Founder of Community Forklift & Executive Manager of the Alliance for Regional Cooperation, Jim Schulman discusses his work on the Building Materials Reuse Association. His work in cooperation with the DC Sierra Club and others are pushing building code changes to help rescue building materials from the waste stream.
Demolition dumps materials into landfills, boosts carbon emissions and releases asbestos and other harmful matter into the air, says Ald. Bob Bauman.
The Common Council approved the new deconstruction ordinance – which was co-sponsored by Alds. Nik Kovac and Khalif Rainey – Tuesday, and the rule that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, requires deconstruction rather than demolition of most one- to four-family buildings built before 1930 that are scheduled to be razed.
“A long slow goodbye”…that’s how Lois Cortell, Senior Development Manager for the city, described the deconstruction of the Webber Building, also known as the Old Montgomery Theatre downtown.The deconstruction process has been ongoing for about a year now. Cortell says it’s not to be confused with demolition.”One of the conditions of the sale was to maximize the salvage of the materials and to do that really involved a slow deconstruction” she explained.
John Owen talks about his passion for architectural salvage in his new shop, Dry Levee Architectural Salvage.
TY KERNEA | HERALD-CITIZEN
A lot of the items he’s salvaged have been leased for props in weddings. “That’s a trend that’s starting to really take off,” he said. Several school teachers also approached him asking about historic elements he has found. “It’s a hands-on tool for those kids,” he said. One of the first projects was the deconstruction of a log cabin that housed 10 children in the early 1900s. “It was a small cabin,” he said. “When we took it down, the grandson of one of those kids found me and asked what I did with it. He wanted us to rebuild it for him. So that’s what we did.”
“Second Chance and the appraisal company had a mountain of information about the IRS’ hostile view of the benefits that the defendants were promoting,” said Ugo Colella, a partner with Duane Morris, the law firm representing the plaintiffs. “The representations they were making were at best incomplete, and at worst, they were hiding this information to ensure the donors keep coming. Either way, the defendants withheld critical information from Maryland consumers.”
The problem, the lawsuit contends, is that Second Chance and NoVaStar have known for many years that (1) the IRS audited consumers and did not allow tax refunds or deductions for house donations made to Second Chance, and (2) that NoVaStar’s appraisals were IRS non-compliant. According to the complaint, despite this knowledge, Second Chance and NoVaStar concealed that information from Maryland consumers, including Gogtay and Dixit.
City owned home at 2817-19 North 22nd Street. Photo from the City of Milwaukee.
The ordinance will kick in whenever the city is set to demolish a structure or a private contractor seeks a permit to demolish. And there are exceptions to the mandate to deconstruct if there are safety considerations or the salvageable materials have been damaged by something like a fire. While Bauman and Kovac are both historic preservation hawks in Milwaukee, because demolition and deconstruction jobs employ individuals from underserved communities in the city Bauman said “I do see this primarily as a job creation tool.”
“If we can save that amount of space in the landfills, that means that we’re not generating emissions from the decaying of those materials,” said expo organizer and re-use consultant, Sara Badiali. “The environmental impact is astounding.”
The eight to 10 participants then we will go to a “cracker shack” and pull it apart, with hands-on training and oversight “because most of salvage is understanding the ‘feel’ of the wood and how to remove items based on pressure points, leverage, and listening to the cues that the wood gives you.”This $100 per person course — $75 for a second person from the same family or organization — will be fun but hard work. There are risks involved with deconstruction and anyone entering the jobsite must acknowledge and sign a waiver, the company said.
Master of Special Problem Solving, Dave Bennink Disassembles 1,000 Buildings by Hand
by Sara Badiali
Imagine you are packing your car for a trip. You can only move your gear once, but you still have to maximize space. Sound difficult? Now imagine you have to do it with a stranger’s gear. That’s what Dave Bennink of Re-Use Consulting has been doing almost every week for the past 25 years.
But instead of gear, he does it with entire dismantled buildings. Dave’s expertise is in disassembling structures, staging the components for transport, and then moving them to be resold.
Dave deconstructs buildings for reuse. He’s dismantled 1,000 structures, in 42 states and 4 providences. He is a master of spatial problem solving. The materials are so big and take up so much space on site that they can only be moved once.
