spend about 90% of our time indoors so think of this a nutrition label for building products,” says Curt Fessler, a marketing and product development manager for Construction Specialties, also known as C/S.

Peter Syrett is an associate principal with Perkins+Will who worked on the label as a way to promote green building practices that minimize energy and water consumption and the use of toxic materials.

“Architects like myself often don’t know what they’re getting from their vendors or subvendors,” he notes. “In an age of information, the opacity is ironic.”

The construction industry, to put it mildly, is not known for embracing change or altering the way it has done business for decades. Getting the “product transparency label” to become an industry standard will be a challenge and some manufacturers will surely balk at disclosing product information they consider proprietary.

But Fessler and Syrett argue that the growing emphasis on green building techniques and a new generation of architects and designers will push demand for such transparency. If nothing else, providing such information could be a competitive advantage for building materials companies catering to those markets.

“I believe there’s a lot of architects and designers out there who value what products are made of,” says Syrett. “C/S has overcome the biggest hurdle already and that is just doing it.”

via New Product Label To Promote Green Building Materials – Forbes.

Demolition costs more than renting a bulldozer – Journal of Commerce

Just because you are old and you leak a little, it doesn’t mean you should be put down. I am also referring to buildings.

Charles Olfert

Architecture Matters

Charles Olfert

Most architects have heard “the greenest building is the one that already exists.” Consider how much energy it takes to create a new building.

Richard Moe, National Trust for Historic Preservation President, estimates constructing a new 5,000 square-meter commercial building releases about the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as driving a car 2.8 million miles.

Architecture Matters

Charles Olfert

He also notes it takes approximately 65 years for a green, energy-efficient new office building to recover the energy lost in demolition.

Most new buildings in Canada are certainly not designed to last anywhere near that long.

I would suggest the benefits of re-development go far beyond carbon reductions. Our cities desperately need the aesthetic diversity and cultural activity supported through adaptive re-use.

Given the benefits of re-use – why are so many buildings demolished? There are three basic reasons.

First, too many politicians still feel it is better to cut the ribbon in front of a brand new, relatively nondescript, glass box than make the necessary longer term commitment towards a comprehensive, complex urban redevelopment strategy.

The second factor is more complicated. Current building codes and civic building permit policies make it very difficult to save buildings. It seems an old building is automatically “grandfathered” as a non-compliant fire hazard as long as the use doesn’t change. However, once renovated, EVERYTHING needs to be “brought up to current standards”. Many developers try this once or twice and then simply throw up their hands in frustration.

Almost everyone appreciates a century old marble staircase with intricate wood posts and wrought iron railings. These stairs can function effectively for hundreds of years, but become immediately “unsafe and non-compliant” the minute a building changes use.

The issue of course is insurance and legal responsibility. Can you be “partially compliant” – who takes responsibility?

I am not advocating unsafe buildings. In fact, I am suggesting that many older buildings could be much safer if there were some flexibility in allowing small changes in use, with incremental safety improvements.

Many landlords and developers are not prepared to spend any money on an existing building because it is too expensive to do a complete code upgrade. Also discouraging – many of those upgrades destroy some of the best features of the building. The result is many attractive, older buildings sit empty or end up with marginal, illegal or existing unsafe uses.

The third factor is related to code issues and the subtle way regulations discourage mixing uses in buildings. For example there are typically and quite logically, fire separation requirements between building uses which can be very complicated.

As we try to encourage people to live downtown, we should seriously consider changes to the interpretation and application of zoning and building code requirements to make it safe, legal and cost effective to have people living above retail and restaurant facilities using our rapidly vanishing, but extremely valuable existing building stock.

Charles Olfert is the Architecture Canada | RAIC regional director for Manitoba/ Saskatchewan. He is part of an amateur Blues Band that practices in a heritage building.

The application of regulations typically discourages upgrades of this building as well as many others in the neighbourhood.

via Demolition costs more than renting a bulldozer – Journal of Commerce.

Christchurch earthquake | Records tossed in demolition… |

A demolition company levelling a central Christchurch building threw out valuable records and documents despite salvaging the cabinets and cupboards in which they were stored.

The Community House building at 141 Hereford St, occupied by welfare and social service groups, was badly damaged in the February earthquake and is being demolished by March Construction.

On September 30, the 23 tenants, who had hoped to re-enter the building to retrieve records, were told none of their property could be salvaged because the building was unsafe.

The same day, staff from one of the tenants, the Christchurch Small Business Enterprise Centre (CSBEC), were coincidentally shopping at the Salvage Warehouse in Heathcote, and found their paintings, filing cabinets, cupboards, interview room tables, a dishwasher and two computers for sale. They also saw their new water heater and the kitchen sink.

Another tenant, who cannot be named, recovered a laptop from the warehouse.

CSBEC manager Lindsay Jeffs said he was flabbergasted by his staff’s discovery given they had been clearly told nothing belonging to the tenants could be salvaged.

“This came as a bit of surprise to say the least,” Jeffs said. “It was apparently so dangerous for workers they could get nothing out but the items recovered were in some cases unbolted, cut out and would have had to be taken down the stairs.”

Jeffs said he was not really concerned about tables and cabinets, but was angry salvage workers had not considered the value of records and documents to the seven community organisations on the two floors. Tenants Protection Association manager Helen Gatonyi, whose organisation was on the first floor of the building, said she had also received the notification none of her organisation’s property could be rescued but she was now very skeptical.

Emails obtained by The Press show the Christchurch Community House Tenants’ Trust (CCHTT), which represents the tenants, was told on September 30 by the building’s owner, Canterbury Community Trust (CCT), that it had received confirmation 141 was “unsafe” and “that all our [CCT’s] efforts to salvage tenant property have not been successful, we are disappointed that we were not able to effect recovery but workers’ safety is paramount”.

The emails show the discovery of the items “totally gobsmacked” CCT which asked its project manager, property manager and March Construction for an explanation.

The correspondence shows a meeting on Friday last week revealed the third and fourth floors of the building were stripped and materials recycled as “the contractor claimed none was on the list provided”.

“We are disappointed with what has transpired. We have to accept that the actions of the demolition contractor were in accordance with the contract but not within the spirit of Community House,” trust manager Wayne Ward said, in one email.

March Construction general manager Nick Carvel said the company made no money from the recycled goods, which were handled by a subcontractor.

March had not received a list of items to be retrieved and it was not its job to sort through filing cabinets and contact owners.

via Christchurch earthquake | Records tossed in demolition… |

New McPherson venue to recycle items from site making way for museum

Oct 08, 2011 (The Hutchinson News – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) — In coming months McPherson residents will see the former Cedars Nursing Home demolished to make way for a new, state-of-the-art McPherson Museum.

Although the building will be destroyed, much of its contents will be removed and recycled, both by Hutchinson-based Thane Enterprises, which is doing the demolition, as well as a newly-formed McPherson venture called the ReUse It Center.

An effort by the First Mennonite Church, the nonprofit ReUse It Center was formed with the help of an Eli Lily grant..

The center, which is set to open on Nov. 1, is located at 1060 W. Kansas Ave. and will sell new and used building materials, including some reclaimed from the Cedars Nursing Home.

“This originally was a dream of one of our members who had a construction business for years,” said First Mennonite Church Rev. Kathy Neufeld Dunn. “He got to see this from the builder’s side and said, ‘We always buy extra supplies and they end up in the dump. There has to be a way that others can use them.'” So we dreamed together and got some seed money and this is where we are today.” Dunn said while the center is doing some reclamation work at the nursing home, its business model depends on builders, contractors and citizens donating extra supplies from their own renovation projects.

Proceeds from the sale of recycled building supplies will be split evenly between local ministries that serve those in need and the Mennonite Central Committee, the Mennonite Church’s global relief and development arm.

“None of the proceeds come back to First Mennonite Church,” Dunn said. “We want to serve those who have needs locally and globally.” Some of the items the ReUse It Center removed from the nursing home included hand rails, doors and cabinetry.

For more information on how to donate or purchase materials from the center, call the church office at (620) 241-4040.

via New McPherson venue to recycle items from site making way for museum.

From Scrap To Stylish Stump: Recycled Timber Furniture By Ubico Studio – TreeHugger


We admit it: we can’t get enough of stump-themed furniture. And now, from Tel Aviv-based Ubico Studio comes this tongue-in-cheek creation, made from salvaged wood scraps, glued together and skillfully shaped to give the appearance of wholesome stumpiness.


