All posts by guttercherry

Building awareness and a cabin – Regina, Canada

Take a stack of old pallets, the lids off some old car trunks and the plywood off old, worn-out signs and what have you got?

For most of us, it’s a big pile of garbage.

But for a group of inspired builders and Tyler and Parise McMillan of Weyburn, it’s a home away from home.

Looking to build a cabin this summer, the McMillans looked to Waalnut Construction to see what could be done.

That got owner Eric Penner de Waal thinking about how to build on the cheap and in the most environmentally friendly way possible. He teamed with Regina’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Robinson Residential Design Inc. to come up with a plan to build the cabin entirely out of recycled materials.

So over a three-day build which ended Sunday at the ReStore, those pallets became the exterior siding of the cabin. The trunk lids from a Honda Civic, a Ford Mustang and a Chevy Nova? Window awnings. And the old signs are the sheeting that surrounds the wooden frame.

All told, building the small, loft-style cabin with two bedrooms will cost less than $30,000 (thanks in part to plenty of donated labour).

The McMillans weren’t to arrive in Regina until Sunday night to get their first look, but even before then Tyler knew – at the very least – they’d have a conversation piece on their hands.

“Once you step past thinking of them as pallets and start thinking of them as building materials, it changes and you don’t feel all that uncomfortable,” Tyler said, noting the couple’s five-yearold son Calder is “pretty fired up” about the loft.

“As long as you’re comfortable with the guy doing the work, it’s not too much of a stretch for us to think wood pallets can be used as an exterior on a cabin.

“(The trunk lids) were a total shock and I have no idea what those are going to be like, but you have to have a little fun with it.”

For Penner de Waal, a regular customer at the ReStore, the project became less about money (his company is making no profit) as much as it was about building awareness for the Habitat for Humanity store. Used and new materials are donated to the store and sold by Habitat to raise funds for its other endeavours.

“We want to show everyone in the city that this is what you can do with that stuff we’re throwing in the big hill northeast of town,” said Penner de Waal, referring to the city garbage dump.

All of the windows in the cabin were donated, the flooring is multi-coloured as it is made of a range of hardwood project leftovers and the flooring underlay, while a new product, is made of recycled materials.

“Having to source all the material was a challenge,” said Penner de Waal.

“The stuff that people are throwing out (is surprising). We’ve got a pallet of shingles – enough to do a whole roof – and RoofMart can’t sell broken bundles that are weird colours to clients. So they have all these saved up in the yard and what do you do with them? They usually end up in the dump.”

While the McMillans are paying for the materials that are coming out of the ReStore, the ReHouse project, as it has come to be known, wasn’t about money for Habitat for Humanity, either.

“It wasn’t a project about the money; it was about awareness,” said Habitat volunteer co-ordinator Cindy Covey. “Some people know about it, some people don’t, which is sad because some of the product is unbelievable. You can get 80-per-cent discounts on some things.

“When we were at our old store we had that ‘Garagesale perception’ but as we’ve moved here, we’ve been trying to changes people’s perspectives. A lot of it is brand-new product when in the past it wasn’t.”

The cabin has a narrow design so it can be easily loaded on a flatbed truck and taken down the highway to its permanent location at White Bear Lake.

“If you’re willing to let them try a bunch of things and step outside what the normal building materials might be and at the same time feel like the skeleton of the building can be recycled too and be comfortable with that . we were convinced,” said Tyler.

tswitzer@leaderpost.com

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

via Building awareness and a cabin.

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

 

Inspired by the cooper tradition of barrel making, an old whiskey shop in London’s Covent Garden has been given a new life that pays tribute to the sauce. Redesigned by Anonymous Artists, the whiskey shop was transformed into a cozy bar, using only recycled materials. Donated by the Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, the team used 3,500 recycled slats of packing wood and 50 barrels to outfit the shop’s interior.

Read more here

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Business of the Week: The Away Station – San Anselmo-Fairfax, CA Patch

This is an impressive idea, locating a salvage yard within an already existing lumber yard.  Powell’s Books of Portland, Oregon carries used books alongside of new ones. Industry leaders said that this is a business model destined to fail.  In fact, Powell’s Books is a thriving business and has been successful for years now.  Combining salvaged materials along with new materials creates options, educates, and allows for less stops along a project.  It’s a great idea, maybe we can encourage it to grow. 

The Away Station, 109 Broadway, Fairfax (415) 453-4221, (415) 453-4410; www.theawaystation.org

What do they offer?

Located in the lumber yard at Fairfax Lumber & Hardware, The Away Station is a nonprofit organization with a vision to create a world without waste.

