All posts by guttercherry

Building Waste Presents Economic, Environmental Opportunity for Chicagoans | Green Economy Center

CHICAGO – In recent years, the deconstruction industry has consistently gained ground due to the considerable economic and environmental opportunities it offers. Although the environmental benefits are a significant driver, the economics are becoming an important impetus in certain parts of the United States, especially in economically depressed regions.

According to David Bennink, a national deconstruction consultant, “it’s catching on in the Rust Belt cities for its social benefits, for job creation and providing materials. The materials we reclaim are available for low-income homeowners; they can afford to buy our stuff. There are so many benefits to it that it’s catching on all over the place.”

Deconstruction also increases the opportunity for local business development and, being labor-intensive, produces local job growth. This, in turn, enhances the local tax base and contributes to a multiplier effect of money invested in the community. The Rebuilding Center (2010) has found that “deconstruction creates six to eight jobs for every one created by standard demolition.” Deconstruction can be a vital component of public housing and community revitalization programs—often supported by substantial federal funding—and involves a significant number of trainees and workers drawn from the community’s lowest-income strata (ILSR, 2008). Deconstruction can also be cost-competitive with standard demolition when accounting for materials, revenue earned from material sales, and potential tax incentives.

Tax benefits can result in a significant reduction in overall cost as compared to demolition for the same project (EPA 2000). Moreover, integrating recycled and reused materials helps toward LEED® certification, creating marketing advantages.

Environmentally, deconstruction reduces construction and demolition (C&D) waste, reduces air pollution, reduces carbon dioxide emissions, abates the need for new landfills and incinerators, preserves resources and saves energy by decreasing the extraction and processing.

“Our biggest challenge has been pinpointing where in the system we should intervene to start building the capacity needed to trigger broad change,” said Elise Zelechowski, executive director and founder of Delta Institute’s ReBuilding Exchange, the first Chicago area building material reuse center, which has diverted more than 3,000 tons of construction and demolition waste since its launch in 2009. “It’s no small feat to shift the way people perceive their built environment, to help them see assets where they’ve always seen dilapidated ruins destined for the landfill.”

To help change people’s perceptions and meet growing interest in the field, the ReBuilding Exchange has engaged individuals at all points in the system, offering a variety of programs that provide an entry point to deconstruction and reuse. In March 2010, the Exchange launched a job training program that provides classroom and on-the-job skill building experience. Through a partnership with the Safer Foundation and the City of Chicago, the nine month program offers workers an entry into the construction trades while offering alternatives to traditional construction work. For retail customers, the Exchange provides hands-on, practical workshops that explain how individuals can incorporate salvaged materials into building projects, and how they can complete the projects themselves. In addition, the Exchange is educating waste haulers about the financial benefits of diverting waste from landfills, and is working with them to develop systems that make the diversion process more efficient.

While no single strategy will revamp the way Chicagoans think about building waste, increasing numbers of municipalities and organizations are promoting this method. Since 2007, the City of Chicago has had an ordinance requiring that 50% of construction and demolition materials be recycled. In 2009, the language of the ordinance was expanded to include reuse in addition to recycling. And this past winter, capitalizing on the growing trend of reuse, Chicago-based non-profit Delta Institute published a series of “GoGuides” to the Green Economy, one of which was on deconstruction and reuse. It offers hands-on, practical guidance to help communities, contractors, and homeowners see how they can save money and benefit the environment through the process.

To learn more about Deconstruction and Reuse, and find out how community colleges can help develop the industry and the workforce to support it, check out Delta’s recently published “GOGuide Deconstruction and Reuse, available for purchase for $15 plus $4.95 shipping and handling (print) and $12 for electronic download at http://www.delta-institute.org/goguides. For more information on the ReBuilding Exchange and its deconstruction training program, please visit http://www.rebuildingexchange.org/.

via Building Waste Presents Economic, Environmental Opportunity for Chicagoans | Green Economy Center.

Crews begin taking apart Cloverleaf Kennel Club in Loveland – Loveland Reporter-Herald

The building that housed the Cloverleaf Kennel Club sits vacant Thursday in east Loveland where workers from Denver-based LVI Environmental Services began this week deconstructing the former entertainment icon. ( Steve Stoner )

The plastic seats once filled with rowdy racing fans already have merged with water bottles at a recycling plant.

The steel beams that held up what was once one of the region’s most popular entertainment venues will bring new life to another structure.

The pavement where cars lined up will be ground into small particles and laid under new roads.

By the end of the year, native grasses will replace Cloverleaf Kennel Club, which was built in 1955 long before Centerra and its shops, offices and homes expanded the city east.

Denver-based LVI Environmental Services began this week deconstructing the former dog track, which has sat vacant for three years. McWhinney Enterprises hired the firm for $1.2 million to do more than demolish the building, but to take it apart piece by piece and recycle or reuse every possible part.

Jay Hardy, general manager of Centerra, expects

90 percent of the current building and parking lot to be recycled and reused and only 10 percent diverted to the landfill.

Poudre Valley Health System owns 100 acres adjacent to its Medical Center of the Rockies, including the

41 acres on which the dog track sits. There are no immediate plans for development, although all the land will be used, someday, to expand the system’s medical facilities, the company says.

When Poudre Valley Health System does expand, the careful deconstruction will count as green points in the environmental bank toward a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, building.

But until then, workers will start inside, removing everything they can and working outward. Hardy expects a month to six weeks to pass before the building looks as though it is being removed.

“It’s going to be a lengthy process,” he said. “It’ll be back to dry-land grass by Thanksgiving.”

Pamela Dickman can be reached at 669-5050, ext. 526, or pdickman@reporter-herald.com.

via Crews begin taking apart Cloverleaf Kennel Club in Loveland – Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Eco-friendly project teaches Syracuse residents “green” construction skills | syracuse.com

2011-08-04-db-GreenRoof1.JPG

James Harper (left), Israel Martin (center) and Bradford Clark work on a green roof at 333 E. Onondaga St., in Syracuse.

Syracuse, NY — Disadvantaged Syracuse residents who are being trained on eco-friendly construction skills installed a “green” roof Thursday atop the Monroe Building at 333 E. Onondaga St.

The roof will capture more than 90,000 gallons of water each year, which will reduce storm-water runoff. Money was provided by the county’s Green Improvement Fund program, an effort that promotes green building practices and aims to clean up Onondaga Lake.

2011-08-04-db-GreenRoof4.JPG

Mike Lasovets, with Shaffer Building Services, installs a roof for 333 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse.

 

Construction was handled by Helping Hands, a volunteer-run program that teaches useful trade skills to city residents in need of employment. Helping Hands is part of Concerned Citizens Action Program, a nonprofit community group..

“Helping Hands gives marketable construction skills to individuals in the training program,” CCAP Executive Director Mike Atkins said. “This is also a great way to introduce the inner city to (eco-friendly building practices).”

Helping Hands takes in unemployed high school dropouts and is seeking to partner with the Syracuse City School District to encourage students to remain in school, Atkins said. Participants range in age from 16 to 41 years old.

View full sizeDick Blume / The Post Standard

Mike Lasovets, with Shaffer Building Services, installs a roof for 333 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse.

The city has disproportionately high unemployment in certain neighborhoods, Atkins said. “These people want a livable wage and to be able to start a family. This program is something we need,” he said.

The green roof on the Monroe Building marks the second of three hands-on phases in the free, 12-week training course. The training begins with two weeks of classroom instruction, Atkins said.

The first phase focused on deconstruction, which involves disassembling a building piece by piece to recycle as much as possible. That phase ended with the deconstruction of a house on Peck Hill Road, Atkins said, to make way for a neighboring resident to build an energy-efficient home. Helping Hands was able to recycle 87 percent of the deconstructed home, Atkins said.