Inspired by the Christian wake ceremony and recently seen over at Designboom, this seating collection is simply titled “Wake.” The eco-minded Ubico Studio, which centers around “urban gathering and reclaiming,” salvages its raw materials from dumpsters, renovation sites and the streets, and gives some details about how these stump-mimicking works were made:

The furniture [is] made of relatively small pieces of scrap timber cut to extremely accurate sizes and then glued together in a matrix to a block. The blocks are then carved into tree stump-like shapes.



Granted, these adorable pieces are more like postmodernist versions of real tree stumps. But they’ve got the right idea about recycling wood scraps that would otherwise be discarded, and transforming them into down-to-earth yet sleek furniture that could grace any tastefully decorated living space.

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More on Recycled Wood Furniture
Salvaged Tree Stump Furniture By Denis Milovanov
Making Sidetables from Stumps
Tree Stump Coffee Table: Because We Can

before & after: sofa made from old doors | Design*Sponge

You know my love of “frankenfurniture” (a neologism I’m desperately trying to spread around), and it should come as no surprise that I adore this sofa that D*S reader John Doucet made from old doors. Now the key to successful frankenfurniture is not just a novel idea of how to combine or turn one furniture object into another, it’s also the execution. A sofa made from old doors could be a big old mess if designed poorly, which is why I admire John’s piece all the more. I love the look of the subtle tilt, the decision to leave the old metal details and the hours of work John put into stripping the doors down to their beautiful raw state. This is a truly gorgeous piece, and for $55 (!), you could not score something of this quality in a million years. Can you tell I want one of my own? 🙂 Wonderful job, John! — Kate

via before & after: sofa made from old doors | Design*Sponge.

Matfield green home rebuilt with recycled materials |

When Kansas City photographer Elaine Jones undertook remodeling her home in Matfield Green, she didn’t make a trip to the local hardware store for materials like most people. Instead, she made a trip to the junk yard.

In a “period of transition,” Jones moved to Matfield Green from Kansas City because she wanted to help with the restoration and research the Land Institute was in Matfield Green to do.

The Salina based-organization founded by Wes Jackson spent several years in Matfield Green researching ways small agrarian communities can survive in modern society while maintaining the prairie land. Jones was already involved in the Flint Hills area, having worked with the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and as a tour guide for several writers including “PrairyErth” author William Least Heat-Moon.

“I was sold on the idea of the Flint Hills to begin with,” said Jones. “I really couldn’t just go anyplace, because what would I do? I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “The obvious place was where the Land Institute was already developing a presence there.”

Jones said when she told Land Institutes founder Wes Jackson she was moving to Matfield Green, he didn’t like the idea.

“He said, ‘Over my dead body,’” said Jones. “I don’t want some Johnson County housewife coming out here and bringing a lot of people here. We aren’t doing that sort of thing.’ It was kind of a joke between us. He says he never said that.” Continue reading Matfield green home rebuilt with recycled materials |

Carved Floral Tires- via GreenMuze

We like to share inspiring posts here at The Reclamation Administration (waste can get depressing). These carved tires are a perfect example of artistic reuse. The website GreenMuze is has a nice variety of Cool Environmental News too – check them out!

Pneu Recycled Tire Series by Wim Delvoye.

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has turned the problem of what to do with the millions, perhaps even billions of used tires generated each year around the globe – turn them into gorgeous works of art.

Pneu Recycled Tire Series by Wim Delvoye.

In his creative art tire series, dubbed Pneu (French for tire), the artist handcarves these incredibly detailed floral patterns into the black rubber. Delvoye transforms an ugly object into a unique work of art that also operates to upcycle a poor recyclable product that is clogging landfills around the globe.

Pneu Recycled Tire Series by Wim Delvoye.

Carved Floral Tires via GreenMuze

Marin Demolition Company Starts New Project with Ecologically Friendly Deconstruction Process

Hurricane Hauling and Demolition Inc. , a Marin based demolition and hauling company that performs work throughout the greater Bay Area, has recently begun a major project using a deconstruction process that protects both the Earth and the owner’s pocketbook.    Deconstruction is the first step in green building, as materials that would normally end up in landfill become reused and recycled.

According to a report by McGraw Hill Construction with support from Waste Management, in 2007 more than 143 million tons of construction and demolition waste was generated, and less than 30% of this was reused, recycled, or repurposed. The remaining 100 plus tons went directly to landfill. Hurricane Hauling hopes that their ability to deconstruct and reuse much of the waste from their projects, such as the house in Mill Valley, will help not only encourage others to follow suit, but also inform about how beneficial it can be to both the environment and property owners.

Although deconstruction is more labor intensive than straight demolition, homeowners often end up saving money in the end. Deconstruction is the process of breaking down a building into all of its smallest parts (lumber, plywood, shingles, cabinets, doors, windows, carpeting, plumbing and electrical fixtures, etc.) and then either reusing or donating these salvaged materials. According to Molly Samietz, founder of Donation Solutions and lead appraiser of the Mill Valley deconstruction project, in many cases up to 85% of a home can be re-used or donated. This offers a huge benefit to those who value sustainability and want to lessen the burden on overflowing landfills.

Continue reading Marin Demolition Company Starts New Project with Ecologically Friendly Deconstruction Process

Blight Watch: City considers razing property at ‘prominent corner’ | The Star Press |

A house at the corner of Meeker and 16th Streets in Muncie stands empty on Thursday Sept. 22, 2011.

A house at the corner of Meeker and 16th Streets in Muncie stands empty on Thursday Sept. 22, 2011. / Jordan Kartholl / The Star Press

MUNCIE — At one time, the white, two-story building at Meeker Avenue and 16th Street was known by neighbors as the friendly grocery store at the corner near the railroad tracks.

But those days are long gone, and now that same property is regarded by some as both unsafe and a nuisance.

The building, at 2433 E. 16th St., is considered an eyesore by Carolyn Bird, a former resident of the neighborhood who drives through that intersection three times a week on her way to church.

“It’s in very bad disrepair,” she said.

Bird said she remembers visiting the grocery store that was once on the first story of the property. The owners of the store, Bird said, lived on the second floor.

Since then, however, the building has been abandoned, and now several windows are broken out and weeds are making their way up the side of the building.

Bird also considers the property is a traffic hazard. As she drives down 16th Street and stops at the four-way stop at 16th and Meeker Avenue, Bird said those traveling northbound on Meeker have an obstructed view of the intersection.

“The building itself is what you can’t see around,” Bird said.

The property has also caught the attention of city officials. In August, the city issued a $190 weed violation against listed property owner Steven Enochs, who is more than $10,500 delinquent in property taxes, records indicate.

A phone listing for Enochs could not be found.

Gretchen Cheesman, administrator of the city’s Unsafe Building Hearing Authority, said the property has entered foreclosure and would be an ideal candidate for a deconstruction project.

“There’s some good wood in there,” Cheesman said. “I’m seriously considering (deconstructing) it.”

Cheesman also noted the property’s location — along the Cardinal Greenway route, which replaced the old railroad tracks — as a “prominent corner” of the city.

“We also tore down two houses and one or two trailers across from it the last couple of years,” she said.

via Blight Watch: City considers razing property at ‘prominent corner’ | The Star Press |

Trinity Church Demolition An ‘Absolute Sacrilege’ |

The demolition of one of the oldest churches in Canterbury has been branded an “absolute sacrilege” by heritage advocates, but Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews is defending the deconstruction of the quake-damaged Church of the Holy Trinity.

STONEWALLED: Mark Whyte is unhappy with the way Trinity Church has been demolished.

The Avonside building, designed by Benjamin Mountfort and consecrated in 1857, was badly damaged in the February 22 earthquake and has now been almost completely demolished.

Lyttelton sculptor and stonemason Mark Whyte and heritage advocate Lorraine North, however, say the church should have been slowly deconstructed in order to salvage unique heritage materials.

Whyte said the building, with unique stained-glass windows and hand-painted ceilings, was more important than Christ Church Cathedral.

“It is a pile of smashed up timbers now. It is absolute sacrilege,” he said. “It is a very important church and has some very important Mountfort ceilings that have all been smashed in.

“In a perfect world, I would have very slowly dismantled the place and retrieved as much as possible of the heritage fabric, but it is all gone. It is pretty sad.