Dave Bennink’s extensive knowledge and experience meant that when the City of Portland passed their new Deconstruction Ordinance, they asked Dave to train the City’s first Certified Deconstruction Contractors. They also tapped him to train and certify a new deconstruction workforce.
In addition to his own business dismantling structures, Dave is a certified Deconstruction Trainer for the Building Material Reuse Association. He’s done trainings for the City of Seattle, Vancouver, other municipalities, numerous small businesses and organizations.
Students are drilled in safety, technique, material recovery, recycling, diversion equations, staging and selling materials. All of the lessons take place in the actual building the students are deconstructing.
It is a common site to see Dave drawing out waste diversion calculations on the interior walls one day, and the next day the walls are gone. If you ever buy reclaimed materials with calculations on them, you may have just purchased a piece of one of Dave’s many classrooms.
Along with his own business, and deconstruction training, Dave also is a consultant for reclaimed building material reuse start-ups. Guiding entrepreneurs with reuse business planning, deconstruction jobs, and marketing used building materials is Dave’s passion.
He is happy to help new converts into the world of environmental stewardship, job creation, community building, and healthy alternatives to demolition. His motto is “Say no to the track hoe”.
If you are interested in meeting Dave Bennink you can see him present twice at the Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo: Saving Our Past, Building the Future conference in Portland, Oregon on September 24th-27th. Dave will be on a panel with some of his certified deconstruction students. He will also be speaking on the basic principles of starting a reuse business (including spatial acumen).
Dave will be presenting at the Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo with over 50 other building material reuse experts, and hundreds of participants. This is the largest building material reuse event in the country and is being hosted by the City of Portland, Metro, the Reclamation Administration, and Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions.
Details, an organization in Baltimore, is one of dozens of similar groups around the country helping to remake cities through deconstruction. USA TODAY
Advocates hail deconstruction as a win-win that is more economical and environmentally friendly than demolition. They say it creates needed jobs and can help depressed cities turn things around. “The systematic deconstruction and dismantling of buildings has a profound role in transforming communities,” said Anne Nicklin, executive director of the Building Materials Reuse Association, based in Chicago. Deconstruction seems to be on the rise, Nicklin said, citing programs not only in Baltimore, but also in Chicago, Detroit, Portland, Buffalo, Cleveland and other places.
Recycled doors from Materials Unlimited in Detroit. Image: Lucy Schroeder
Domicology is a new term coined by some experts looking to repurpose materials from old buildings to avoid large scale waste and high landfill costs.
Last chance for earlybird pricing + outstanding keynotes + book your hotel now!
Fireworks Flash Sale Thru Friday!
Say that five times fast…
In keeping with a celebratory week, we’ve created a special sale and brought back earlybird pricing on Decon + Reuse ’17 for five days only!. Register today to lock in the savings, or wait til Sunday and help donate a bit extra to the BMRA.
Jim Lindberg & Adam Minter – Keynote Speakers
We have locked down two really outstanding keynote speakers for the conference. On Monday September 25th, Adam Minter will kick off the conference speaking to the globalization of reuse and recycling markets. Then on Tuesday we’ll hear from Jim Lindberg of Preservation Green Lab on how reuse is a key tool of re-urbanization and future building.
Hotel Blocks in Portland
The low low pricing that we managed to negotiate at two hotels in Portland expires on 7/24/17 – book your rooms today!
These logs are from trees that began growing about 500 years old or more, the remaining spoils of the logging boom that ravished eastern Canada’s forests throughout the 19th century. At the time, millions of logs were transported along waterways, floated down rivers and over rapids and hauled across lakes by tugboats in giant ‘booms’. They were destined for the shipyards of Europe and sawmills of America. Sometimes these logs sank to the bottom of the lake, where they were preserved in the cold, dark water. Only now, nearly two hundred years later, are they resurfacing.
The Reclamation Administration has made a lot of friends over the years.
We are proud to say that over a third of the speakers for Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo: Saving our Past, Building the Future are from our invitations. These presenters have all been featured on the Reclamation Administration going as far back as 2011!
Here is a list of Presenters brought to you by the Reclamation Administration. You can see them all in Portland, Oregon on September 24th – 27th at the Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo.
The Up-Cycle House in Blackheath.