“You help the environment by not taking the materials to a dump, where they’ll burn it and further hurt the ozone,” Atkins said.

The second phase centers on installing green roofs that provide such benefits as a 95 percent reduction in storm-water runoff, decreased energy consumption and a 200 percent extension in the life of a roof, according to the CCAP website.

In the third phase, Helping Hands’ 15 current participants will construct a hoop house (a half-circle-shaped greenhouse) at the corner of South State Street and East Raynor Avenue, Atkins said.

After this, the graduates will have useful trade skills, a stronger resume and the confidence to present themselves in a job interview, Atkins said. The free program has graduated 25 participants in its 1½-year history, Atkins said. “We take those who are unemployed, underemployed, lack certain skill sets and those returning from incarceration,” he said. “That’s the only criteria.”

To participate or volunteer, call 396-0986 or visit 2309 S. Salina St.

via Eco-friendly project teaches Syracuse residents “green” construction skills | syracuse.com.

Lights out at Green Institute | StarTribune.com

The board has closed the pioneering nonprofit a year after firing its executive director.

The Green Institute of south Minneapolis, a precursor of the local “green economy” movement, is closing down more than a year after its executive director was dismissed by the board over financial issues.

Jamie Heipel, 44, a onetime Ameriprise Financial manager, was promoted to the top job in 2006 after three years running the Green Institute’s once-successful construction-demolition and used building-supplies business.

Several employees have been laid off, an energy-conservation program was transferred to another nonprofit, and a used building materials supply business near Hiawatha Av. and E. Lake St. has closed. The remaining inventory will be liquidated this month.

The institute board president, Lisa McDonald, who took over in 2010, and Tim Keane, a longtime volunteer lawyer for the organization, would only confirm that Heipel was dismissed in 2010 and that a consulting firm’s examination revealed deep financial problems that the wounded organization was unable to overcome.

McDonald said Friday she hoped that “Green Institute” name and cornerstone construction-demolition and ReUse Center business could eventually be merged into another nonprofit involved in neighborhood renovation in north Minneapolis.

Reached Friday, Heipel said he left because of differences with McDonald and denied financial improprieties.

“It got to a point where Lisa was asking ridiculous questions and making ridiculous insinuations,” Heipel said. “Our financials were the best.”

Heipel, an Osseo resident who was paid about $98,000 in 2009, filed for personal bankruptcy earlier this year. He said he was forced to do so because the Green Institute denied his unemployment claim and board members refused to provide him with job references.

The Green Institute has yet to file a 2010 tax return.

The nonprofit’s 2009 financial statement, now subject to question, showed a surplus of $768,504 on revenue of $1.6 million. Some of that revenue came from the gain on the $5.2 million sale of its flagship Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center building on Hiawatha Avenue. Most of the proceeds were used to retire debt.

The Green Institute also has moved out of its small office in the Eco-Enterprise Center, which it sold to Wellington Management. The center remains open and is otherwise full of tenants.

The institute, in the Phillips neighborhood in south Minneapolis, served an early and visible role as an environmental symbol by translating green thinking from concept to construction. It was born in the late 1980s of Phillips community resistance to Hennepin County’s plans to expand a garbage-transfer station in the middle of a working-poor neighborhood that was sick of other people’s trash.

In 1998, the Green Institute Eco-Enterprise Center, which featured passive solar energy and a green roof, collaborated with local government on expanded recycling programs and uses for recycled materials, and pioneered several used-building material and energy-conservation programs.

Heipel was hired in 2003 to run a couple of businesses and was promoted to succeed former director Michael Krause in 2006 as the agency struggled with its building mortgage. Heipel closed one ReUse Center, settled about a half-million bucks in old debts with vendors for 50 cents on the dollar, and sold the building to Wellington. That enabled the institute to pay off $4.8 million in mortgages held by Western Bank and the city of Minneapolis.

“There is still a lot of energy and a great nucleus of supporters for the Green Institute and the mission,” Keane said. “The board is as strong and energetic as any nonprofit board I’ve experienced. Their dedication will ensure that the Green Institute, in some form, will continue to serve the community.”

Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144 • nstanthony@startribune.com

via Lights out at Green Institute | StarTribune.com.

Recycling+Building Materials – International Business Times

In today’s world “going green” has become a top priority in our society, and sustainable buildings and design are at the forefront of this green revolution. While many designers are focusing on passive and active energy systems, the reuse of recycled materials is beginning to stand out as an innovative, highly effective, and artistic expression of sustainable design. Reusing materials from existing on site and nearby site elements such as trees, structures, and paving is becoming a trend in the built environment, however more unorthodox materials such as soda cans and tires are being discovered as recyclable building materials. Materials and projects featured after the break.

Most common building materials today have recyclable alternatives. Concrete, metals, glass, brick and plastics can all be produced with some form of the previously used material, and this process of production lowers the energy requirement and emissions by up to ninety percent in most cases. Studio Gang Architects’ SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center utilized the ability to use left over concrete aggregate from construction sites in the surrounding Chicago area. The project features these different types of aggregate in an artistic expression of how and when the concrete was poured during construction.

Another popular trend regarding recycled building materials is the use of site provided materials. As environmental designers, we continually replace natural landscapes with our own built environment, and today our built environment is embellishing the natural environment in a responsible (while still aesthetic) manner. Projects such as the Ann Arbor District Library by inFORM Studio and the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue by Ross Barney Architects are reaping the harvest of their sites. The architects at inFORM researched the site for the Ann Arbor Library to find that ash trees from the surrounding forest were being destroyed by insects and could be salvaged into various surfaces within the building. Ross Barney Architects responded to the more urban site of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue with a similar tactic by repurposing demolished trees into exterior sheathing, torn up paving and pre-existing structure into gabion walls, and even reusing part of the existing building foundation.

When a site has little to give, designers have begun to search within other demolished environments. Juan Luis Martínez Nahuel has found new uses for building elements from other architectural projects in his Recycled Materials Cottage in Chile. The design revolved around the available materials from demolished buildings including glazing from a previous patio as the main façade; eucalyptus and parquet floors as the primary surface covering; and steel and laminated beams from an exhibit as the main structure for the house.

While these methods of reused building materials have become popular in sustainable, contemporary architecture, other designers are experimenting with more unorthodox materials. Archi Union Architects Inc. have developed a wall system that contains a grid of empty soda cans in their mixed-use project,Can Cube. The can filled façade is even adjustable for daylighting by occupants.

Alonso de Garay Architects also discovered a new use for an uncommon object in the building system of their Recycled Building in Mexico City. A series of hanging car tires are constructed to possess and grow traditional species of Mexican plants. While creating a sustainable green wall system, the tires also define exterior space within the complex.

As the process of recycling materials continues to increase as a fashionable and sustainable statement in the architectural world, designers are proposing groundbreaking and futuristic methods that push the boundaries of how we think and build. NL Architects submitted an idea for The Silo Competition that transformed the structure of an old sewage treatment silo into a rock climbing facility and mixed-use residential and commercial spaces. This design addresses the structure and form as a reusable material able to contain an extremely efficient program.

Architects: Studio Gang ArchitectsinFORM StudioRoss Barney ArchitectsAlonso de Garay ArchitectsNL Architects
Photographs:  Paula BaileySteve HallJustin Machonachie, Juan Luis Martinez Nahuel, Sheng Zhonghai, Jimena Carranza, NL Architects

 

via Recycling+Building Materials – International Business Times.

A new use for old construction and demolition waste – Washington, DC | glObserver Global Economics

A 26 acre site near Washington DC, USA, is the home for Potomac Landfill Inc. In operation since 1985, by 2006 the landfill was more than 75% filled with demolition and construction waste – Potomac only accepts waste for the construction industry.