“The ceilings had collapsed, but it really doesn’t help being demolished in this way. It could’ve been picked over by hand rather than the diggers crunching over them.

STONEWALLED: Mark Whyte is unhappy with the way Trinity Church has been demolished.

“This is indicative of what is happening in Christchurch on every heritage site.

“It’s a knee-jerk reaction.

“This is hugely frustrating.”

North said the demolition had been “too hasty” and it was “a shame that other options were not explored and there was no public appeal and no attempt to save the church without just going to demolition.

“It is a very great loss.”

Bishop Matthews, however, said the church had been a “very, very perilous building”.

“It was a beautiful building, but my priority has to be humans and the safety of the community. It wasn’t a time to take chances.”

Project manager Kevin Long said workers had recovered as much of the heritage fabric as possible. A stone font, pulpit steps and a series of stone carvings were salvaged, as was a time capsule – a glass bottle set in concrete beneath the nave and containing a piece of paper with the words of the church’s original consecration.

“We are pretty lucky to have recovered what we are recovering, because a lot of it didn’t survive,” Long said. “We will carry on recovering as much as we can.” Fairfax NZ

Watch the great video here!

via Trinity Church Demolition An ‘Absolute Sacrilege’ |

Check Out The Freecycle Network

The Freecycle Network

Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,985 groups with 8,772,504 members around the world. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them’s good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community

NYS Green Building Conference Set for March 2012


New York State Green Building Conference

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) partners with the U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter to host the 10th Annual New York State Green Building conference March 29 and 30, 2012.

The conference, to be held at the Oncenter Complex, Syracuse, provides focused presentations and discussions on commercial and residential construction, green building chemistry and deconstruction as well as opportunities to network and interact with green building experts, professionals, and researchers.

The conference is currently seeking presentation proposals. For more information on submitting abstracts or to register, visit

via NYS Green Building Conference Set for March 2012.

MMSD to pay $833,960 for deconstruction of 16 houses – JSOnline

Ray Hintz Inc. of Caledonia will be paid $833,960 to deconstruct and recycle 16 residences – an average cost of $52,122 per house – along the Kinnickinnic River between S. 6th and S. 16th streets, under a contract approved Monday by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s commission.

Work is expected to begin in mid-October.

Costs are higher than the estimates of $25,000 to $35,000 for demolition because the district’s deconstruction contract requires the hiring and training of at least 16 local workers in addition to the mandate for recycling 87% of building material, said MMSD Commissioner Ben Gramling of Milwaukee.

No more than 10% of materials can be disposed of in a landfill, under terms of the contract.

“We value putting local people to work and preserving landfill space,” Gramling said.

Hintz was the low bidder, and the contract was approved on a 10-1 vote. Commission Vice Chairman Dale Richards of Oak Creek voted against the contract. He has objected to high costs of recycling in each of the district’s three deconstruction contracts.

The total cost of deconstructing each house in the contract awarded to Hintz includes the following estimates: $3,300 for removing basement walls and the concrete floor slab and $2,100 for filling in the remaining pit; $2,000 for removing a garage concrete floor slab; and $5,500 for asbestos removal.

Since last year, the district has acquired 37 of 83 single-family homes and duplexes targeted for removal as part of a $49.9 million Kinnickinnic River flood-control project. Eight of the residences have been deconstructed under two earlier contracts.

Removing the buildings from the floodplain between S. 6th and S. 16th streets will provide space to widen the stream channel to accommodate greater flood flows and eliminate most flooding of the neighborhood, district officials said.

An additional 19 residences are ready for deconstruction, said Dave Fowler, senior project manager for the district.

In an attempt to reduce costs of future contracts, the commission advised district staff to split the 19 into three groups, according to Gramling.

Deconstruction bids will be solicited for two groups of five residences each. Demolition bids will be solicited for the remaining nine residences as one group.

“This will provide us with better information on costs of both methods as we move into the second half of the removal project,” Gramling said.

via MMSD to pay $833,960 for deconstruction of 16 houses – JSOnline.

Hurricane Hauling and Demolition Starts Deconstruction to Save on Construction Material and Ecology

By Joel Scanlon

Hurricane Hauling and Demolition, a demolition and hauling company based in Marin and providing its services all over the greater Bay Area, declared that it has lately started a tear down project utilizing the deconstruction process.

Demolition services of Hurricane Hauling and Demolition. Credit: Hurricane Hauling and Demolition

Demolition services of Hurricane Hauling and Demolition. Credit: Hurricane Hauling and Demolition

The process prevents the demolished materials from reaching the landfills, instead allows them to be recycled and reused, thus saving the earth from wastes and assist the owners with savings. The company banks on its deconstructing ability to reuse most of the wastes from the projects.

Though the deconstruction process consumes more labor than straight demolition it assists the home owners to save money. The process breaks down a building to its smallest parts separating electrical fixtures, plumbing, carpeting materials, windows, doors, cabinets, shingles, plywood and lumber carefully for reuse or donate them as salvaged materials.

The company is currently engaged in a deconstruction process at a house in Mill Valley. The owners of Mill Valley analyzed the demolition and deconstruction options and opted for home deconstruction after finding the method lucrative from the financial point of view as well as from an ecological point. The deconstruction process while enabling the reuse of materials also allows for a substantial amount of tax credit, which can be spread over a number of years. The process also notably cut down the charges related to the hauling of materials from the demolition site and disposing them.

According to Molly Samietz, Donation Solutions’ founder and appraiser of the deconstruction project at Mill Valley, a properly performed deconstruction project allows reuse of around 85% of content, which can be either reused or donated thus reducing the burden on landfills that overflow.


via Hurricane Hauling and Demolition Starts Deconstruction to Save on Construction Material and Ecology.

NewsMaker – Building Green Houses from Garbage

The economy has forced the world to find new means of creating green houses. The world has gone to the garbage dumps to build green houses. These materials that are being used to build these green houses would of ended up in the landfills, but instead are being put to good use and being recycled into a useful building for many homes and business’ across the nation.

From floors, counters, and even roofs, we are seeing scraps not big enough for normal use being recycled into the green houses. The scraps of wood are used to make a mosaic floor or counter tops, and roofs are being made out of license plates.

Can you imagine what a green house would look like made up entirely of materials that were headed to the landfills?

Continue reading NewsMaker – Building Green Houses from Garbage

Dundee residents encouraged to produce art from rubbish | Dundee and Tayside | STV News

Dundee residents are being encouraged to produce art that is rubbish.

The city council’s environment department is running a competition designed to inspire residents to think about what they throw away by turning their trash into artworks.

The Reuse Solutions 2011 promotion asks participants to make art from reused everyday materials, or to compose creative writing with a recycling theme.

Dundee residents encouraged to produce art from rubbish

There are six categories including nursery, primary and secondary schools, community groups and businesses.

Cash prizes are on offer of £250 for category winners with the closing date for entries being November 4.

City council depute environment convener Councillor Alan Ross launched the competition by inspecting artworks that have been created at Camperdown Wildlife Centre using recycled material.

He said: “Dundee currently has the best recycling rate of any city in Scotland which is great news and we want to make sure we keep hold of this position.

“We all know how important it is to recycle our waste but we should also try to reuse it when possible.”

via Dundee residents encouraged to produce art from rubbish | Dundee and Tayside | STV News. Check it out for a great video too!

Illinois EPA hears from residents on Tri Lakes waste plan

BLOOMINGTON — Neighbors concerned about Henson Disposal’s plan to recycle construction and demolition waste at their facility on Tri Lakes Road in Bloomington spoke Wednesday during a meeting with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency officials at the Tri-Lakes Banquet Hall.

About 50 people attended the meeting, with more than half indicating they live near the facility, which was approved in February by the McLean County Board. The IEPA granted its permit in July.

McLean County Board member Paul Segobiano, who served as moderator of Wednesday’s meeting, said the purpose of the gathering was to give residents a chance to ask questions.

“The citizens felt like they didn’t have input,” Segobiano said afterward.

Two representatives from the IEPA answered pre-submitted questions and fielded a few additional from the audience.

Inez Mott, who lives next to the Tri-Lakes Banquet Hall, was concerned with the dust the facility could generate. She said it’s already a problem with Henson’s mulching operation.

“I can see the dust, and I’m concerned about the kids and elderly who fish,” Mott said after the meeting.

Paul Purseglove, manager of field operations for the IEPA, told residents there would be dust and noise, but each is regulated under the permit and periodic inspections would be done to ensure compliance.