Everything offered is salvaged. Lumber, hardware, doors, windows, sinks, ovens, light fixtures, cabinets, furniture, art supplies, home accents, and so much more are available at unbelievably low prices.

Services include hauling, professional moving, organizing and green business ideas.

When you purchase items you get a great deal. If you donate items, you get a tax benefit.

Who are they?

Executive Director Carrie Bachelder grew up in San Anselmo and went to Drake. Her dad taught at Redwood High School and her mom is a member of the native plant society. “My whole family is still here,” she said.

Bachelder is an energetic woman who started several companies including catering and making jewelry from found objects, but the moving and organizing company gave her the idea for this enterprise. “Whether they are moving or remodeling, I saw that my clients always needed to get rid of stuff. We were driving all over the place to the appropriate resale stores because nobody takes everything,” she said.

“The biggest issue is a place that takes building materials. My contractor brother suggested I speak with Fairfax Lumber & Hardware, because of their sustainable and green business  practices,” she said. “When I shared what I wanted to do, they saw it as a perfect fit.”

How long have they been here?

The Away Station opened in the spring of 2010, but the idea germinated for five years. Bachelder decided to set up the business as a nonprofit, because many of her Marin customers wanted a donation. “We are not funded by anybody,” she said. “The corporation is a 501c3.”

A team of seniors from Redwood High School is revamping the website so visitors can see the changing stock.

Bachelder is on site three to five days a week. Still in the moving and organizing business, she looks brings in materials from clients who are selling or remodeling their homes.

The Away Station has one-and-a-half paid employees and the rest are volunteers. “My yard man is my hero,” said Bachelder. “He has the consistent on-site knowledge, plus he does the heavy lifting. All the customers love him.”

Why are they business of the week?

The mission of The Away Station is to serve the community in its commitment to a zero waste lifestyle through: diverting reusable material from the landfill; providing services for the collection of construction and demolition by-products; providing a facility for redistribution of salvage materials; educating the public on best practices for reuse; and promoting green collar jobs.

“If someone is gutting a million dollar house from the 40s, 50s, or earlier, it will probably cost about $80,000 to do the demolition. The homeowner can get much more than that in a tax write-off benefit. In addition, the homeowner gets ‘the good feeling’ because many of their treasured items will be used by another family, and the old growth redwood is sent onto a new life rather than winding up in a landfill,” Bachelder said.

Because they are a nonprofit, a third-party appraiser needs to be brought in prior to demolition. According to Bachelder, deconstruction contractors are becoming more skilled at removing things like shutters, doors and wood intact, to preserve resources.

San Francisco resident, Linda Kosut, and her architect husband drove to Fairfax for a door. “We love the integrity of older things,” she said. “Our house was built in 1918 and our Tahoe property in the late 40s. The prices here are fabulous. It’s like an outdoor hardware store full of wonderful finds,” she enthused.

“We are the only ones doing this in Marin, but we network with all the other re-use facilities in the Bay Area. I vowed to create a system for our community,” Bachelder said.

Like most entrepreneurs, Bachelder has a master plan. “We started with the building materials,” she said, “but my goal is to make an entire shopping area here. I would love to co-locate already existing resale and repair small businesses so that you can buy a lamp at The Away Station and walk it over to someone who can rewire it. My goal is to make effortless to live a zero waste lifestyle. ”

via Business of the Week: The Away Station – San Anselmo-Fairfax, CA Patch.

Atlantic County seeks halt to Egg Harbor Township waste hauler’s dumping – pressofAtlanticCity.com: Breaking News

test4Waste hauler property

This is a long but insightful article on an illegal waste facility and a NJ legal system that failed to do anything about it for the last 20 years.  Citizens are uninformed and unaware of regulations for waste and waste haulers all over the country.  Here at the RA we will be starting a project to help change how people (don’t) see C&D waste.  It’s called the Drop Box Brigade, and we hope something as simple as a picture will inspire community involvement in C&D waste disposal.  Ironically, the waste hauler is called “Magic Disposal”. Not so ironically, I was born about twenty miles from this site.

By WALLACE McKELVEY Staff Writer |

Atlantic County is seeking a court ruling to stop an Egg Harbor Township waste hauler from operating an alleged illegal solid waste facility off the Black Horse Pike.

A complaint filed last month accuses Steven Waszen, who operated Magic Disposal until January 2010, of dumping solid waste and hazardous materials, including asbestos, and maintaining a public health nuisance at the property he owns at 2520 Tremont Ave. in the Cardiff section of the township.