Since that date, the company has been mining the site for recyclable waste that was buried 18.3- 37 m (60-120 ft) deep to free up space for future operations. Currently, it is recycling ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, concrete, cardboard, tyres and earth that is suitable for use as fill or topsoil.

In 2009, the company bought a tracked Powerscreen Warrior 1800 and added a Powerscreen Warrior 2400 tracked dry screen in 2010. Together with a 20 man portable picking station, these machines form the core of the success of the operation.

According to Potomac general manager Richard Campbell: “It’s working out every bit as well as we’d hoped. We figure the combined mining, screening and picking station operations will add another 20 to 25 years to our landfill, plus we salvage a lot of recyclable materials we can sell for profit and to help preserve the environment.”

“In the old days, practically all the incoming C&D debris – except for some of the very largest pieces of wood, concrete and metal that were picked out by hand – was dumped into a hole and covered up. That’s the 26-acre site we’re now mining.”

The Warrior 1800 is primarily used to separate earth from the mined waste although originally it was used to screen both new material coming on site and mined materials. The Warrior 2400 is now used to process the new material delivered to site, as well as a secondary screen for material that has been processed by the 1800. It is a heavy duty machine that is equipped with optional punch plates, not often used in the USA, instead of fingers and as a result earth and other small material falls though to leave larger recyclable material.

via A new use for old construction and demolition waste| glObserver Global Economics.

Reuse Alliance Expands Board — NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —

Two Reuse Leaders Extend Commitment to Sustainability, Join National Reuse Nonprofit

NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Michael Meyer of Goodwill Industries International and Nathan Benjamin of PlanetReuse and PlanetRestore are furthering their commitment to the reuse movement by joining the Board of Reuse Alliance — a national nonprofit working to increase awareness of reuse by educating the public about its social, environmental and economic benefits.

Michael Meyer is Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Sourcing for Goodwill Industries International Inc., which provides services to 165 independent, community-based Goodwill® agencies. Meyer’s work focuses on creating business relationships that support four key areas of the Goodwill social enterprise: leveraging buying opportunities through strategic sourcing; contract opportunities for the employment of those served by Goodwill; Goodwill’s retail business, through the acquisition of goods and services for its more than 2,500 store locations, and business models for reuse, repurpose, landfill diversion and sustainable consumption for the billions of pounds of donations that enter our donation stream. “Reuse Alliance establishes another platform through which organizations and consumers can engage and participate in meaningful reuse/repurpose activities that directly impact the very communities in which they live and do business. I am pleased to have been appointed to serve on its board and am looking forward to supporting the strategic direction of the Reuse Alliance,” said Meyer.

Nathan Benjamin (LEED AP) is the Principal and Founder of PlanetReuse and PlanetRestore. PlanetReuse is a reclaimed construction material brokerage and consulting firm with national reach, to help commercial designers and architects incorporate reclaimed building materials into new projects. PlanetRestore serves the residential construction market by offering reuse centers (e.g. Habitat for Humanity ReStores) throughout North America, technology and services to instantly post reclaimed building materials to the web, sell more materials, faster by dramatically increasing inventory exposure and simplifying point-of-sale. A staunch believer in the necessity and value of sustainable design and construction, Benjamin created these companies to take that ideal a step further. PlanetReuse and PlanetRestore are predicated on a simple but revolutionary idea: make it easy for people to use reclaimed materials and they’ll do more of it, keeping those materials out of landfills. He holds an architectural engineering degree and has been a fixture in the construction industry for more than a decade, focusing on sustainable and LEED-certified projects. He has presented on the topic of reclaimed materials at industry conferences nationwide, and is also well known for his passion for sustainability, the arts and community involvement. “Reuse Alliance is a remarkable organization that provides a great way to bring together local, regional, and national communities to raise awareness and create partnerships around reuse. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the Board to advance the critical work that has been accomplished in its initial years,” said Benjamin.

As Reuse Alliance board members, Meyer and Benjamin will support a national movement to increase public awareness and access to innovative reuse and waste prevention services. Rounding out the board of directors is Ann Woodward, The Scrap Exchange; Harriet Taub, Materials for Arts; Joe Connell, Portland Metro Habitat for Humanity ReStores; Lorenz Schilling, Deconstruction and Reuse Network; Mary Ann Remolador, Reuse Marketplace; MaryEllen Etienne, Reuse Alliance; and Stefanie Feldman, Waste Management. “I look forward to working with such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic team that shares a common commitment and passion to promote the triple bottom line benefits of reuse,” stated MaryEllen Etienne, Executive Director of the Reuse Alliance.

via Reuse Alliance Expands Board — NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —.

Reclaimed lumber adds history to new home – Canada

Wide boards of reclaimed wood from the Canadian Heritage Timber Co. provide a warm base for this sunlit kitchen.

Wide boards of reclaimed wood from the Canadian Heritage Timber Co. provide a warm base for this sunlit kitchen.

Photograph by: Handout, Vancouver Sun

EDMONTON – Dear Leanne: We are planning to build a second home in Canmore and would love to use reclaimed lumber for the floors. Do you have any comments on this product and where to get it?

We have talked to a few flooring companies and have not received positive comments on the product.

A: Reclaimed wood is more than flooring, in my view; it is an art form that pays homage to our heritage. Reclaiming wood refers to salvaging the wooden remains of deconstruction sites such as historical homes, old buildings, mills, warehouse or barns.

The wood that is reclaimed holds the story of the building it had originally supported. It reflects a place in time and honours the craftsmanship involved in the original construction.

Another major interest people have in using reclaimed lumber is the eco-friendly nature of this resource. There are a few companies, with the closest Canadian companies being in British Columbia, that take great pride in restoring previously used lumber for various applications.

During the salvaging and restoration process, the lumber is categorized into suitability for interior flooring, decking, beams, mantles, stair rungs or furniture. In addition to determining structural integrity, the process is quite elaborate involving hand-grading each plank, sizing for both random and custom lengths and sanding to bring out the natural beauty each plank possesses. See a slide video at canadianheritagetimber.com.

There is a great deal of labour involved to get the wood from its original state to one that can be reused in homes today. It is no surprise that this product also costs more than the prefabricated wood floors that are a beautiful and readily available alternative.

One video I suggest you take a look at is offered by another B.C. company, Second Wind Timber. This video shows the splendour and versatility of reclaimed wood as an Alberta client takes you on a tour of her beautiful home overlooking Shuswap Lake.

I suggest you contact the companies that process these products directly to gain a greater understanding of the specific availability, limitations and costs involved. They can also give you names of clients that have used their products to get a truly unbiased view of choosing reclaimed wood.

Dear Leanne: I would like to add a solarium on to my home and wondered if you could tell me how to make sure it is energy efficient.

A: Adding a solarium or sunroom onto your existing house is a great idea. Planning is the key to longterm enjoyment. When it comes to building onto your home I always recommend you seek the advice of a professional who has expertise the in the area you require — and a client list you can call as a reference check.

There are a few steps you need to consider regardless of who will build the solarium.

Step 1: Determine how you want to use this room. Is it intended to grow plants, be used as a sitting room, a kitchen nook, house a hot tub or increase your current floor space?

Step 2: Consult with a contractor and designer if you are intending to construct this from scratch. This expertise will ensure you have adequate foundations, electrical/ plumbing, insulation, ventilation (important for room temperature as well as moisture control), window construction and security. If you currently have a security provider, ensure you inform them of this new project as it should be protected as well.

You may have decided to use a prefabricated room addition. See your yellow page listings or Google local solarium manufacturers.

Step 3: Ensure you have all permits in place for this construction. An experienced contractor can guide you effortlessly through this process.

Step 4: Plan a product list that will ensure the maximum effectiveness regarding energy efficiency. With glass being the predominant building material used in this structure you can understand why this room will not be the most energy-efficient room in your home.