After the meeting, Tom Kirk, one of Henson’s owners, said the facility will begin accepting roofing shingles on Monday. Other construction waste recycling operations will begin in late October.

via Illinois EPA hears from residents on Tri Lakes waste plan.

2nd annual ReStore and After says: Get Hammered! | Eye Candy

2nd annual ReStore and After says: Get Hammered!

Posted by Leslie Newell Peacock on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Toy box, before

Toy box, before

Toy Box, after, by Lori Weeks

Toy Box, after, by Lori Weeks

Habitat for Humanity’s annual fund-raiser auction of artist-restored furniture is tomorrow night, Sept. 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Lafayette Square building at Louisiana and Sixth streets (523 Louisiana) and if you want to bid on some beautiful things for a beautiful purpose, clear off your calendar now and plan to go.

“Get Hammered!” is the theme of the 2nd annual Restore and After event, where Hammer-tini cocktails, beer, wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served for a mere $25 ticket price. The Rodney Block Band will entertain.

Among the items to be auctioned are no fewer than four doghouses, all decorated by realtors with the Little Rock Realtor’s Association, toy chests, chairs, hutches and more.

Dog house

Here’s how it worked: 14 artists purchased items from H for H’s ReStore outlet in North Little Rock and turned them into works of art for auction. Last year’s event raised $7,000, enough to build a room in a Habitat house. Go here to purchase tickets or call 379-1583.

via 2nd annual ReStore and After says: Get Hammered! | Eye Candy.

Vintage hardware finds new home on leather handbags and accessories

Raw Edge Messenger

A new local company, Divina Denuevo, is selling a collection of leather bags and accessories that use antique and vintage hardware and adornments: anything from old skeleton keys, cabinet door handles, keyplates and door knockers.

The duo behind the Divina Denuevo line (Divina Denuevo means “divine again” in Spanish) are Victoria Ronco and Dave Kelly.

“We search high and low for antique and vintage hardware, keys and adornments, in an effort to up cycle something old that was otherwise destined for the landfill, and make it new again.” says Ronco in a prepared release.

via Vintage hardware finds new home on leather handbags and accessories.

The Drop Box Brigade Has Arrived!!

Drop Box in Portland, Oregon – thank you Max!!

The Reclamation Administration can inspire change by providing news on policy, waste management, design, and community awareness.

The Drop Box Brigade is a program to help citizen’s awareness in their own communities by snapping photos of construction dumpsters or drop boxes in their neighborhoods.  By posting pictures of drop boxes on The RA website people can see the materials that are being wasted or diverted from their own neighborhoods.  Photographing waste has been adopted world wide as a strategy to bring awareness to pollution, poverty, and crime.  It is an effective tool for change.  This is one of the many ways that the citizens of Portland can support the City of Portland’s jobsite recycling requirements.

To join the Drop Box Brigade:

  1. Snap a photo of the inside of a construction dumpster near you and send it to
  2. Put DBB in the subject line and your handle if you want (ex: DDB GutterCherry SE Pdx)
  3. You can add the neighborhood or cross streets, but for respect and privacy reasons – no actual addresses please.

Mixed debris drop box with salvageable wood, and recyclable paper. 


Be aware that climbing into, or on a dumpster is dangerous and against the law.  Please be respectful of property and property owners.  If you desire an item that is being thrown away, just ask for it.  In many cases people are happy to lighten the load of those drop boxes as the dump fees are based on weight, and lightening the load is in their best interest.


About 40% of the average landfill is made up of construction and demolition waste.  A waste composition study done by Metro (the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area), in 1994, determined that nearly 26% of the region’s disposed waste is generated by construction (including remodeling) and demolition debris (C&D) from structures such as residential and commercial buildings and roadways – approximately 256,000 tons out of a total of about 1,000,000 tons. Much of this waste is easily reused or recycled, so it makes sense to target it for waste reduction and recycling (ODEQ

The City of Portland, Metro Regional Government, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, nonprofit organizations and private businesses are trying to reduce the amount of C&D waste that is generated.  The City of Portland’s  Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has developed guidelines for all building projects within the City where the total job cost (including both demolition and construction phases) exceeds $50,000, the general contractor shall ensure that 75% of the solid waste produced on the job site is recycled.  In addition, the following materials must be recycled and diverted from the landfill: Rubble (concrete/asphalt), Land Clearing Debris, Corrugated Cardboard, Metal, and Wood.  The general contractor is responsible for ensuring recycling at the job site, including recycling by sub-contractors, and for completing a Pre-Construction Recycling Plan Form.  Where no general contractor has been named on the permit application, the property owner is considered the responsible party (

Unfortunately, due to the scope of the construction industry, oversight is difficult and compliance is somewhat honor based.  Education on the recycling mandates, followed by community interest in neighborhood construction projects can help steward the laws into practice.  Showing interest in local contractors Construction Recycling Plans, and even asking to see them demonstrates awareness and investment in the sustainability of our city.

Thank You

Thanks in advance for your interest in the RA.  Even if you don’t join the Drop Box Brigade we appreciate your interest.

Reduce, reuse and rehome at ReFest on Oct. 1 |

Photo courtesy of Humane Society for Greater Savannah

Photo courtesy of Humane Society for Greater Savannah

By KELLY NELSON ReFest is an extravaganza of reducing, reusing and re-homing, hosted by WellFED, Emergent Structures, Wooden Sheep and Southern Pine in part to benefit the Humane Society for Greater Savannah. The event features the Design & Build Competition: Dog Houses and Cat Structures built from reclaimed, sustainable materials. I’ve seen the structures and I’m here to tell you that they are amazing!One of the Cat Structures, designed and built by The Inclusion Counsel at CSX the railroad has multiple levels and is fashioned after a train’s caboose! It features scratching posts, hiding places, and lots of space for multiple cats.Butterhead Greens Cafe has created a “Green House” Dog House. You can actually use the roof as a greenhouse! And there are about a dozen more wonderfully thought out and creative structures to impress you.The event held at Southern Pine ties together two seemingly unrelated topics; RePurposing building materials in order to decrease the waste that bloats our landfills and ReHoming unwanted companion animals in an effort to decrease pet overpopulation and homelessness.Starting at 2 p.m., you can bid on the Dog Houses and Cat Structures through a silent auction. There will also be a live auction of winning structures around 6 p.m. All proceeds from the auctions go directly to the Humane Society for Greater Savannah.In addition, HSGS will be on site ReHoming pets from our shelter! ReFest is an awesome opportunity for you to bring your family, visit or even adopt our shelter pets, check out and bid on some great and eco friendly Dog Houses and Cat Structures and, as the night goes on, enjoy great music, great food, great drinks with great people!

via Reduce, reuse and rehome at ReFest on Oct. 1 |

Tables Sawed: Old Furniture Sliced & Stacked into Shelving | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Difficult and expensive do not mean better, as this eccentric do-it-yourself shelves can attest, requiring a random mix of recycled vintage table parts, some paint, screws, a saw and a plan.

Isabel Quiroga collected an eclectic set of desks, side tables and cabinet drawers, old and new, measured her target space and started sawing accordingly.

After painting the pieces purple – to give their mixed appearance a sense of uniformity beyond style – she piled and attached them to create an unusual site-specific solution to shelving with definite decorative flair.

via Tables Sawed: Old Furniture Sliced & Stacked into Shelving | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Often when we hear “prefab houses,” we conjure up thoughts of structures pieced together on a site like a puzzle made from mass produced parts that were shipped as separate pieces. While these homes are often more sustainable, they can leave much to be desired in regards to character, aesthetic, and durability. But Reclaimed Space, founded by Tracen Gardner in Austin, Texas, is changing the way we think about prefabricated buildings. Instead of using anonymous materials from mega-factories, Gardner and his team salvage beautiful woods and metals from old homes, barns, and buildings across Texas and use these unique materials to build one of a kind, handmade spaces. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Gardner and learn how Reclaimed Space is carving an artisan niche in the prefab world and why Gardner believes that all designers have a responsibility to be sustainable.

Read the Interview Here

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Debating the Cleanliness of Dirt – Chicago News Coopertive

Debating the Cleanliness of Dirt

John Konstantaras
State officials are set to begin hearings on rules about acceptable levels of construction site dirt and debris that can be deposited in quarries. The Reliable Sand and Gravel Co in McHenry, September 19, 2011.

by KARI LYDERSEN | Sep 23, 2011

Questions about the earthiest of matters — whether there is such a thing as clean dirt and, if so, does it exist in Chicago? — are at the heart of a bitter policy fight between two powerful, politically connected industries: landfill and quarry operators.