On May 20, a county Division of Public Health inspection revealed 99 solid waste containers, two of which contained asbestos; an estimated two yards of construction and demolition debris; a 10-foot-high pile of scrap tires; leachate — or liquid discharge — forming puddles on the ground; and a trash compactor truck emitting “foul odors and draining foul leachate onto the ground” at the site.

When inspectors returned July 14, they reported finding 106 solid waste containers and a “very strong odor” of garbage. The asbestos material, leachate and scrap tires remained on the property, while the trash compactor had been removed.

This is not the first time Waszen has been connected to such allegations.

In 2007, the state Department of Environmental Protection imposed a $700,000 fine — which, according to the DEP, has never been paid — against the company for violations at its now-closed Ridge Avenue facility, which Waszen operated from 1996 to 2005. Two years later, the department banned Waszen from the solid waste industry and revoked Magic Disposal’s certificate to operate a solid waste facility, or Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.

After protracted legal battles, both decisions were upheld by state Superior Court.

In December, the DEP also excluded Waszen and Magic Disposal from most recycling activities in the state, a decision DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said has not been appealed.

Waszen could not be reached for comment. Attorneys who have represented Waszen in the past declined to comment or did not respond to messages.

Officials at the local, county and state level say it is difficult to prosecute Waszen or to enforce the judgments that have already been made.

“He gets fined, then there’s a court order we’ve got to collect and, if he doesn’t pay, we’re back in court again,” County Executive Dennis Levinson said.

Magic Disposal also owes Egg Harbor Township more than $4.3 million in fines for failing to obtain building permits for a garage at its Ridge Avenue complex.

Although technically that figure has continued to grow in the absence of payment, Township Administrator Peter Miller said building officials stopped calculating the fines in 2010. Miller said the legal costs to bring Waszen to court would be greater than the partial amount a judge would likely award the township.

With the Ridge Avenue facility closed and the county now prosecuting Waszen for his Tremont Avenue facility, Miller said the point is moot.

“Their issue is more significant than ours over whether he got the proper permit in a timely fashion,” he said.

Levinson said it is frustrating that the county and the DEP’s enforcement efforts are constantly hampered by court appeals.

“We do what the law allows us to do,” he said. “If what we’re doing isn’t sufficient, then that’s up to the state Legislature to make laws that will allow us to proceed in a more timely fashion.”

Rick Dovey, president of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, said Magic Disposal has been a well-known problem operator for 20 years. It’s one of the few remaining companies that makes skirting the law a “consistent method of operation,” he said.

“I just know if ACUA or any other public entity were to do that, we would be noticed and fined appropriately, and quickly,” he said.

One issue, Dovey said, is that most people aren’t familiar with the regulations for waste haulers.

“Most businesses don’t even know they’re supposed to be licensed,” he said. “If somebody has a trash truck and says, ‘This is how much I’ll charge you,’ they won’t ask to see your license.”

The county’s action came as a surprise to most of the Tremont Avenue facility’s neighbors.

Dan Wilhelm, 55, who lives behind the facility on Windsor Drive, said he has not heard or smelled anything from the site since the owners erected a mound of dirt, which acts as a sound barrier, nearly a decade ago. Before then, there was a near-constant odor emanating from the lot and regular truck traffic.

If the owner has continued dumping on the site, Wilhelm said, he’s glad the county has stepped forward to prosecute.

“They got to stay on that stuff — not just him, but all of them,” he said.

Aside from the occasional smell, especially during the summer, neighbor Eliezer Echevarria, 52, said he has not had any recent problems with Waszen. “If you came here 18 years ago, it’d be a different story,” he said.

The Ridge Avenue facility, which is not subject to the complaint, is similarly quiet.

Neighbor Calvin Tureaud, 54, said there has been little activity for about two years. Gone is the stench of decay wafting in the breeze and the armada of trash trucks before 5 a.m., he said.

The legal system worked for his neighborhood, at least, Tureaud said.

“We had to put up with it for years and years until the neighbors got together and said ‘enough is enough,’” he said. “We had to go to Town Hall and to the freeholders and board meetings, but it finally worked.”

When the facility did close, Tureaud said it happened nearly overnight.

“Nobody notified us first. They just started to pack up,” he said.

Contact Wallace McKelvey:

609-272-7256

via Atlantic County seeks halt to Egg Harbor Township waste hauler’s dumping – pressofAtlanticCity.com: Breaking News.

Construction & Demolition Recycling : Industry News Illinois Governor Signs Law Allowing Recycled Roof

Illinois Governor Signs Law Allowing Recycled Roofing Shingles in Asphalt - Image

New legislation could result in $8 million in savings.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation allowing the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to start using asphalt made from recycled roofing shingles. It also allows businesses to increase the amount of shingles used in asphalt production and requires IDOT to maximize the use of recycled materials in construction projects. The governor’s office estimates the state will save more than $8 million annually through the new legislation.