There are a few things you can do to ensure the solarium is cool in the heat of the summer and yet warm in the winter without taxing your energy bill. Many all-year-round prefabricated solariums offer state-of-the-art window construction to improve temperature fluctuations during seasonal extremes.

If you are building yourself, ensure you use high quality windows. This is the most critical building product for reducing energy losses.

Other considerations include incorporating a stone floor to absorb heat and window treatments that can allow you to control the sun and heat throughout the day, while increasing your privacy at night.

An electric ceiling fan will also aid in moving air, and although does not have the same results as air conditioning, it is more energy efficient.

Leanne Brownoff is an Edmonton interior design consultant who welcomes your questions at leannebrownoff@shaw.ca. Answers will be featured in her column as high volumes prevent individual e-mail responses. Also follow Leanne at http://twitter.com/LeanneBrownoff

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

via Reclaimed lumber adds history to new home.

A new use for old construction and demolition waste – KHL Group

The Powerscreen 2400 screens new and mined waste at Potomac Landfill's Washington DC site

The Powerscreen 2400 screens new and mined waste at Potomac Landfill’s Washington DC site

A 26 acre site near Washington DC, USA, is the home for Potomac Landfill Inc. In operation since 1985, by 2006 the landfill was more than 75% filled with demolition and construction waste – Potomac only accepts waste for the construction industry. Since that date, the company has been mining the site for recyclable waste that was buried 18.3- 37 m (60-120 ft) deep to free up space for future operations. Currently, it is recycling ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, concrete, cardboard, tyres and earth that is suitable for use as fill or topsoil.

In 2009, the company bought a tracked Powerscreen Warrior 1800 and added a Powerscreen Warrior 2400 tracked dry screen in 2010. Together with a 20 man portable picking station, these machines form the core of the success of the operation.

According to Potomac general manager Richard Campbell: “It’s working out every bit as well as we’d hoped.  We figure the combined mining, screening and picking station operations will add another 20 to 25 years to our landfill, plus we salvage a lot of recyclable materials we can sell for profit and to help preserve the environment.”

“In the old days, practically all the incoming C&D debris – except for some of the very largest pieces of wood, concrete and metal that were picked out by hand – was dumped into a hole and covered up. That’s the 26-acre site we’re now mining.”

The Warrior 1800 is primarily used to separate earth from the mined waste although originally it was used to screen both new material coming on site and mined materials. The Warrior 2400 is now used to process the new material delivered to site, as well as a secondary screen for material that has been processed by the 1800. It is a heavy duty machine that is equipped with optional punch plates, not often used in the USA, instead of fingers and as a result earth and other small material falls though to leave larger recyclable material.

 

via A new use for old construction and demolition waste – KHL Group.

Give building materials another go – Oregon

Christa Summers prices items while working at the Albany Habitat ReStore. The ReStores offer new life to previously used materials, a growing trend. (David Patton/Democrat-Herald)

Old blue jeans. Wine-stained barrels. Aged, weathered boards.

Most people would see these things and toss them in the trash. But a growing number of builders, artisans and homeowners are looking at them and seeing not an ending, but a beginning.

As reclaimed and recycled building materials grow in popularity, more and more old components are being saved from eternity in a landfill and given new life in someone else’s home.

“It’s about the lifestyle,” said Ben Metzger, owner of Metzger Green Build, a Corvallis construction company that has worked extensively with recycled and reclaimed materials. “It’s not just that you’re not using a new thing. It’s about saving an old thing from death and bringing it back to life.”

Anyone who has walked by a work site knows that construction generates waste: a Dumpster full of wood scraps and carpet pieces is a normal sight. And if an old structure has to be torn down before a new one is built, even more trash is generated. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, building construction generates 170 million tons of waste annually – almost 60 percent of the nation’s nonindustrial solid waste.

Over the past decade, however, more and more builders and homeowners are finding ways to take what would be trash and turn it into treasure.

‘Re-building’ options

Mike Baylor said that from doors to windows to light fixtures, Habitat for Humanity ReStores see thousands of items come through their doors rather than into landfills every year. Across the nation, Habitat ReStores and other re-building centers are part of a growing network of places where contractors can drop off their leftovers, and bargain hunters can come search for secondhand building materials.

“You see a lot of fun stuff come and go,” Baylor said.

The EPA estimates that more than 1,200 re-building stores are in operation nationwide. The Albany ReStore celebrated its 10th year in business in March. Baylor said the Albany store alone has saved more than a million pounds of building material from the landfill.

Metzger said that consumers in the environmentally conscious Pacific Northwest are especially receptive to the idea of using reclaimed and recycled materials. He’s been in business five years and in the construction industry for 15 years, and he said he’s seen a continued growth in the use of reclaimed and recycled materials.

Metzger said that he often looks for reusable pieces on the job. For instance, paperstone, a Corian-like solid surface counter top material, can only be sold by the piece, and he often sees excess chunks of it.

“The leftover piece from one person’s kitchen counter might become someone else’s small bathroom vanity,” he said.

Deconstruction

Of course, it’s not always that easy.

“The trouble is warehousing. You can’t necessarily just take it from one job to another. You have to have a place to keep it, and that’s the challenge, getting it from point A to point B,” he said.

What’s more, it takes time to pick through old structures in a process called deconstruction – more time and manpower than it does to bring in heavy machinery and smash it to bits.

“There is an embodied energy involved in getting it back in as a second or third life,” Metzger said.

But when it does happen, the traces of those previous lives can add value to the reclaimed product.

Chris Vitello, owner of the EarthSmart store in Corvallis, sells many items that used to be something else, from insulation made of shredded blue jeans to furniture made of old barn wood. He said that some customers come in looking for reclaimed and recycled materials mainly for environmental reasons, while others want something more.

For instance, the furniture made from old barn wood – it’s not just any barn wood, but wood from a barn in Brownsville, a barn that, legend has it, once contained buried treasure. You can still see the original sawmill marks on the boards that make up the chairs.

“It’s a local story,” he said. “There’s a connection to the product. And when you tell people about the products, they just love the story.”

Metzger said that materials can come from anywhere – flooring from old gymnasiums, wood from sunken bays in the Philippines, barrels from Jack Daniels distilleries in Kentucky. “When you use something like that, it becomes this huge conversation piece,” he said.

He’s currently working on making furniture out of old wine and whisky barrels. “They’re still perfectly great pieces of wood,” he said. “The smell is almost overwhelming, and it’s this deep wine purple. It’s a very tactile experience to work with.”

Read the rest of the article here

via Give building materials another go.

Free Flow: Will the Biggest Ever Dam Removal Return the Wild to the Elwha River? | OnEarth Magazine

In 1910, Thomas Aldwell began building the first of two dams across the Elwha River on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. His dream was to provide clean, cheap hydropower to nearby Port Angeles. This September, the federal government will start to blow up those dams. Native Americans and fish biologists dream of freeing the river and seeing the Elwha’s legendary wild salmon runs return.

Bold, visionary action or federal boondoggle? You can find people who feel both ways about the biggest dam removal ever in the United States.

The Elwha’s watershed has an area of 321 square miles, 80 percent of it within Olympic National Park. Glacial meltwater crashes down from Mount Olympus through old-growth forest that will never be logged, through a valley that alternates between deep, narrow gorges and open bottomland. Although the Elwha is only forty-five miles long with a hundred miles of tributary streams, it is one of the Northwest’s most famous salmon rivers. Historically, the Elwha had ten runs of anadromous fish — spring and fall chinook, coho, pink, chum, and sockeye salmon, plus summer and winter steelhead, sea-run cutthroat trout, and sea-run bull trout. (Many larger Northwest rivers have only two or three of these fish species.)