The Blue Mountains house restoration was driven by the concept that rather than demolishing an old home that has “reached the end of its life cycle”, it could be “up-cycled”.
United Workers, an advocacy group, founded the Baltimore Housing Roundtable in 2013, by bringing 25 different organizations together to confront affordable-housing issues in the city. The group advocates the city to set up a land bank to expedite the conversion of vacant houses and properties to affordable housing and grant priority to ex-offenders for employment and training to work on such projects. It recommended “deconstruction” a process that will allow for more job opportunities and recycling of building materials.
Mat Ouellette, assistant project manager for Chinburg Properties, shows an orginal low ceiling area that still remains, before a new level is built, at the Frank Jones Brew Yard in Portsmouth. [Rich Beauchesne/Seacoastonline]
“The quality is amazing,” said Spitzer, about the wood planks with aged patina. Spitzer said a local craftsman will use some of the timbers to make club room fixtures and tables, mill some for shelving and use other old planks for finish work. More of the pine timbers will be reused for counter tops and furniture, he said.
Preserving part of the the Rivoli Theater in St. Louis Courtesy National Building Arts Center
“I just love old buildings,” Giles said. “It’s a big collection, without a doubt, the largest that I’m aware of, and the idea was to develop it as a comprehensive study collection. The idea has grown into a collection of pieces from all over the country. The history here is a national history.”
© Nic Granleese
Rather than discarding all the old materials, the architects strove to salvage and reuse as much of the old house as possible: wood boards, fencing, doorknobs and vents. The architects say: Like fragile museum artefacts, these were carefully removed, labelled, stored and re-installed in their original location on a new mount that not only highlights their charms by contrast but allows the house to live again in a new way.
A deconstruction crew, including a man with a chainsaw atop a crane bucket, slowly saws down a grain elevator that’s stood as a landmark of sort on the south side of St. Anthony for more than 100 years. Joyce Edlefsen
Trost’s Feed and Seed started life in 1901 or 1902 as Miller Brothers. It burned down almost as soon as it was completed, but the brothers rebuilt it the next year. According to a sign painted on the Miller elevator, it dealt in grain, flour, produce, eggs, feed stuff, salt and coal.The Black Elevator, nicknamed for its dark, oxidized wood color, apparently was used at about the same time, and seemed to have been owned by the same people as the other elevators in town.
Working largely by hand, the crew was able to save virtually every stick in the building. Longleaf Lumber was able to salvage hemlock decking 3 inches thick and up to 28 inches wide, virgin growth white pine 6 x 15 inch timbers, and top grade 6 x 15 inch longleaf pine beams.
(Photo: Nina Mehlhaf)
That rule means a lot more certified deconstruction experts are needed. Tuesday, the city let us into a hands-on workshop at a home on Northwest 23rd Avenue, where 15 men and women were learning the trade.
Deconstruction of an 1884 House in Portland. | Credit: Scott A. Tice
It is important to note, too, that Portland city leaders also considered deconstruction as a job engine. Although rehabilitation of an older building—one that is neither demolished nor deconstructed—is likely to generate more jobs than deconstruction, supporters of the ordinance noted that deconstruction will provide six to eight jobs for every one job associated with traditional mechanized demolition. Furthermore, although it doesn’t compare to the reuse of an entire building, deconstruction will provide carbon-reduction benefits by preserving the embodied energy of at least some existing building materials and by cutting the greenhouse gasses associated with sending waste to landfills.
Christina Radvak leads Habitat for Humanity’s deconstruction team which removes useable materials from homes slated for demolition. The materials, construction materials, hardware and other useable goods, are sold through the non-profit society’s ReStores, which are located throughout B.C. ReStores are a popular shopping outlet for do-it-yourselfers and smaller contractors.
Badelt, a Buildex Vancouver panel member at session W33: Deconstruction and the Green Demolition Bylaw on Feb. 15-16, said the city brought the bylaw, which is similar to those in the U.S., into effect for two reasons. Cities want to reduce landfill materials, but many of these earlier homes contain quality wood and craftsmanship.
“These buildings have old-growth wood and we want to save those materials as well as the architectural details such as the old style windows. We saw a lot of material that could be salvaged and recycled,” he said. The bylaw also aligns itself with heritage conservation values in the city.