Next week in Springfield, the Illinois Pollution Control Board will begin what promises to be a highly charged set of hearings about rules proposed by the state Environmental Protection Agency to define whether dirt and debris from construction and demolition sites is clean enough to be deposited in quarries. Such dirt and debris has long been deposited there, and state statutes mandate that the deposits be clean. But “clean” has never been clearly defined.

The debate over the proposed regulations is expected to resonate in suburban communities that get their water from aquifers connected directly to quarries, which have no linings or barriers to prevent toxic materials from leaching into the water supply.

It has pitted quarry operators, who say that the proposed regulations are too strict and costly, against landfill operators, who say the proposed rules are too lenient and will lead to polluted drinking water.

The landfill operators say most dirt in Chicago is contaminated enough that it should be going to landfills, which have waterproof liners and stricter monitoring requirements.

In 2010, the State Legislature passed a law that requires the pollution control board to develop rules to ensure that contaminated dirt is not dumped in quarries.

“How do you define uncontaminated?” asked Matthew Dunn, chief of environmental enforcement for the Illinois attorney general.” One side says well if it’s not too contaminated, if it’s just normal urban contamination, we can still call it ‘clean,’ while the other side says if it contains chemicals or metals that didn’t come from God or the glaciers it is contaminated.”

Continue reading Debating the Cleanliness of Dirt – Chicago News Coopertive

Trustees Debate Construction Recycling Guidelines – Grayslake, IL Patch

In a continued effort to be both pro-environment and pro-business development, the village of Grayslake is in the process of drafting an ordinance that will place guidelines on the recycling of construction and demolition debris.

Village trustees discussed the draft ordinance during Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, but decided to suspend action pending further research at the request of Trustee Jeff Werfel, who voiced concern over some of the wording.

The ordinance, drafted after reviewing other communities’ ordinances and with input from the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, proposes a recycling program for any new structures or renovations 2,000-square-feet or greater in size; any size demolition; and any residential or commercial project of four or more individual units.

The ordinance also proposes that 75 percent of construction and demolition debris be recycled, excluding recovered wood.

The catch is the ordinance would not make these requirements effective until a construction and debris recycling facility is located within five miles of the village’s corporate limits, per the proposed ordinance’s wording.

The purpose is to keep participation in the program financially feasible for contractors. Mayor Rhett Taylor said the proposed ordinance would not add any significant cost to contractors.

Werfel, who made it clear he is all for more recycling programs, said he worried the ordinance as worded could make it appear the village is requiring that a construction and debris recycling facility be built within village limits, which could set a precedent.

“I understand why it’s in there,” said Werfel, referring to the 5-mile radius aspect. “It’s a trigger for turning it (the recycling requirements) on, but I don’t want a problem later.”

From his knowledge, said Werfel, such recycling facilities are “quite messy, quite noisy and dusty” and can “vibrate like an earthquake.” Not good for nearby residents, he said.

Taylor assured trustees that the proposed ordinance does not imply a land use right and any application to build such a facility within village limits would be subject to public hearing and would need compatible zoning.

“We don’t have that,” Taylor said of the zoning requirements.

“It’s not granting a 1st Amendment right to build,” offered Trustee Bruce Bassett. “It’s certainly not our intent to create a right to build this facility.”

Continue reading Trustees Debate Construction Recycling Guidelines – Grayslake, IL Patch

Le Mars Daily Sentinel: Local News: Landfill construction and demolition recycling piles up (09/22/11)

Landfill construction and demolition recycling piles up

Thursday, September 22, 2011

By Joanne Glamm

A new mini-excavator is sorting out more metal for recycling at the Plymouth County Landfill. The total adds up to 130 tons of metal since the first of the year when the Construction and Demolition Recycling program was added, Mark Kunkel, landfill manager said.


The latest recycling effort at the Plymouth County Landfill could give new life to about 2,500 tons of construction and demolition material this year.

The re-use is a result of the Construction and Demolition (C&D) Recycling program added to waste handling at the rural Le Mars landfill in January.

Asphalt shingles, wood without stain or paint, metal and concrete are picked out of construction and demolition waste by equipment attached to a mini-excavator, according to Mark Kunkel, landfill manager.

During an open hous Wednesday, Kunkel explained the impact of the equipment purchased with the help of a $20,000 forgivable loan from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

A 100-ton pile of asphalt shingles was among the most visible changes at the landfill during a tour Kunkel led for landfill board members, representatives of city councils in the county and county supervisors.

OMG Midwest, of Ankeny, which owns asphalt paving companies, has offered $30 a ton for the shingles which will be used in asphalt roads, Kunkel said.

More than 500 tons of wood which would have been buried at the landfill will be shipped to fuel an ethanol plant in Chandler, S.D.

Since the first of the year, about 75 tons of concrete have been piled to be crushed by a contractor to be reused as road surface materials at the landfill.

The sorting recovered 130 tons of metal which will be recycled and provide income for the landfill.

C&D recycling is being measured in another way.

“If we can get that kind of tonnage back out of there, that will keep adding onto the years of life at the landfill. which keeps everything cheaper for everybody bringing waste here,” Kunkel said.

The mini-excavator has been used to sort waste more than 600 hours this year.

The landfill has also shipped 215 tons of tree waste for the South Dakota ethanol plant’s fuel.

Kunkel estimates 65 percent of the waste hauled to the landfill is recycled.

At the current rate of recycling and burial, the site is projected to last another 70 years before the landfill is filled.

During the open house, Landfill Board Chairman Rick Bohle, of Kingsley, commended cities in the county for their efforts to promote recycling with programs such as collecting recyclables in blue-colored garbage bags.

These recyclables are hauled to the landfill and then transferred to the rural Cherokee landfill site which doesn’t charge the Plymouth County landfill for the recycling and disposal, Kunkel said.

He estimated the number of tons of blue bags had grown from 87 in 2006 to 800 a year.

“The people of Plymouth County are doing an excellent job and it makes life a little easier over there in Cherokee, too,” Kunkel said. “They get a better product — it’s cleaner, they get more use out of it.”

The City of Merrill has applied for state grant funds to place a second recycling collection dumpster in the city, according to Bruce Norgaard, a Merrill councilman.

Norgaard said blue bag recycling from the southern part of the county is brought to the Merrill collection location and the dumpster overflows on a weekend.

“We do need something for the excess, because if we’ve got capacity, apparently southern Plymouth County will fill it up,” Norgaard said.

via Le Mars Daily Sentinel: Local News: Landfill construction and demolition recycling piles up (09/22/11).

Philly’s Habitat chapter puts its periodic garage sales on a grander scale –

Antionette Reed is in stealth mode as she walks among the used dining-room tables and chairs at Philadelphia’s newest salvage and thrift store.

Reed, 55, takes photos on her cellphone of dining sets at the Philadelphia Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore warehouse in Kensington, and sends the pictures to her daughter, who is about to move to a new home.

She calls the young woman, who shuns thrift shops, and asks what she thinks of the tables and chairs. Evidently, her daughter’s mind is on a single issue.

“Where am I? It doesn’t matter where I am,” Reed says defiantly, refocusing her daughter on what’s in the photos. “Look at the legs. Do you like the legs?”

Detail of a sink on sale for $59. Merchandise is often donated in regions where Habitat volunteers build affordable housing.

In another part of the store, an unusual male-bonding experience is taking place: Two friends are getting their first look at this Habitat ReStore after having visited others in the region.

“I have a five-bedroom house in New Jersey,” says John Hankinson, 51, of Willingboro. “I pretty much redid it entirely through Habitat stores.”

How does an affordable-housing construction nonprofit raise more money in ramshackle economic times? It sells home decorating and renovation items, of course.

This month, Habitat for Humanity’s Philadelphia chapter turned its periodic garage sales in a North Philadelphia neighborhood into a large warehouse, stocking everything from kitschy plastic toilet-bowl cleaners whose handles look like art nouveau-ish ballerinas, to stylish kitchen cabinets fresh from the box.

“I think there’s a movement across our country, and maybe some of it is driven by the economy, that people of all income levels are looking for ways to save money,” says Drew Meyer, senior director of ReStore support in Habitat for Humanity’s Atlanta-based national office.