Four hundred thousand salmon, more or less, returned every year, until the Elwha Dam was completed in 1913 and completely blocked salmon from all but the lower five miles of the river. Run after run of salmon bashed themselves against the 105-foot-high concrete barrier, trying to find a way upriver. A fish hatchery built as a “replacement” for the river was unsuccessful, and was abandoned in 1922. Remnant salmon runs, numbered in the tens or hundreds, struggled to survive in the fragment of river they could still reach.

The dams blocked more than salmon. The Elwha flows from steep, geologically active mountains and during floods the river carries tons of cobbles, gravels, sand, and dirt (all from natural processes within the national park) downstream. Since the second dam was finished in 1927, the river dumps that bedload, an estimated 180,000 cubic yards per year, in the slack water of a reservoir. Below the dams, the river is starved of the raw materials that build riverbeds, gravel bars, and spawning habitat for salmon. The beaches at the river mouth have eroded, losing 75 to 150 feet since 1927. The saltwater shoreline has receded and steepened, with the beach now made of stones instead of sand. To the east, Ediz Hook, a long, curved sandspit that protects the harbor of Port Angeles, erodes without new sand provided from the river. Now, the Army Corps of Engineers spends over $100,000 a year to control erosion on the spit, a service the Elwha used to provide for free.

Also, the dams starve the river of driftwood logs, the fallen trees that drift downstream and form logjams, the building blocks of deep pools and cover for fish. And with the salmon unable to swim upstream, the upper watershed is deprived of the nutrients in the salmon’s bodies. In undammed salmon rivers, scientists have found that up to 30 percent of the nitrogen in the upstream food web derives from ocean sources — carried upstream in the bodies of spawning salmon.

The Elwha River was not dead. But the once dynamic river was fixed, its potency cut by the dams. Yet some people, from the Elwha S’Klallam Indian tribe and from environmental groups, dreamed that the river could be free. An idea that seemed like late-night bar talk gained strength, and in 1992 Congress passed a law authorizing full restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem, a law that included the purchase and removal of the dams.

Progress was slow but steady. In 2000, the federal government bought and began operating the two dams and hydroelectric projects. Work began in 2007 on a water treatment plant to clear turbidity from dam removal from Port Angeles drinking water. A few weeks ago, the hydropower generators were shut down.

Actual dam removal will begin soon, on September 17. It won’t be as dramatic as a building implosion; the deconstruction will take at least three years. But chunks of concrete will start coming out, and there will be no going back after September 17.

A smaller dam removal on Oregon’s Sandy River, east of Portland, has had encouraging results. When the Marmot Dam was dynamited in 2007, wild coho salmon swam upriver past the old barrier only three days later. Sediment accumulated behind the dam for decades was far less troublesome than scientists had predicted. The Sandy River “digested” the sediment without trouble, moving and shaping it into gravel bars and banks.

The Elwha dam removal, however, is a gorilla compared to the Marmot Dam removal. Marmot Dam was 47 feet high; the two dams on the Elwha are 105 feet and 210 feet respectively. Marmot Dam had one million cubic yards of sediment accumulated in its reservoir; the two Elwha dams have a combined total of about 17 million cubic yards of sediment built up in their reservoirs. “Expect surprises,” one scientist has said.

What we really want to know about removing dams is this: Can we undo what we’ve done to a wild river? If we unlock a river, can a watershed rebuild itself? After a century without salmon, what happens when salmon return?

The Elwha River will be this country’s biggest attempt yet to answer this question. I’ll be there in September to witness it.

via Free Flow: Will the Biggest Ever Dam Removal Return the Wild to the Elwha River? | OnEarth Magazine.

Columbus Local News: > Archives > Region > News > Builder’s piecemeal approach to demolition spares landfill

Connor Matrka carries wood from the roof of his father Mike Matrka’s Upper Arlington house, where he’ll pull nails and stack it with other salvaged planks. Connor Matrka and his family are working together to demolish the house.

Upper Arlington builder Mike Matrka and his son Danny are aiming to go where few builders have gone before.

Having purchased a house at 2800 Edington Road in November, Mike Matrka plans to build three houses on the site, including one for him and his wife, after the existing structure is torn down.

But rather than hire another company to demolish the house quickly, Matrka and his crew are taking their time with the demolition to salvage, recycle and reuse as much material as possible.

Most of the recovered lumber, stone and metal is being donated to Habitat for Humanity. Some will be incorporated in the new houses.

When a building is torn down, most of the debris usually ends up in a dump or landfill, Matrka said.

“It’s always bugged me,” he said. “I’ve always felt a responsibility to be as efficient as possible.”

While a demolition company can tear down a building in a matter of days, this deconstruction is taking eight weeks.

“It seems like we’re always trying to go faster and faster, and I’m not totally convinced that’s always the best case,” Matrka said. “It’s my own personal project so no one can yell at me for taking too long.”

Danny Matrka, 24, is leading the crew, which includes his brother, Connor. Danny Matrka, a Dublin resident, said he embraced the idea when his father first discussed it.

“As a society, we waste a ton of stuff,” Danny Matrka said. “Instead of that being dumped, you get to see it live on in a new way.”

Mike Matrka, who spent nearly 30 years in the construction business, called the project an “experiment.”

“I don’t know if anybody’s done it before,” he said. “We’re documenting the journey.”

Danny Matrka is filming every aspect of the project, charting the progress to show others what they’re doing, what works and what doesn’t.

He also filmed Kiel Mohrman of Modern Farm Furniture receiving some wood and turning it into new furniture. That sequence embodies what the project is about, he said.

He added he plans to edit the footage into a documentary.

“We’ll see how that turns out,” he said.

Among the companies assisting with the project are the Linworth Lumber Co., which is lending its trucks and banding machine to bundle the lumber, and Wholesale Stone Supplies, which is storing the stones.

Mike Matrka said the companies he’s worked with have been encouraging.

“They think I’m a nut, but they’re curious,” he said. “You get these people I’ve worked with jumping in to help.”

From the outside, the project might not make sense financially, he said, but he won’t know the final cost until everything is complete.

“It might not make any sense at the end of the day, but sometimes you don’t know until you try it,” he said.

via Columbus Local News: > Archives > Region > News > Builder’s piecemeal approach to demolition spares landfill.

Man wants Casper building to deconstruct – WY

CASPER, Wyo. — Dave Bennink wants to break your building down.

He’d like to tear out the sheet rock and remove the cabinets. He might take the floor, too.

For two decades, Bennink has been trying to change how people get rid of buildings. Most old structures are simply torn down; their guts dumped into a landfill. He advocates deconstructing buildings piece by piece, salvaging as much material as possible.

“So by the time you save everything that is reuseable and recycle all of the other stuff, only 10 to 15 percent goes in the landfill,” he said.

In September, Bennink will be teaching a course on deconstruction at Casper College. But first, he needs a building for his students to practice their new skills.

The Bellingham, Wash., consultant is hoping someone in the Casper area has a building they want torn down. He doesn’t need a big house. A garage or barn will work. He’d even settle for an office in need of a remodel.

Instead of simply demolishing the structure, his students will deconstruct it.

“In doing so, we generate material that is reusable,” he said. “So we are not going to take it down and just throw it away. We are going to take it down and give it away.”

The work won’t cost the building’s owner anything.

Much of the material that makes up a typical house can be recycled or reused. Kitchen cabinets and doors can be removed and installed in new buildings. Wood beams can be cut and used as flooring.

Even asphalt shingles and carpet pads can find new life in another structure.

“It is worth the trouble of processing it,” Bennink said.

Besides keeping trash out of landfills, deconstructing buildings also provides affordable building materials.

The vast majority of today’s buildings are demolished rather than deconstructed. Demolition is generally quicker and requires less labor, translating to lower costs.

But interest in deconstruction is growing because it’s better for the environment and creates more jobs, advocates say. The industry is also trying to become more economically competitive with traditional demolition.