“In the midst of one of the busiest construction seasons in state history, we must continue to embrace green practices in building our roads,” Quinn says. “This law will keep more shingles out of landfills, benefit the environment and save the state millions of dollars by expanding our use of recycled materials.”

House Bill 1326, sponsored by Rep. Daniel V. Beiser (D-Alton) and Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), allows IDOT to use asphalt made with materials from recycling facilities that process shingles, following regulations established by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The law also directs IDOT to use recycled materials in its projects as much as possible, saving more than an estimated $8 million per year. The agency must report the results of those efforts to the Illinois House and Senate Transportation Committees each year.

“Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, the expanded use of recycled asphalt in roadway pavements is just the latest green initiative the Illinois Department of Transportation has undertaken,” says Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “Although motorists will not notice the difference, this new law is good for the environment and ultimately will save money.”

The new law also allows businesses that specialize in waste collection from construction and demolition sites to double the amount of shingles they can provide to recycling facilities for use later in the production of asphalt.

via Construction & Demolition Recycling : Industry News Illinois Governor Signs Law Allowing Recycled Roof.

It ain’t easy building a green kitchen – Lifestyle – Style – Food and Wine – The Canberra Times

Gino Monteleone from Select Custom Kitchens in his Hall workshop. Photo: Andrew Sheargold

Gino Monteleone from Select Custom Kitchens in his Hall workshop. Photo: Andrew Sheargold

Building an environmentally friendly kitchen takes research and persistence.

So, let’s cut to the chase. What exactly is a sustainable kitchen? The short answer is, not necessarily a brand new one. In fact, the less material that’s ripped out during renovations and sent to landfill, the higher the overall sustainability score.

But if those old chipboard cabinet carcasses must go the toss, a new sustainable kitchen can be any style – minimalist modern, faux Provencal, Shaker-inspired, Aussie recycled retro, Nimbin natural, farmhouse rustic or boldly quirky with a splash of Frida Kahlo colour. But whatever the final design, it definitely won’t be a spotlit culinary power stadium with a massive stove the size of a small aircraft carrier and energy bill to match.

A green kitchen has a conscience. Everything should be able to be recycled at the end of its useful life.

There’ll be no toxic glues or surface sealants, stove and lighting will be energy-efficient, and the design will reflect practical, everyday needs.

Details in Rosslyn Beeby's kitchen built from sustainable materials - recycled blackbutt for the benchtops, with Osmo oil, and plantation hoop pine for the cabinets.

Details in Rosslyn Beeby’s kitchen built from sustainable materials – recycled blackbutt for the benchtops, with Osmo oil, and plantation hoop pine for the cabinets.

 

As Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud remarked in a recent episode broadcast on ABC television, building or renovating ‘‘to a philosophy’’ is a difficult task. It means lots of research – months of it – and a determination to ruthlessly probe the validity of vague claims that building products are green, eco-certified or possess multi-starred green energy ratings. It can be discouraging, even humiliating when salesfolk scoff at questions about recycling or waste production involved in manufacture.

Stick to your principles, and use the internet to check out green bona fides. A recent British survey found 50 per cent of environmental marketing claims about ‘‘green attributes’’ were misleading. The survey, by Cambridge Consultants, says a product’s ‘‘life-cycle analysis’’ is the only way to assess sustainability – this includes mining, logging, processing, waste management, transport and potential reuse. The triple bottom line is impact on resources, ecosystems and human health. How much greenhouse gas is produced during manufacture? Are there respiratory risks to workers?

via It ain’t easy building a green kitchen – Lifestyle – Style – Food and Wine – The Canberra Times.

The house of Fords falls in Oak Harbor – Whidbey News Times – WA

Michael Senko of Bellingham-based Re-Use Consulting works with his father, company owner David Bennink, to disassemble the old Ford dealership building on SE Barrington Drive and Highway 20 in Oak Harbor. Building owner Dan Berg has decided to demolish the structure to make way for an unknown future development. - Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

Michael Senko of Bellingham-based Re-Use Consulting works with his father, company owner David Bennink, to disassemble the old Ford dealership building on SE Barrington Drive and Highway 20 in Oak Harbor. Building owner Dan Berg has decided to demolish the structure to make way for an unknown future development.
Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

 

Nothing lasts forever and that includes the old Ford dealership on the corner of Highway 20 and SE Barrington Drive in Oak Harbor.