The first Habitat store opened in 1991 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the first U.S. shop was in business the following year in Austin, Texas. Now there are more than 700 stores countrywide. Locally, ReStores are also in West Norriton, Pennsauken, Cinnaminson, and at the Granite Run Mall in Media.

The stores’ sales accounted for $175 million out of Habitat for Humanity’s $700 million revenue nationally in fiscal 2010 (the remaining revenue comes from contributions and grants). That’s up from the previous fiscal year’s sales of $162.7 million, a Habitat for Humanity spokeswoman says.

via Philly’s Habitat chapter puts its periodic garage sales on a grander scale –

T.D.M – TrashDesignManufaktur


The TrashDesignManufaktur-Vienna – short TDM – is a division ofDismantling and Recycling Centre (DRZ) , a socio-economic operation of Viennese Adult Education Centres Ltd. The focus of the work is the reintegration, qualification and Vermitttlung of long-term unemployed and people with disabilities..

In TDM unique design is created from the remnants of our society. Thanks to new ideas, the company drives people out of work were long, with a high success rate into the labor market and the back of them created and manufactured products in Europe in the temple of art. We produce elegant and high quality jewelry, furniture and accessories. Our products consist mainly of recycled parts from used electrical and electronic equipment.Each piece is handmade and therefore unique. The project is funded by funds from the AMS Vienna  and the European Social Fund (ESF) . With the purchase of a TDM product you purchase not only a designer piece, but you also support the idea of social economy.

T.D.M – TrashDesignManufaktur.

Deconstruction reuses what would be demolished  – News – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports –


Chris Dorst
Adam Stewart of Modern Home Concepts carries away wall trim after removing it from a deconstruction site in Hurricane. The old house on Victorian Place would have been demolished, but a new company is taking it apart and donating its contents to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.



HURRICANE, W.Va. — A dilapidated house in Hurricane is being taken down, but not by a bulldozer. Instead, it’s being deconstructed piece by piece as part of Sarah Halstead’s effort to make her home state more environmentally friendly.

“It’s a hip concept,” said Halstead, the executive director of WVGreenWorks. “It’s all about reclaiming and reusing as much as possible and diverting as much as possible from the landfill.”

WVGreenWorks, which is dedicated to, among other things, creating sustainable, green jobs in local communities, is partnering with The ReUse People of America, based in Oakland, Calif., in a business venture, which will deconstruct buildings in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and parts of Pennsylvania, rather than simply demolish them.

The first regional deconstruction process of the joint effort began Tuesday at a house on Victorian Place in Hurricane.


“We’re hoping this professional approach to deconstruction will give municipalities and homeowners doing remodels more choices and more options on how to deal with construction and demolition debris,” she said. “Really, it presents a whole new chance to shift your mindset. Most people will just ‘doze a building, but when you take a look at the materials involved, some of that lumber you’ll never find again.”

Halstead said the idea is innovative around the area. She said she corresponded with Ben Newhouse, the Hurricane city manager, before the city recently installed solar panels at the wastewater treatment facility.

“It’s a new concept for the folks I’m working with in Hurricane,” she said. “I’ve worked with Ben Newhouse in the past, and he’s a forward thinker.”

Halstead said she talked with Newhouse about the deconstruction business.

“I called Ben and he said, ‘Oh what a shame, we just demolished a house and we’re about to bulldoze another,'” she said. “I said, “Please don’t do it.’ He said the house was really old, with a tile roof and hardwood floors.”

The man who owns the house told Halstead he wanted the house demolished, and she said he didn’t recognize that the materials could be reused.

“I told him, ‘You’ve got a tile roof worth thousands of dollars,'” she said. “Why throw away perfectly good materials other people can use?”

Newhouse is excited about the possibility of recycling materials that otherwise would be thrown out, he said.

“If there’s an opportunity to save the stuff that’s in this house, which has a ton of oak and cherry woods in it, I said, ‘Let’s do it,'” he said. “That stuff is expensive, and there’s no reason to send it all to the landfill.”

Halstead said some people who qualify based on their income can receive a tax-deductible donation for reusing the materials. She said the donation deduction oftentimes will offset the labor costs, which are usually about 5 percent more than what it costs to demolish a building.

“Before we do any kind of deconstruction work, even if it’s a kitchen remodel, we come and completely inventory everything,” she said. “We then send pictures and descriptions off to a certified IRS building-material appraiser, and they write back and give us a range of value.”

Materials taken from the three-story brick house in Hurricane will be donated to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Charleston.


via Deconstruction reuses what would be demolished  – News – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports –.

1 Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure – State Journal –

Crews are finding a gold mine of reusable building materials at a dilapidated house in Putnam County.

HURRICANE — From hardwood floors to an old door, crews are uncovering a treasure trove of materials in a dilapidated house in Hurricane.

“If these materials had to be purchased on the open market, forgetting the labor costs of it, there’s probably over $100,000 of materials that could eventually, if we had the time, get salvaged out of this house,” said Ted Reiff, president of The Reuse People Of America.

The company is based in California with a mission to salvage building materials. Local contractor Dale Oxley is learning deconstruction and its benefits at the structure.

“Each stone that you turn over or each board you turn over, you find additional products that have value in today’s market,” said Oxley.

“It’s sad,” said Tara Hicks, a neighbor who lives near the house. She’s glad the materials inside the house will be put to good use.

“I’m still going to miss that sight. It’s a good sight to see that old home. It was a wonderful view,” said Hicks.

Deconstruction also has environmental benefits by keeping the old materials out of landfills and it has tax benefits.

“People can donate their useable building materials to us and receive the same tax deductible donation as you would by taking things to Goodwill,” said Reiff.

The recovered materials are being donated to Habitat For Humanity’s Restore. The deconstruction is expected to be finished in a couple weeks.

Copyright 2011 West Virginia Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

via 1 Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure – State Journal –

Kaiser donates $300,000 in construction materials to Re-Use Hawaii | Hawaii 24/7


Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has announced its donation of $300,000 of reusable construction materials to Re-use Hawaii, a non-profit organization working to reduce waste through building material reuse and recycling. Donated materials include lighting, cabinetry, electrical fixtures, plumbing, doors, window frames and more.

“We are grateful for Re-use Hawaii and their mission to increase the environmental sustainability of our island, and planet, through the practice of reuse,” said Janet Liang, president of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. “Having the means to eliminate, reduce, reuse and recycle byproducts from any construction projects we undertake is critical, especially for an island community, and we are always proud to partner with local organizations and community initiatives that are in line with our environmental stewardship efforts.”

Quinn Vittum, co-director of Re-use Hawaii, said: “We are very thankful for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s commitment to the environment and their generous donation of reusable materials. Reusing these materials instead of disposing of them helps to divert waste from landfills, saves trees and energy, and reduces green house gas emissions. We’re honored to partner with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii to turn waste into a resource.”

Kaiser Permanente has a long history of environmental stewardship. The organization builds greener facilities, strives to purchase non-toxic materials, and supports sustainable agriculture.

The organization’s electronic health record system, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect, also helps preserve resources and trim waste. By replacing paper medical charts and digitizing X-ray images through this system, the organization has been able to save more than 1,000 tons of paper waste and avoid more than 200,000 pounds of X-ray film per year.

Since becoming operational in 2007, Re-use Hawaii has performed more than 150 deconstruction projects and kept well more than 1500 tons of good, reusable material out of local landfills. Salvage material from deconstruction projects, along with surplus material donated from the community, is redistributed to the community at the Re-use Hawaii Warehouse, a 25,000 square foot facility, located in Kakaako Makai.

For more information about Kaiser Permanente’s environmental efforts, visit:

via Kaiser donates $300,000 in construction materials to Re-Use Hawaii | Hawaii 24/7.

Deconstruction as a Community-Building Tool

This regional forum on deconstruction will showcase how local communities have developed successful partnerships to create jobs, train individuals and salvage still-usable building materials. Deconstruction saves materials that would otherwise be dumped, which wastes resources and needlessly strains local landfills. Join us and learn about the benefits of deconstruction as well as how cities and businesses can be more engaged in the deconstruction industry.

Speakers include:

Ted Reiff, president of The ReUse People of America, has worked with the Kansas City region the past few years on deconstruction efforts. Reiff will share stories from the field in other regions of the country as well as projects he’s worked on in the metro.