Casper College is offering the two-week deconstruction class through a grant that promotes training for green construction and sustainable energy installation, said Sarah Olson, a workforce training specialist with the college’s Center for Training and Development.

In the future, waste management codes are expected to require contractors to recycle a larger percentage of materials from buildings that are torn down, Olson said. Workers and business owners who receive the training will have a head start when the change happens.

“We want people to be ahead of the game and to have those skills,” she said.

Copyright 2011 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in Wyoming on Monday, August 1, 2011 11:45 pm Updated: 11:45 pm. | Tags: Deve Bennink, Deconstruction, Building Salvage, Casper College, Sarah Olson, Center For Training Development

via Man wants Casper building to deconstruct.

Youths learn salvage through an old-fashioned barn razing | The Ithaca Journal | theithacajournal.com

Thirteen-year-olds P.J. Rausch-Moran, left and Francesca Merrick, right, from the Greater Ithaca Activities Center Summer Conservation Corps program, get instruction from Erich Kruger of Finger Lakes ReUse on how to remove difficult embedded nails as the building recycling takes down an old barn Monday in Fall Creek.

Thirteen-year-olds P.J. Rausch-Moran, left and Francesca Merrick, right, from the Greater Ithaca Activities Center Summer Conservation Corps program, get instruction from Erich Kruger of Finger Lakes ReUse on how to remove difficult embedded nails as the building recycling takes down an old barn Monday in Fall Creek. / SIMON WHEELER / STAFF PHOTOS

 

Instead of blue jeans and green Greater Ithaca Activities Center Conservation Corps T-shirts, Susan Cosentini thought they should wear red capes and blue shorts like Superman.

She suggested this wardrobe change to eight 13-year-olds who were taking apart two old barns on Aurora Street Monday afternoon. The barns, which Cosentini owns, were being dismantled and salvaged to make way for three new sustainable homes to be built on-site.

“Basically, you people are the change agents in the world,” she said to the group of students. “I will be dead when the benefit of all this starts to happen, so hopefully you and your children will benefit from it. By working here today, you are saving the world.”

Finger Lakes ReUse teamed up with the GIAC Summer Conservation Corps to take down the barns and salvage the building materials. Then, Cosentini’s New Earth Living LLC will build The Aurora Dwelling Circle in place of the barns.

The dwelling circle will be made up of one three-bedroom unit and two two-bedroom units, Cosentini said. The theme throughout the whole project, she said, is sustainability.

“We are recycling the materials from the barns, and then using the space to build houses that will hardly use any fossil fuels whatsoever to heat and cool,” she said. “Almost (all) of the landscape will be edible, people will share resources. This is going to be the new paradigm.”

Property owner Susan Cosentini talks to the 13-year-olds in the Greater Ithaca Activities Center Summer Conservation Corps program about her plans to redevelop the space around her home on Aurora Street in the Fall Creek neighborhood.  The youth were working with Finger Lakes ReUse to disassemble the old barns on the property.

Property owner Susan Cosentini talks to the 13-year-olds in the Greater Ithaca Activities Center Summer Conservation Corps program about her plans to redevelop the space around her home on Aurora Street in the Fall Creek neighborhood. The youth were working with Finger Lakes ReUse to disassemble the old barns on the property.

Read the entire article here

via Youths learn salvage through an old-fashioned barn razing | The Ithaca Journal | theithacajournal.com.

Habitat for Humanity takes apart a house for supplies | St. Cloud TIMES | sctimes.com – MN

Volunteer Jessica Chapin moves a ladder inside a house Saturday that is being deconstructed for Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. The Sartell home’s pieces will be sold at ReStore and profits will go to Habitat for Humanity.

Volunteer Jessica Chapin moves a ladder inside a house Saturday that is being deconstructed for Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. The Sartell home’s pieces will be sold at ReStore and profits will go to Habitat for Humanity. / Kaitlin Keane, kkeane@stcloudtimes.com

 

 

“It’s a pilot program,” Ferguson said. “We’re still in the very infant stages.”

The deconstruction will provide ReStore with many materials. Ferguson said it is an older home, which usually has higher quality materials, but this particular house was also updated so it has good windows and doors for resale. Deconstructions generally provide better quality materials than donations, Ferguson said, and she hopes the St. Cloud ReStore will have more deconstruction opportunities in the future.

via Habitat for Humanity takes apart a house for supplies | St. Cloud TIMES | sctimes.com.

India’s ‘recycled’ school teaches environmental lessons – The Times of India

 

Almost every part of the school premises is made out of recycled material, including roofs made out of old hoardings, walls built from plastic bottles and hand-stitched uniforms made out of eco-friendly ‘khadi’, or handspun, cloth.

“It isn’t a marketing thing, it’s what we believe and how we live,” says Madhavi Kapur, who started the school in 2008 with just four students. The school now has more than 140 students studying up to grade five.

“We didn’t have too much money to begin with, and one of my (former) students, who is an architect came up with the idea of using recycled materials to build the school on a piece of land leased to me by my brother,” she said.

via India’s ‘recycled’ school teaches environmental lessons – The Times of India.

Six residents get certificates in Hamden in deconstructing old buildings – Life – Post-Chronicle

HAMDEN — After nine weeks of training, six formerly unemployed adults are on their way to making a new livelihood with a new way of doing business.

It’s called deconstruction, and the concept is carefully to take down, not tear down, buildings so that materials can be saved and reused.

 

The Workforce Alliance provided a $49,500 grant that paid for tuition and materials to Gateway, and DeRisi taught the class once a week at the M.L. Keefe Community Center.

McCullough and Blakeslee said they were in the construction field previously.

“I was out of work for 2½ years. I really enjoyed it,” McCullough said of learning the new skill. “You can save 95 percent of the materials, and they’re reusable.”

See video here

 

via Six residents get certificates in Hamden in deconstructing old buildings – Life – Post-Chronicle.

How Do I Choose the Best Recycled Building Materials?

Recycled building materials can cut down on the environmental impact of construction projects when they are chosen wisely, with an awareness of the distance traveled, resource use involved in their production, and composition. Many large communities have a facility or facilities that handle reclaimed and recycled materials, and it may also be possible to go directly through a contractor for some products. Consumers who want to use recycled building materials should be aware of the risk of greenwashing, where companies make environmental claims that are not actually backed by the products they produce.

It is important to distinguish between recycled and reclaimed or salvaged materials. Recycled building materials are made with some percentage of post-consumer content and can include things like glass, engineered wood products, ceramics, and so forth. Reclaimed and salvaged materials are used materials that are removed during demolition and other activities, cleaned up, and sold for reuse. It is possible to use a mixture of recycled and reclaimed materials, depending on the need.

via How Do I Choose the Best Recycled Building Materials?.

Habitat for Humanity salvages items from Dexter Village house slated for demolition

Tim_Raquet_Habitat_Dexter.JPG

Tim Raquet of Dexter, an employee of Habitat for Humanity, removes aluminum from a village-owned home. The removed pieces will be sold to benefit the organization.

“There’s a really nice ceiling fan and cabinets inside,” Tamoshunas said. Neither of the men were sure how much the items would net for the nonprofit organization, which sells reusable materials to benefit its programs.

“We just tear it apart,” Raquet said. “Other people put price tags on it.”

Allison Bishop, director of community development, said she contacted Habitat about the house as a way to reuse whatever the organization could find useful.

Paul_Tamoshunas_Habitat_Dexter.JPG

Paul Tamoshunas of Ann Arbor removes salvageable pieces while on the roof of the Forest Street home.

 

via Habitat for Humanity salvages items from Dexter Village house slated for demolition.

Shopping | Personalize your wedding with recycled materials at The RE Store’s Salvage Bride workshop | NWsource

 

The second annual Salvage Bride workshop is a two-hour class designed to inspire creative ways to make a wedding distinctive and personal with recycled materials.