Building owner Dan Berg has received a permit from the city to demolish the 55-year-old structure and, if all goes well, it should be down around the end of the month. The building has been vacant for several years and it’s become clear that its time has come.

But Berg said that won’t make seeing it go any easier.

“I spent 30 years in that place,” he said.

His ties to the dealership stretch back to 1969 when his father bought the business. Berg purchased it from his dad in 1985 and ran it as his own until 1999 when he sold it and retired.

The dealership continued on as Whidbey Island Ford until February 2008 when it closed its doors, largely due to changes in the automobile industry, the nature of distribution channels and a souring economy.

Two of the other three dealerships in town, Whidbey Island Volkswagen Mazda and Frontier Chevrolet, would also close over the next two years.

Berg has been fishing for a new tenant since 2008 but has had no takers. The only interest expressed has been for the lot, which is about 2.5 acres, without the building. So, Berg said he made the decision to tear it down.

Once the work is done, the property will be sold or leased. Berg said the property has a lot of potential and could host a variety of different businesses, but that he has no idea what might end up there.

“With this economy, I really don’t know,” he said.

Steve Powers, director of Oak Harbor Development Services, confirmed that the property is zoned community commercial. That means anything from a strip mall to a big-box business could set up shop on the vacant lot, along with some upper-level residential units.

“There’s a pretty wide range of uses that could occur there,” Powers said.

City business leaders aren’t lost on the possibilities either.

Its location at the southern entrance to the city and its high visibility on Highway 20 make it a “gateway” location, according to Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Director Jill Johnson.

The intersection of Highway 20 and SE Pioneer is where many travelers decide what they think about Oak Harbor and that influences their decision to keep going or take a detour to downtown.

“It’s a powerful piece of property,” she said.

Johnson’s heard a lot of different hopes for the lot. Some want to see it turned into a city park or become the future location of a covered farmer’s market. But Johnson said the property should be utilized by a business that would provide the city with some of the sales tax revenue it lost when the car dealerships closed.

Johnson said her hope is for a shopping complex of mixed use, such as Harbor Village on the corner of NE Seventh and Highway 20. But rather than having any big-chain stores like Starbucks, she said she’d prefer it offer a combination of regional mid-sized stores, like Whidbey Coffee, along with local mom-and-pop businesses.

Others hoped to see the existing building put to use. Chuck Bos, 96, bought the Ford dealership in the early 1950s when it was still located downtown. He moved the business to its present location and built the new building in 1956.

Bos said it would have been a great place for a furniture store and was disappointed it couldn’t be saved. However, he said Berg was a good man and understood.

“It’s a shame,” he said. “It’s a hell-of-a-good building.”

With its large wood and much of its internal timber framing still in good condition, Berg agrees that demolishing the structure and throwing everything away would be a waste. That’s why he’s hired a Bellingham-based consulting firm that specializes in the reuse of building materials from demolished structures.

According to Berg, just about everything in the building will be recycled, from the salvaged lumber to the cinderblocks and concrete.

He admits he isn’t saving any money this way, nor does he consider himself an overzealous environmentalist.

“I guess it just makes me feel better,” Berg said.

via The house of Fords falls in Oak Harbor – Whidbey News Times.

Meet the Itinerant Art Crew Transforming an Abandoned Berlin Amusement Park Into an Artist Wonderland – ARTINFO.com

Photo by Anthony Spinello
An old rollercoaster at Spreepark, an abandoned amusement park outside of Berlin

If you put your mind to it, pretty much anything can be converted into an art experience: basements become art galleries, factories become biennials, entire cities become art-world playgrounds. Adaptive reuse is all the rage, a postmodern urban balm that uses the power of art to resuscitate abandoned and irrelevant buildings and neighborhoods. “Kulturbahn” is such a project, a proposal to turn Spreepark Berlin, a forsaken amusement park built by the German Democratic Republic in 1969 and transferred to private hands after the Berlin wall fell, into a multimedia art playground.

Photographs of the site — located in in the city’s Treptower Park — show a constellation of amusement park attractions abandoned after Spreepark closed for good in 2001. Defunct swing rides sway next to weed-choked spinning teacups and “Dinoworld,” an overgrown field of colossal, graffitied dinosaur figures. Viewers can explore the current state of Spreepark through Kulturbahn’s Web site, scrolling through a satellite view of the site with flags pinning down different park landmarks. The dreamlike landscape certainly looks like fertile ground for an artistic intervention.