Gerald Shechter, sustainability coordinator for the City Manager’s Office of Environmental Quality and grant manager for EnergyWorks KC in Kansas City, Mo., will explain why the city included deconstruction as part of its $20 million EnergyWorks KC grant. Shechter will also cover the city’s plans to deconstruct homes on its dangerous buildings list and in partnership with neighborhood organizations.

Brian Alferman, director of Habitat ReStore Kansas City, will discuss his organization’s partnership with The ReUse People, and how Habitat ReStore trains and certifies deconstruction contractors for whole-house removals. Alferman will also explain how to work with local ReStores to salvage usable materials and reduce costs through tax deductions.

Register now.

via Deconstruction as a Community-Building Tool.

Historic home of music great torn down in Treme | The Associated Press | Music | Washington Examiner

A dilapidated pre-Civil War Creole home in Treme built by one of the city’s first brass band leaders in the 1850s has been torn down to the chagrin of preservationists who’ve warned that the city is losing a chunk of its architectural and musical heritage in the rush to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina.

On Friday, wrecking crews demolished a two-story Creole cottage built by Charles Jaeger, a German immigrant who became a major band leader in New Orleans during the antebellum years and after the Civil War. Brass band music, considered a progenitor of jazz, became popular in New Orleans after the Civil War. Brass bands still play pivotal roles in New Orleans culture.

“Another historic music landmark bites the dust in New Orleans,” said Jack Stewart, a New Orleans music historian and preservationist.

The broken down and abandoned building was standing in the way of expansion plans for St. Peter Claver, a growing Roman Catholic church and school.

The Creole plantation-house style house, which had a gallery running around it, was in bad shape with one side buckling and its wooden frame was eaten up by termites and decay, contractors said. Despite its derelict state, preservationists and city officials had hoped to save the building. Those efforts did not pan out because of a lack of money and time.

“We knew we were working with a tough timeline from the beginning,” said Michelle Kimball of the Preservation Resource Center, a group whose mission is to save old buildings. “We explored every alternative: moving the house, deconstructing it, salvaging. We would have loved to have seen the building saved.”

She said it was one of the oldest buildings in Treme, a historic neighborhood where a society of free blacks flourished in the 1800s after the arrival of thousands of refugees from the Haitian Revolution. The house of Jaeger was located on North Roman Street in the upper portion of Treme.

Charles Chamberlain, museum historian for the Louisiana State Museum, said the building was a rare example of Creole architecture in the United States.

“Creole architecture is unique within the United States. It is a French style of architecture that is really indigenous to the lower Mississippi valley — and that’s it,” he said. “Any Creole architecture that we have should be preserved. Most Creole cottages are single story, and this is a two-story Creole cottage, which makes it extra cool in my opinion.”

Jaeger, a cornet player, moved to New Orleans in the 1840s and became a band leader. Stewart said he led several bands, including white, black and integrated groups. Jaeger died at age 52 in the early 1870s.

“He was almost like the official city brass band leader,” Stewart said. “He was an all-around musician.”

Since Katrina, numerous homes and music halls that incubated New Orleans’ musical art forms have disappeared in large part because of the city’s zeal to eliminate eyesores and tackle the longstanding problem of blighted property. After taking office in 2010, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he wanted to eliminate 10,000 blighted properties in three years.

But the effort has been criticized by preservationists for not taking enough care to preserve the city’s history. For example, the city unwittingly approved the demolition of the childhood home of jazz great Sidney Bechet in late 2010.

Since the 2005 storm, the city also has lost the Halfway House, a venue that had been turned into a pesticide business and later damaged by fire, the Gallo and Dixie theaters and the Naval Brigade Hall. The homes of several jazz musicians — including Louis Nelson, Willie Guitar, Ed Garland, Danny Barker and Buddy Bolden — have been torn down or fallen into disrepair since Katrina.

New Orleans has a long track record of tearing down historic buildings associated with jazz. The most glaring example was the demolition of Louis Armstrong’s childhood home on Jane Alley in the 1960s to make way for the city’s prison.

via Historic home of music great torn down in Treme | The Associated Press | Music | Washington Examiner.

Recycle Everything…Including the Kitchen Sink – Forbes

The next time you drive by a demolition site, ask yourself one question: Where does all of this stuff go?  Chances are everything that you see (including the kitchen sink) can be recycled and distributed in an open marketplace. The copper piping, electrical wiring, and steel can be recycled, and has value. As commodity prices rise, the demand for recycled metals increases as well. In today’s economy, recycling scrap metal can have a positive impact on your bottom line and the environment.


via Recycle Everything…Including the Kitchen Sink – Forbes.

Live Modern: Modern Barn Conversion | 2Modern Blog

Earlier today it was the interior of a cottage, and now, a modern barn conversion! We can’t help all these rustic modern interiors and exteriors we’ve been showcasing lately. The upcoming fall season makes us crave warm woods, snugly hearths, earthy textures, and from-nature materials. You can usually find that in abundance in cozy cottages and beautiful barns. But of course, this is a modern design blog, so we also happen to love when someone manages to mix, quite deftly, a rustic exterior and a modern/rustic interior, as seen in this barn conversion we spotted on the Architectural Digest website. Interior designed by S. Russell Groves, you can see how heavy, personality-filled materials like stone and rough-hewn wood make a backdrop for more simple, sleeker modern furnishings. An earthy, soft color palette fills the whole space up like a warm hug. While probably still a little too rustic for minimalists and modern purists, we see the modern in this space.

Do you?

via Live Modern: Modern Barn Conversion | 2Modern Blog.

Home leveled brick by brick, then donated – The Park Record

One local family redefined home recycling this month.

A growing trend featured in the Park City Area Showcase of Homes this year is homeowners tearing down old houses to build new on their lots mostly because Park City is running out of vacant lots.

Rob and Barbara Wolin decided to do this to their house on Silver Cloud Drive.

“They loved the views and the neighborhood, but architecturally, they wanted something different,” said Realtor Karen Gage.

But the Wolins couldn’t bear the thought of all the waste, so they asked general contractor Sam Costanzo to salvage as much from the house as possible. What was reusable was donated to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.

The ReStore accepts salvaged or unneeded construction materials and resells them to help fund the organization’s projects.

What wasn’t donated was reused if possible. Some wood will go back into the new house. Some decorative stone will be crushed for gravel.

“It seemed the more responsible thing to do,” Barbara Wolin said. “I’ve always been concerned about environmental issues and believe in recycling It was worth it, totally worth it.”

“It would have cost her a lot less to have a demolition team. She just had a really hard time thinking that all that stuff would go to the landfill,” Costanzo said.

He hired Mike Maza to take the home apart piece-by-piece.

“And I mean piece-by-piece,” he said. “He dissembled it All the stone work, all the cabinetry, interior lighting, doors, windows copper pipes, copper wiring.”

Demotion would have taken five days with a wrecking ball, but the dissembling took nearly three weeks and was only just completed earlier this week, he said.

Ed Blake, executive director of the Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity said the Salt Lake City ReStore often receives material from these kinds of projects. They also see excess tile from finished jobs, replaced furniture from hotel rooms, and recently received five semi-truck trailers full of unwanted, but brand new, cabinets from Lowe’s.

The ReStore keeps thousands of tons of material out of landfills, Blake said, and the proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. Within the next year, profits from the ReStore will be able to fully fund overhead, allowing every monetary donation to go directly toward a beneficiary’s mortgage.

via Home leveled brick by brick, then donated – The Park Record.

Vancouver’s oldest schoolhouse facing wrecker’s ball gets new lease on life – The Globe and Mail

For 112 years, the schoolhouse at Sir Guy Carleton elementary was abuzz with children reading, writing and doing arithmetic.

But Vancouver’s oldest schoolhouse fell silent in 2008 when it was nearly destroyed by arson. It appeared set for demolition until Tuesday, when a local theatre company swooped in to save the landmark yellow building.

Carleton School in East Vancouver will house the Green Thumb Theatre project. - Carleton School in East Vancouver will house the Green Thumb Theatre project. | Handout


Green Thumb Theatre unveiled a $1.2-million plan to transform it into a rehearsal hall. The theatre company, which develops plays relevant to the lives of children and young adults, said it’s confident it will raise the money in time for a grand opening next fall.

“We’re delighted because Green Thumb Theatre will be restoring our much-cherished heritage schoolhouse to its original splendour and beyond,” said Pat Munton, the school’s principal. “It’s just amazing, it brings tears to my eyes, frankly.”