Rachel Levien, former manager of The RE Store, dreamed up the original workshop last year when she and then-fiancé Ben began planning their own wedding. “I started seeing everything around me in terms of potential ‘wedding value’,” she recalls.

Since she spent her workdays among the recycled building materials for sale at The RE Store, “I guess it’s only natural that I started fixating on things like vintage plumbing, chandelier crystals, skeleton keys and old doors,” she says.

 

via Shopping | Personalize your wedding with recycled materials at The RE Store’s Salvage Bride workshop | NWsource.

Local News | Seattle program training workers in deconsruction | Seattle Times Newspaper

 

Marlena Sessions, chief executive officer of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, said the program has trained 50 students to date, of which 40 are already employed. The highest salary so far is $25 per hour while the lower range is around $10. Students were previously not working or were under-employed.

“Even in light of the Great Recession, there are opportunities out there so we need to match employers’ needs,” she said. “When you have these people working, all becoming taxpayers, it stands to reason it will help us all by getting them trained for new jobs and new careers.”

In total, the deconstruction program will train 130 people. Three classes have been completed since January and four more are planned throughout the summer.

 

 

 

via Local News | Seattle program training workers in deconsruction | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Saving The Earth One Dumpster Rental In Naperville, IL At A Time: Heritage Disposal, LLC

The course, entitled ‘Green Building: Construction Administration’ taught employees from Heritage Disposal how proper planning in the pre-phase stage can help identify materials that can be recycled or salvaged before they’re taken to a landfill.

“Construction and demolition waste accounts for as much as 30% of all waste in our landfills so we’re trying to reduce, salvage and recycle as much as we can. Sometimes all we need to do is a simple sorting before dumping the waste materials off at the landfill. It’s an extra step we’re happy to take and our customers are pleased knowing that we do everything we can to reduce the amount of waste in our landfills,” said Don Mulder of Heritage Disposal, LLC (http://www.heritagedisposal.com/).

via Saving The Earth One Dumpster Rental In Naperville, IL At A Time: Heritage Disposal, LLC.

Bank of America Donating Vacant Properties to Help Fight Blight

 

 

Bank of America will contribute towards the cost of demolishing or deconstructing any deteriorating buildings. Similar plans have been previously announced in Detroit and Chicago as Bank of America addresses the problems caused by a growing inventory of abandoned and uninhabitable properties.

“Unfortunately, many homeowners faced with unemployment, underemployment and other economic hardships have transitioned to alternative housing situations, and in many cases have walked away from their homes, leaving behind vacant and deteriorating properties that can cause neighborhood blight,” said Rebecca Mairone, national mortgage outreach executive for Bank of America Home Loans.

via Bank of America Donating Vacant Properties to Help Fight Blight.

The City of Houston’s Green Building Resource Center has a new green home – Houston green economy | Examiner.com

 

The GBRC provides free information to the public on green building through some 50 exhibits and interactive displays, as well as a library of materials and resource guides. All displays are donated, but are included by invitation only after thorough evaluation by the center’s program director. The displays are hands-on and child friendly, offering tips on renewable energy sources, lighting efficiency and sustainable building materials and practices as well as information on sustainable lifestyle strategies.

via The City of Houston’s Green Building Resource Center has a new green home – Houston green economy | Examiner.com.

Buffalo ReUse deals with renewed strife – City & Region – The Buffalo News

 

 

Board members say they have made tough economic decisions to remain viable but haven’t abandoned ReUse’s principles.

“We are getting a handle on things that were financial and management stresses in the organization for some time,” said Vincent Kuntz, ReUse’s president. “Clearly, there are some who didn’t agree with how the board was doing it, but we are quite confident we are in a stronger position than before.”

Added board member Michelle Johnson: “I feel very confident, and I haven’t for a very long time.”

Some former staffers say things were dire before they left.

The financial picture was so bleak by early May that staff didn’t know if the ReUse store would be open from one day to the next, said Cerrina Bower, former assistant store manager.

 

ReUse’s debt approached $100,000, Hayes said.

via Buffalo ReUse deals with renewed strife – City & Region – The Buffalo News.

Green Job Training Targets Big Cities | EarthTechling

 

Green job training in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington D.C. is about to be significantly expanded with the $8M grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit education and workforce development organization.

The GreenWays Initiative will focus on developing skills for training green collar workers in 4 specific areas: green building construction, auto technology, manufacturing, and utilities.

 

Because of the large number of abandoned and foreclosed properties, green building projects – from deconstruction to energy efficient building – will be the primary focus in Detroit where 2,000 green building jobs are expected to be added in the next five years.  Washington D.C. funds will also focus on green building and green construction knowledge specifically weatherization and insulation, green roof maintenance, solar panel installation, green building maintenance, green cement masonry, and helper and apprentice positions with 17 construction unions.

via Green Job Training Targets Big Cities | EarthTechling.

NASA Sustainability Base opens

 

NASA’s Sustainability Base, a US $20 million unique building that incorporates technology used by astronauts, is expected to open in mid July in the Silicon Valley of California. NASA set out to build the federal government’s most sustainable building. It will generate more electricity than it consumes, and each part of the building performs an environmental function. Local building materials were used to help reduce emissions from transportation, and construction waste was recycled.

The building uses recycled glass, carpeting and furniture. The oak flooring was salvaged from a demolished wind tunnel facility.

via NASA Sustainability Base opens.

Reclaiming Design – ScribeMedia.org

 

Watch the video here http://www.scribemedia.org/2007/07/05/reclaiming-design/

This event at HauteGREEN in New York was a big success, thanks to the thought-provoking design and insightful discussion from Dwell Editor-in-Chief Sam Grawe and designers Carlos Salgado of Scrapile, Tejo Remy of Droog fame, and Matt Gagnon. The conversation touched on a variety of issues surrounding the concepts and processes behind using reclaimed materials in different scales of design, and its implications for both environmental sustainability as well as more conceptual and cultural themes.

via Reclaiming Design – ScribeMedia.org.

castillo/miras arquitectos: restoration of a tower in huercal-overa

spanish based practice castillo/miras arquitectos has recently restored an observation tower in huercal-overa, spain.

 

 

a winding rustic stone path leads visitors up the sides of the existing plateau towards the contemporary structure 
adjacent to the tower. concealed within the minimalist cylindrical form, visitors climb a spiral staircase with intermittent 
panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. upon reaching the highest point, visitors are directed towards a 
pedestrian bridge leading to the towers entry door. beyond the door lies the interior space consisting of vigilantly restored 
brick vaults and wood floors. 

See more amazing photos via castillo/miras arquitectos: restoration of a tower in huercal-overa.

Instructables.com ! Lifeguard Chair from Recycled Lumber

Lifeguard Chair from Recycled Lumber

The inspiration for this chair came from seeing one on a pier at Lake Tahoe. It’s big – seating two pretty comfortably – and tall, affording a nice view along with protection from cannonballs and wet dogs.

This one is made from lumber recycled from a redwood deck we ripped out. The weathering, stains and screw holes all add to character of the chair even after rigorous sanding on the seat, footrest, arms and back. With ‘free’ lumber, the cost for this chair was two boxes of screws, some glue and sand paper. (And in my case, a belt sander – but that’s an investment, right?)

via Lifeguard Chair from Recycled Lumber.