Musement, the group behind the proposed plan, is an interdisciplinary crew composed of gallerist Anthony Spinello, writer Stephanie Sherman, performance-art researcher and artist George Scheer, and artists Chris Lineberry and Agustina Woodgate. The group’s diverse composition reflects the scope of the project itself — to present “a new model for cultural amusement,” according to a statement on its Web site. Kulturbahn will be a “platform for art creation and exhibition that responds, reflects, and transforms transformative sites,” activating interest in Spreepark as a site of “universal imagination.”

via Meet the Itinerant Art Crew Transforming an Abandoned Berlin Amusement Park Into an Artist Wonderland – ARTINFO.com.

How to Appraise Your Appraiser | The ReUse People

It never fails. When a new business model is developed based on an older, established model, two things happen. First, older, entrenched businesses attempt to discredit, and in some cases demonize, the new model. Second, unscrupulous faux organizations spring up to make a quick buck off unsuspecting customers, even if it means flaunting the law.

When deconstruction companies first began to promote a softer approach to building removal so that valuable materials could be salvaged and landfills preserved, they were routinely discredited, often by the demolition industry itself. Fortunately, that picture has changed. While deconstruction still gets pooh-poohed occasionally, now the folks who do the bad-mouthing only end up discrediting themselves, not us.

Sadly, we haven’t been so fortunate when it comes to faux-organizations. In fact, the more popular deconstruction becomes, the more alert we need to be for the sharks and charlatans whose presence threatens the entire industry.

I’ve become particularly concerned of late about the burgeoning ranks of building-materials appraisers, some of whom are 1) unqualified, and/or 2) quote ridiculously high valuation rates in order to win appraisal jobs, regardless of the long-term consequences to the donor.

As you probably know, an independent, third-party appraiser enters the picture when an in-kind donation reaches $5,000 or more (most donations to TRP exceed this threshold). IRS regulations require a professional appraisal in order to assure a realistic, fair valuation of the donated materials.

Now, mind you, a fair valuation is not simply one that is low enough to avoid IRS scrutiny. It is one that meets or exceeds IRS requirements. IRS regulations on appraiser qualifications have become more stringent in the last few years, and TRP sets its own standards even higher.

The following paragraphs are excerpted from IRS Bulletin 561″Determining the Value of Donated Property” (revised April, 2007). I added the underlines for emphasis.

“A qualified appraiser is an individual who meets all the following requirements.

  1. 1. The individual either:
    • How to Appraise Your AppraiserHas earned an appraisal designation from a recognized professional appraiser organization for demonstrated competency in valuing the type of property being appraised, or
    • Has met certain minimum education and experience requirements. For real property, the appraiser must be licensed or certified for the type of property being appraised in the state which the property is located. For property other than real property, the appraiser must have successfully completed college or professional-level coursework relevant to the property being valued, must have at least 2 years of experience in the trade or business of buying, selling, or valuing the type of property being valued, and must fully describe in the appraisal his or her qualifying education and experience.
  2. The individual regularly prepares appraisals for which he or she is paid.
  3. The individual demonstrates verifiable education and experience in valuing the type of property being appraised. To do this, the appraiser can make a declaration in the appraisal that, because of his or her background, experience, education, and membership in professional associations. He or she is qualified to make appraisals of the type of property being valued.
  4. The individual has not be prohibited from practicing before the IRS under section 330(c) of title 31 of the United States Code at any time during the 3-year period ending on the date of the appraisal.
  5. The individual is not an excluded individual.”

The same bulletin considers an appraiser “excluded” if he or she “… acted as an agent for the transferor or donor in the transaction” or is “… any person employed by any of the above persons.” In discussions with our IRS auditor and CPA, these definitions were further clarified to include employees of the appraiser who happen to be close relatives of the deconstruction contractor or any officer of the nonprofit organization.

When a donor winds up paying additional taxes because their donation was unfairly valued or the appraiser was unqualified, the donor is not the only one to suffer. The reputation of the recipient organization takes a heavy blow as well. Frankly, I’m afraid that the IRS may drastically tighten its rules because of the shoddy and, in some cases, illegal practices of a few bad appraisers.

Individuals and companies that make the TRP list of qualified appraisers must agree to follow certain guidelines. Among other things, our appraisers are expected to prepare reports in accordance with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP), and to visit the project site prior to deconstruction to confirm the type, condition and characteristics and the materials being donated.

TRP refuses to compromise it values at any time, but especially when it comes to the valuation of donor materials. We are committed to providing donors with enough solid documentation to sustain the value of their donations, and we support that documentation with:

  • Laboriously detailed inventories
  • Internal quality control of such critical variables as materials received, documentation and inventory
  • Diligent, reputable managers who provide excellent customer service
  • Enviable salvage rates, made possible in part by our knowledge of reuse/recycling markets
  • Thoroughly vetted appraisers who can be trusted to produce fair-market appraisals

TRP has occasionally refused to accept donations from owners whose appraisers were either unqualified or “excluded” by the IRS. We did it for their protection as well as our own. In addition, we have refused to do business with appraisers who practice below-standard appraisal practices or evince insufficient qualifications. And we have de-certified a few deconstruction contractors because they continued to refer potential clients to questionable appraisers.