The Carleton schoolhouse was erected in 1896; other buildings were added in later years. The schoolhouse was in continuous use until three years ago, when fire gutted its insides. A section of the roof remained under a blue tarp on Tuesday.

Patti Bacchus, chair of the Vancouver Board of Education, called the arrangement between her organization and Green Thumb Theatre a win-win. Not only will the heritage site be repurposed, she said, but students at the school will get the added benefit of exposure to some of the top theatre educators in B.C.

“The fire that occurred here was, indeed, devastating,” Ms. Bacchus said. “We have been very concerned about finding a solution to that. I have to be honest – for quite some time, it looked fairly bleak. We made several approaches to the provincial government to fund the repairs of the building, and those were declined. At one point, it was recommended to us that we proceed with demolition.”

Ms. Bacchus said the board was “delighted” when it was approached by the theatre company.

What to do with the schoolhouse, located in the city’s Collingwood neighbourhood, has been a controversial issue since the fire. Heritage Vancouver recently placed the building at the top of its list of endangered sites. Dwindling enrolment has also led to questions about whether the rest of the school should be kept open.

B.C. New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix attended Tuesday’s announcement at the school, which is in his Vancouver-Kingsway riding. Mr. Dix declared it a “wonderful day” and tipped his cap to members of the community who spoke against the schoolhouse’s demolition.

“We were in public hearings, and students at the school who were in this building came and talked about it,” Mr. Dix said. “… They talked about how important it was to them that this building be restored, that the tradition they were part of and that goes back in this community for so long be restored and brought back. I think it’s an extraordinary thing when young people in Grade 3, or 4, or 5, take up a cause.”

After his remarks, the NDP Leader donated $1,000 to the project.

Patrick McDonald, Green Thumb Theatre’s artistic director, said the company hopes to raise much of the $1.2-million through municipal and federal arts programs.

“This is a very attainable goal,” he said.

via Vancouver’s oldest schoolhouse facing wrecker’s ball gets new lease on life – The Globe and Mail.

Today’s poopy diaper, tomorrow’s recycled roof shingle | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Today’s poopy diaper, tomorrow’s recycled roof shingle

Recycling company Knowaste plans to open 5 factories in the U.K. that will transform used diapers, incontinence and feminine hygiene products into green home building materials such as shingles and siding.

Disposable diaper waste


An interesting — and a touch gross — new development in the world of recycled building materials:
Over the next four years, Canadian recycling firm Knowaste plans to build five facilities in the U.K. each capable of converting 36,000 tons of absorbent consumer waste products (i.e. used diapers along with feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products ) annually into recycled plastic building materials such as roof shingles, siding and commercial tubing. Just think — one day in the not-too-far-off future you can live in a house built from soiled nappies! Or not.
In the U.K. alone, more than 1 million metric tons of absorbent hygiene waste, “the convenience curse of the 21st century,” is landfilled or incinerated of each year. The Knowaste recycling facilities where used hygiene products are sorted, sterilized and ground up into recycled plastic pellets will put a slight but much-needed dent in this figure. Find out more about how the process works in the video that’s embedded below.
Says Knowaste CEO Ray Browne of his company’s first diaper recycling facility in West Bromwich: “It will produce capacity for handling about a fifth of the absorbent hygiene products waste stream — equating to a saving of 110,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.”
For now, the waste will be collected from Jamie Lee Curtis’ garbage can nursing homes, hospitals and child care facilities, although in the future the domestic market may play a part in this innovative recycling scheme.

via Today’s poopy diaper, tomorrow’s recycled roof shingle | MNN – Mother Nature Network.


Huntington Bank forecloses on Baker Lofts, saying Holland developer Scott Bosgraaf owes millions on projects around the state |


Scott Bosgraaf stands in front of Baker Lofts in 2007. He redeveloped the former Baker furniture factory into commercial and residential lofts. The project incorporated recycled building materials from the old plant, including railings made from the old factory fire sprinkler system pipe.

HOLLAND — For years, Scott Bosgraaf’s specialty was turning brown buildings green.

Bosgraaf — whose family name is synonymous with quality development along the Lakeshore — has been known for transforming vacant factories or other eyesores into trendy, yet historic residential and commercial spaces.

He had a formula for keeping prices affordable: recycling elements of a building into stylish features, and tapping into local and state incentives to help cover the costs, including Brownfield, tax-increment financing and small business credits.

His projects included Baker Lofts and Scrap Yard Lofts in Holland, Kirsch Lofts in Sturgis, Central Lofts in South Haven and Woodard Station in Owosso.

In short, Bosgraaf was the kind of developer that state and local officials liked to see.

But now court documents show his real estate entities and other businesses owe millions to Huntington Bank. To recover more than $6 million in unpaid real estate loans, the bank foreclosed on Baker Lofts and Woodard Station and has filed a lawsuit for loan default for Central Lofts.

The court paper trail shows the resolutions in some of the properties remain fluid. The bank’s lawsuit and Bosgraaf’s countersuit are being dropped this week, both sides confirmed.

Two Bosgraaf companies file bankrputcy

And the lawsuits have a broader reach than Bosgraaf’s bricks-and-mortar businesses. Two of his companies, Faargsob LLC and Auto Sports Unlimited Inc, which were used as collateral on some developments, have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate assets.

Both Bosgraaf, 47, of Holland, and attorney Robb Wardrop, who represents Auto Sports Unlimited in its bankruptcy, declined comment, citing ongoing legal issues.

Bosgraaf’s story isn’t uncommon.

Many developers in recent years have felt the double whammy of the real estate market crash and banks calling in loans after reassessing falling property values.

What was different about Bosgraaf was that he was launching projects through 2009, when many other developments were going under. Through press conferences and statements by state officials, he was held up as a poster boy for how to do redevelopment projects right.

His relationship with his major lender, Huntington, started to sour in 2010, as the financial crisis and federal regulatory changes put pressure on the banking industry to reduce real estate loans.

Huntingon gave notice of a foreclosure in a legal notice in the June 9 edition of the Zeeland Record, claiming that Baker Lofts LLC defaulted on a $5.3 million loan. The property was bought July 14 for just over $1.8 million by an entity of the bank.


Scott Bosgraaf projects

Baker Lofts, a $17 million, 100,000-square-foot mixed use development in Holland. Bosgraaf has until Jan. 16, 2012 to pay Huntington Bank just over $1.8 million, plus interest, to redeem 25 units out of the 101 units in foreclosure.

Woodard Station, a $20 million, mixed-use 220,000-square-foot development in Owosso in Shiawassee County. A portion of the property — 22 of 132 units — is slated to go on the auction block Wednesday (9/21) to recoup more than $1.1 million Huntington says it is owed. Bosgraaf has filed a countersuit.

Scrap Yard Lofts, a mixed-used development in Holland. The $5 million renovation of two former Holland Furnace Co. buildings isn’t vulnerable to foreclosure because the project was completely financed by property owner Padnos Iron & Metal Co.

Kirsch Lofts, a nearly $20 million, mixed-use development of a nearly 1 million- square-foot former curtain rod factory in Sturgis in St. Joseph County acquired in 2009. The project, which isn’t completed yet, wasn’t financed by Huntington, but did receive $2 million in Brownfield Redevelopment incentives.

Central Lofts, a $15 million, multi-phase redevelopment of 110,000 square feet of a former school in South Haven, purchased in 2007. Huntington filed a suit on Feb. 2 after the developer defaulted on $3.7 million in loans. Huntington’s lawsuit and Bosgraaf’s countersuit are expected to be dismissed this week.

Bosgraaf has until Jan. 14, 2012 to pay the bank the purchase price, plus interest, or Huntington will take over ownership of about 25 of the 101 condo units in the development at 533 Columbia Ave.

via Huntington Bank forecloses on Baker Lofts, saying Holland developer Scott Bosgraaf owes millions on projects around the state |

Present Tents –

Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Australia

So long, tepee. The next level of “glamping” is the architent — high-spec, high-style canvas accommodations.


The main lodge and cabins at this resort make use of recycled building materials from a dismantled lodge in Queensland. All 15 safari tents are internally clad in polished blackbutt (a dark eucalyptus) and simply furnished, offering airy lodging for nature lovers who want to explore Australia’s Northern Territory.; from about $235.

via Present Tents –