Raumlabor’s ‘Big Crunch’ is an Incredible Building Made from Discarded Materials | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

“The Big Crunch” by Raumlabor is a recycled building made from a heap of discarded objects. The mound of materials is condensed in a theater plaza from all over the area, seemingly to move like a small wave cresting on the Georg-Büchner-Platz grounds in Darmstadt, Germany. Made from cast away household materials ranging from fridges to windows, furniture, and doors, the installation is a stormy, absurdist habitation.

via Raumlabor’s ‘Big Crunch’ is an Incredible Building Made from Discarded Materials | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Deconstruction of old homes reaches new diversion levels with a little planning and technology

 

The home had many layers of lead paint and asbestos which required abatement. Once that was complete, Greenworx began the deconstruction of the home, starting with the roof and working their way down to dirt. Each material was sorted and source separated to achieve the maximum purity of individual materials for recycling and reuse. That is something that cannot be done with traditional tear down demolition. The project generated a total of 162.7 tons of material, of which 130.16 tons were recycled and salvaged, achieving a diversion rate of 81.29% on the project.

via Deconstruction of old homes reaches new diversion levels with a little planning and technology.

JLLs DC Construction Team Counts 1,233 Tons of Recycled Building Materials – Citybizlist Washington DC

Construction professionals at Jones Lang LaSalle recycled more than 72 percent of all building material waste from new construction, renovation and tenant fit-out projects in the Washington, DC area in 2010.Across the 42 projects monitored last year, 1,233 tons of construction waste was recycled, including 302 tons of metal, 165 tons of wood and 313 tons of drywall gypsum.Jones Lang LaSalles DC Construction team created a program in 2009 to monitor building waste and to divert as much waste as possible from landfills by reusing it in another application or otherwise recycling it.

via JLLs DC Construction Team Counts 1,233 Tons of Recycled Building Materials – Citybizlist Washington DC.

PacifiCorp removing Condit Dam | Sustainable Business Oregon

 

 

“This is an essential step in restoring the ecosystem’s resources and rebuilding the natural balance that supported the Yakama people and a significant tribal fishery for millennia,” said Virgil Lewis, tribal council member, in a statement.

A hole blasted in base of the dam is planned for October, releasing Northwestern Lake into the White Salmon River. Once the reservoir is drained, the rest of the dam will be demolished, with restoration work extending through 2012.

via PacifiCorp removing Condit Dam | Sustainable Business Oregon.

Boeing Plant Camouflaged Beneath a Fake Neighborhood Tapped as Salvaged Lumber Source | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Boeing Plant 2, eco lumber, Duluth Timber Company, FSC certified wood beams, Seattle deconstruct, green building, salvaged lumber yard, deconstruction, green lumber, green materials, reclaimed lumber, salvaged lumber

South of downtown Seattle is an old Boeing airplane assembly plant that produced nearly 7000 Flying Fortresses while hidden beneath a roof with a fake suburban neighborhood on top. The site is now the source for a huge lumber salvage operation – Duluth Timber Company is now deconstructing the 1.7 million square foot facility and reclaiming the lumber for real homes. The beauty of reclaimed lumber is not just in its quality and size but in its history – and the 1/4 million board feet that will come out of this deconstruction has a lot of tales to tell.

via Green design will save the world | Inhabitat – Part 2.

Reclaimed Wood Hostel Bridge Awaits The Return Of the Emscher River In Germany | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Ten years from now the Emscher River in Germany, currently a canal between two dykes, will be returned to its natural state as a river. In celebration of the renaturification, the Dutch art group Observatorium built a habitable wooden bridge from reclaimed timbers to span the space where the river will eventually flow again. For the summer of 2010, Warten auf den Fluss was open to visitors and overnight guests so they could explore the area and experience the land that would soon be taken over by the river.

 

via Reclaimed Wood Hostel Bridge Awaits The Return Of the Emscher River In Germany | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Centennial Woods Has Reclaimed and Repurposed Over 5 Million Feet of Fence | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

centennial woods, reclaimed fences, reclaimed materials, recycled materials, snow fence, green building, green materials, green products, green design, eco design, sustainable design, eco products, recycled products

Centennial Woods reclaims wood from snow fences across Wyoming and sells the sustainable harvested wood for both interior and exterior applications. The wood is a stunning mixture of grays and browns in unique grain patterns that are characteristic of the windblown state of Wyoming. The company has repurposed more than 5 million feet of snow fence, saving snow fence owners more than $9 million and avoiding more than 9,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Unlike other reclaimed woods, Centennial Woods’ have never been painted or chemically treated, and are completely free of lead and other hazardous treatments common in older barns and other structures.

via Centennial Woods Has Reclaimed and Repurposed Over 5 Million Feet of Fence | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Chez Chuichui: The coolest upcycled doghouse in Shanghai | MNN – Mother Nature Network

ChuiChui's upcycled refrigerator doghouse

Most recently, the Y-town team’s upcycled home appliance prowess took a turn for the heartwarmingly cute when one of the designers transformed an old Bosch refrigerator turned on its side into a spacious shelter for an adorable stray pup named Chuichui. Chuichui’s new digs come with a carpeted entrance/exit ramp, a slanted roof, and distinct living areas including a roomy “bedroom” that the Y-town designers outfitted with a plush pooch cushion.

via Chez Chuichui: The coolest upcycled doghouse in Shanghai | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

Outsider Architecture: 1 Man + 30 Years + 20,000 Sq Ft = | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Slated for forced demolition, can the colossal  Phonehenge West yet be saved?

Marvel at the work that goes into such decade-spanning, single-person construction projects, the authorities are not always as impressed – one man may learn this lesson the hard way.

This specific dilemma raises a more timeless question, however, for historic preservation: at what point does personal or public interest play a valid role in creating exceptions to rules? One man’s scrap heap is another man’s castle of trash, after all – and asking someone to demolish their abode is a rather big deal. It would be unfair to call the work a pile of unsafe junk – much of it is traditionally-framed and solidly-built, even if it does not conform to traditional typological norms.

via Outsider Architecture: 1 Man + 30 Years + 20,000 Sq Ft = | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Decon’11Award-Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

 

Sherill Baldwin Wins BMRA Innovation Award

The BMRA awarded its 2011 Innovation Award to Sherill Baldwin, an Environmental Analyst with the Source Reduction and Recycling branch of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.  According to the BMRA Awards Committee, it was Sherill’s work in originating and facilitating the Connecticut Materials Reuse Network (CT MRN) that demonstrated the innovation required in this award.

The Connecticut MRN is a novel group made up of a wide range of Northeast US based organizations interested in reuse, including: construction, demolition, green building, and deconstruction businesses; universities, colleges and technical high schools; environmentalists; waste collectors and haulers; recycling businesses; reuse businesses and other retail operations; and historical preservationists.

via Decon’11Award.

RN-T.com – Habitat volunteers salvage items from 2 FMC buildings – Southern US

Ed Cescutti, Habitat for Humanity, takes a gutter off a building at the intersection of West 5th Street and North 4th Avenue on Thursday. Habitat for Humanity is salvaging building materials from two buildings on the Floyd Medical Center Campus. (Ryan Smith, RN-T.com)

Ed Cescutti, Habitat for Humanity, takes a gutter off a building at the intersection of West 5th Street and North 4th Avenue on Thursday. Habitat for Humanity is salvaging building materials from two buildings on the Floyd Medical Center Campus. (Ryan Smith, RN-T.com)

 

Two vacant buildings set to be demolished turned into something that will benefit countless people.

For nearly a week, volunteers from Rome-Floyd Habitat for Humanity have salvaged building items from two buildings owned by Floyd Medical Center on the corner of North Fourth Avenue and West Fifth Street.

via RN-T.com – Habitat volunteers salvage items from 2 FMC buildings.

Free building supplies at the Green Project this week | Blog of New Orleans

 

The Green Project is giving away certain building supplies through June 11 at its nonprofit building supply retail store at 2831 Marais St. It’s the third year the reuse store has provided residents with free building supplies in an effort to make sure the salvaged and deconstructed materials it collects are returned to use in the community. It’s also an opportunity for low-income homeowners to improve their property while conserving resources.

via Free building supplies at the Green Project this week | Blog of New Orleans.