Whether you are a contractor, a nonprofit that accepts salvaged building materials, or a building owner considering deconstruction, I urge you to conduct your own due-diligence on any appraiser who gets involved in the donation process. If you need assistance, give TRP a call.

via How to Appraise Your Appraiser | The ReUse People.

Wait! don’t throw that away; it can be reused | GazetteNET – Massachusetts

NORTHAMPTON — A new group is forming in the city to find ways to stem the tide of items that end up in the city’s Glendale Road landfill.

Calling itself the ReUse Group, the panel has actually met once already, but is seeking more members as it prepares for a second meeting Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Department of Public Works headquarters on Locust Street.

Karen Bouquillon, the city’s solid waste supervisor, said the group aims to make it easier for residents to reduce what they dump in the landfill by offering convenient ways for more items to be reused. “It’s what’s going into the landfill that doesn’t need to go into the landfill,” she said.

Board of Public Works member MJ Adams, who co-chairs the committee with Rosemary Schmidt, also a BPW member, said it is important that the committee come up with a plan for improving the reuse program before the landfill closes.

“We could do better than we do on this,” she said. “The less we have to transport out of town and pay for, the more manageable it will be.”

While the long-term goal is to open a reuse facility, in the short term the group will plan one-time events to promote reuse and educate the public about ways to keep items out of the landfill.

For some time, city residents have been eager to start a swap center, sometimes known as a take-it-or-leave-it spot, that many other communities have established. But because Northampton’s Locust Street recycling center doesn’t have room for one, the idea never got off the ground.

One location being considered for the new swap center is the state highway department’s land next to the Locust Street recycling center, although other locations will be considered, she said.

“One of the priorities is that it be centrally located,” said Bouquillon.

She said the panel intends to work with other groups with a similar focus, including nonprofit thrift stores, or building materials groups dedicated to reuse.

Read the rest of the article here

via Wait! don’t throw that away; it can be reused | GazetteNET.

Recycling stores invest in community, environment – Herald News- Illinois

Story Image

A customer peruses just one area of the tidy 25,000-square-foot Habitat ReStore on Larkin Avenue south of Jefferson Street in Joliet, Ill. | Jan Larsen~for Sun-Times Media

JOLIET — They’re called ReStores, they’re all over the nation and now Joliet can claim its own at 200 S. Larkin Ave.

It’s the ultimate in recycling, plus a cost-effective way to improve or furnish homes — and a major fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

More than 100 donors helped this remarkable ReStore become a reality by renovating a white elephant — the old Crescent Electric Supply Co. — and stocking it with new appliances, flooring, lighting, plumbing fixtures, used furniture and more.

Donors, government officials, civic leaders and volunteers attended a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday.

But there were the shoppers, too, perusing tidy aisles of an amazing variety of goods in 25,000 square feet of warehousing and sales rooms. The Will County Habitat for Humanity ReStore hosted a “quiet” opening the past two weeks and has already been bombarded with people who want to buy — and people who want to give.

“We’ve been collecting (goods) since March,” said ReStore Manager Dan Dunn, who formerly operated the Sandwich Shoppe in downtown Joliet. “Each of our first two weekends we made $3,500.”

“ReStores save millions of tons from landfills,” said Executive Director Annette Leck, who worked furiously for about a year to see the store complete. “Our motto is: Invest in your community: shop, donate, volunteer.”

Habitat has a contract to rent the building for four years and offices have moved to remodeled spaces in front.

Habitat volunteers build decent, affordable homes for low-income families. “The ReStore is a major step for our local group that has already built 60 homes since its founding in 1988,” said Leck.

via Recycling stores invest in community, environment – Herald News.

Demolition News » Comment – Deconstruction course lacks ambition…

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Comment – Deconstruction course lacks ambition…

Laudable US training course looks to reduce landfill inputs. But does it go far enough.

That the UK and US are “two nations divided by a common language” will come as no surprise to any American visitor to the UK who has been to a shop and asked for a fanny pack. But it seems that these two nations are similarly divided by their outlook on all things recycling and environmental.

Take, for example, Dave Benink of Casper, Wyoming, a well-intentioned individual who is aiming to teach his American compatriots the fine art of building deconstruction, materials resource efficiency and landfill reduction.