Salvage Works, North Portland, Tracy Barry, KGW
Browning is part artist, part builder, so It’s not surprising that he is drawn to the inner beauty of the reclaimed lumber. And lucky for him, so are many others, just as eager to search for the stories hidden in every grain and to embrace the promise of reinvention.
“The members of Preserve Historic Missoula and all those supporting the appeal to preserve the historic Mercantile building are profoundly disappointed in Judge Deschamps’ ruling to permit the demolition of Missoula’s most iconic commercial building,” Hall wrote. “We have appreciated this opportunity to express our concerns through the judicial system and its thoughtful consideration.”
Hall wrote that PHM has maintained that the deconstruction permit process for the Merc was flawed. In particular, they believe that the process followed by the city council did not comply with the Historic Preservation Ordinance. They have requested that the law be clarified. Hall said nearly 4,700 people signed their petition affirming that the Merc is worth saving.
With the addition of minarets, Hagia Sophia was converted from a Christian basilica to an Islamic mosque. Candace Richards, Author provided
This bold inclusion of old material in a new monument for Rome led to a whole new recycling trend in architecture. Decorative elements such as columns, capitals and architraves were given new life in buildings of the fourth century CE. The trend became so popular that new laws were created to protect public buildings from being stripped of their decoration. Only if a building could not be restored was it permitted to recycle that building’s materials.
Photo by Ramona Campos December 16, 2016
The Allards got the name of Second Chance through an architect they had met. Once they realized the win-win situation that using Second Chance presented to them: making a tax deductible donation to deconstruct, paying less than demolishing would cost, doing something positive for young men who wanted to turn their lives around, and avoiding putting tons of materiel into a landfill: they were ready to sign on the dotted line. On top of that, the owner gets 15 points towards green home certification.
Originally slated for a remodel, a condemned house at the DePauw Campus Farm is instead serving as a winter term project, with students (below) figuring out how to tear down the home with the smallest environmental impact. Courtesy photos/DEPAUW UNIVERSITY
But even that knowledge is useful, Everett argues, whether for an architect planning for the entire lifecycle of a building, or a college student learning the bigger picture of what it means to build a home.
“For us, even if the financial opportunities of deconstruction are few, the educational opportunities are extremely plentiful,” Everett said. In addition to the deconstruction aspect of the course, students are also being exposed to outside perspectives on the life of materials, with guest lectures from arts and humanities professors as well as recycling and building deconstruction professionals.
“The thing I most want students to take away from this course is an embodied understanding that they have the power to make real change in the world, right now,” Everett said. “Nothing stands between them and the work of making the world a better, more sensible, more caring, more mindful place – starting here, at DePauw, with this house.”
Philadelphia Community Corps executive director Greg Trainor inside a worksite in Fairmount. (Credit: Tom Rickert)
The job training nonprofit he [Greg Trainor] started in 2014 has graduated 18 students into OSHA-certified deconstruction technicians in the past year. He’s opened a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Kensington with classrooms and space for construction projects. And Greg and his job trainees have salvaged more than 50 tons of wood, metal, and building material from the bones of Philadelphia’s abandoned buildings.
We need your help to finish building out our shop in its new location. We share building space with Refab STL, an amazing non-profit providing skills training to former combat veterans by deconstructing old buildings in and around St. Louis. These materials are then processed and stored for resale in the historic 40,000 square foot building along Route 66, which houses Citizen Carpentry’s new workshop. Citizen Carpentry aims to be the first worker-owned woodworking co-operative of its kind in the Midwest, encouraging community members, artists, and entrepreneurs to utilize our shop for their work. We have the chance to be a hub of creative revitalization, recycling, and skill-sharing in a city sorely lacking in opportunities.
“We supplied the new material and, once the event had come to a close, the house was disassembled and we took all the materials back. This was followed by an examination of the condition, its presentation and value before determining possible reuse or recovery options. Distributors have a crucial role to play in the circular economy and it’s clear that strong collaborative linkages with solid supply chain support are essentials to a circular economy model.”
ReFab Founder Eric Scharz. Photo by J.B. Forbes.
Schwarz’s experience had taught him that in an increasingly imitative world, some people hungered for an authenticity conceived in the marriage of age and use.