Benink is currently seeking a local building upon which to test his methods of extracting the maximum materials reuse. According to the Billings Gazette, Benink would like to “tear out the sheet rock and remove the cabinets. He might take the floor, too.”

According to the article, Bennink has been trying for two decades 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

An admirable intention in these planet-friendly, environmentally-aware times. So, just how much of the remaining arisings does Benink consider acceptable landfill fodder?

“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 says.

Ten to 15 percent? On this side of the pond, that level of wastage would have you hauled before the environmental hanging judge. Indeed, the National Federation of Demolition Contractors’ membership – which are responsible for around 90 percent of all the UK’s demolition works – regularly achieve a recycling and reuse rate of close on 98 percent.

As NFDC chief executive famously said at last year’s international Demolition Summit: “If you want to learn about recycling, come tot he UK.”

via Demolition News » Comment – Deconstruction course lacks ambition….

Construction Executive Magazine – Going Green

The Benefits of Being Waste-Wise

By Chuck Herb

Client demands and regulatory pressures continue to drive improvements in diversion and recycling rates. Partly because of growing ecological concerns and less-than-ideal economic conditions, the cry for sustainable growth and fiscal responsibility has permanently impacted the way construction-related businesses approach waste management.

The Future of Waste Disposal

A recent report released by McGraw-Hill Construction revealed 61 percent of construction contractors rate waste management plans as the second most important aspect of green building, behind energy efficiency. The United States generated 143.5 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris in 2008 alone, but only 28 percent (40.2 million tons) was reused, recycled or sent to waste-energy facilities. The study shows contractors are beginning to recognize the substantial impact sustainable construction waste management can have on their businesses, and a growing number are adopting practices to reduce contributions to landfills.

LEED also is driving this new sense of environmental stewardship. According to a GreenBiz Group study, LEED buildings have recycled or reused nearly 25 million tons of waste so far. These figures are expected to mushroom to more than 400 million tons by 2020 and 780 million tons by 2030.

By 2013, McGraw-Hill Construction predicts the green building market will represent 25 percent of all new construction projects by value, equating to a $140 million market. This rapidly growing green share presents extensive opportunities for waste management. Companies at the forefront of the sustainability movement are actively looking for ways to reduce, recycle and reuse materials—leading to decreased costs, increased customer satisfaction and compliance with new government regulations.

With only 28 percent of construction and demolition waste being recycled, there’s a lot of room for improvement—especially because the majority of this waste can be recycled, reused onsite or salvaged for reuse elsewhere. In the past, it was difficult to get contractors to recycle, especially where landfill rates were low, because they didn’t have many cost-effective options. Today, that scenario has changed.

Lasting Benefits

In most cases, the cost of recycling is lower than the cost of throwing materials away. When these costs are spread across an entire construction project, the savings can amount to thousands (and often tens of thousands) of dollars. If recycling costs more than waste disposal, many will choose not to recycle. But if it’s cost-competitive or less expensive, it will be considered as a practical part of every job.

Additionally, because millions of tons of construction and demolition materials are unnecessarily disposed of in landfills throughout the country every year, rebate programs are providing a financial incentive for builders to recycle debris. These programs are designed to encourage contractors to have their mixed-materials waste (e.g., wood and metals) hauled to designated material-recovery facilities, where they’re given a per-ton discount on each ton delivered.

Not only does recycling reduce waste disposal costs and material expenses, but it also helps project teams earn points toward qualifying for LEED and other green building certification programs. The more experience contractors gain in waste prevention and recycling, the better chance they have of attracting the growing number of potential clients interested in participating in LEED and other green building certification programs.

Additionally, recycling gives contractors the option to declare a tax deduction when they donate reusable building materials to a nonprofit organization. And, it lessens the environmental impact of buildings by:

reducing depletion of natural resources such as trees, oil and minerals;

reducing manufacturing and transportation-related emissions and pollution;

using less energy and water compared to many virgin material product manufacturing processes; and

decreasing greenhouse gasses by using less energy for manufacturing and transportation.

Many construction industry professionals agree recycling is one of the most visible steps that can be taken toward sustainable building. Unlike energy-efficient HVAC or certified forest products, it is something many people understand, and this awareness can generate teamwork and motivation among workers on jobsites.

Customer requirements have changed and recycling has evolved into something that carries more weight among builders. If contractors can turn recycling into a shared vision that heightens camaraderie and teamwork, they—and the communities in which they build—can derive benefits that go far beyond a rebate or reduced haul rate.

Chuck Herb is co-owner of Sunshine Recycling, Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit www.dumpsters-orlando.com.

via Construction Executive Magazine – Going Green.

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

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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.