He founded Refab, a salvage yard in south St. Louis, in a condemned building four years ago. At the time, he had about $3,000 in his pocket and an idea for salvaging discarded building materials and turning around the lives of veterans. Today, Schwarz leases a 40,000-square-foot warehouse off Gravois Avenue and employs 14 people. His budget for 2017 is $1.2 million. That growth is partly attributable to a backlash against the uniformity produced by globalization.
The customers who frequent this two story red-brick repository of rescued material are weary of seeing the same furniture, the same sinks and the same light fixtures — all of it mass-produced on the other side of the planet. “You go into a lot of houses — and I don’t know if we coined the phrase — but they are all ‘Lowes’d up,’” said Randy Miller, who was looking for material for his coffee shop in Southern Illinois. “This is a like a candy store.”
This is expected to divert about 8 million pounds of material from landfills per year and affect about 30% of homes that would be demolished. A study from the Northwest Economic Research Center estimates the policy could create 30-50 jobs and up to $1.5 million in local economic activity.
Bill Howard moves a piece of lumber across the table on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, at the Hill House in Rockford. Howard hopes to repurpose all the lumber in the North Main Street mansion through a process known as “historic deconstruction.” KAYLI PLOTNER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/RRSTAR.COM
Marks and the other men in this house can’t easily find steady work because of their criminal history. They’ve been brought here and hired by Bill Howard, a city-licensed demolition contractor who used to design landfills and now spends his days trying not to fill them up.
Howard, 72, is an evangelist of “historic deconstruction,” the process of carefully stripping historically salvageable material from buildings and reusing it.
Rebuilding Center Photo
Dismantling a home carefully enough that its components can be reused is a more intricate process than demolition. It takes longer and requires more labor in place of machinery. At first glance, the labor costs make deconstruction more expensive than demolition. In most cases, though, the tax benefits more than pay for deconstruction—the value of salvaged materials, which can be donated for tax credit or saved for reuse in later projects, is typically thousands of dollars greater than the cost difference between deconstruction and demolition. “When you don’t have to use energy to create a project, you’re just harvesting, it’s almost like free money,” Badiali says. “By simply dismantling something, you’re creating a product. You’re adding value.”
North Portland’s Rebuilding Center – KATU photo
“All of us are pro-urban density, we all understand the concept, but you can’t make these changes this fast and give nothing back to the communities who are there in the first place,” said Seward, “If Portland doesn’t pony up, it may already be too late.” Moretti hopes in the future, the city will consider including homes built in the 20’s and 30’s.
Workers take part in a “deconstruction” of an old motel on U.S. Highway 2 in Cass Lake.
Fisher is part of a social enterprise called Miigwech Aki, or “Thank you, Earth” led by Christopher Bedeau. The goal is to provide jobs and training in northern Minnesota, partnering with tribes and the local communities, while honoring Mother Earth by diverting resources from landfills.
When he decided to demolish this latter building, Bruggink made use of its materials to fit out the empty shell of the coach house.
Reba VanAcker and her son Christopher Green. By Gerry O’Brien H&N Editor
When Green put the word out on the Internet that DoubleHead had well-preserved timber from the 1930s to the 1960s, a group of Japanese buyers jumped on it. “They flew out here and were overwhelmed at what we had,” Green said. As it turns out, Japanese love all things from the West. The Japanese reproduce vintage-style door handles, lamps, clothing, etc. They use our lumber for flooring, wall coverings, doors and furniture.” “It was like watching kids in a candy store. They were literally running from place to place. We sold them four container loads of flooring,” Green said, mainly two- by 12-foot slats.
Portland gains a lot by deconstructing rather than demolishing. It gains jobs—deconstruction employs, on average, six people to every one that demolition requires. It gains quality materials—the tight grain of old growth timber in older homes is strong enough to fold a nail. It gains a healthier planet when we divert waste from landfills—according to the city, about 20 percent of landfill waste comes from construction and demolition. It also avoids the toxins from lead and asbestos that are released into the air when homes are demolished.
Source: Deconstructing Portland – Curbed
Renaissance Book Shop. Photo by Michael Horne
Thoman and her firm are on a mission to “facilitate and educate the world on how to give back to the environment, by thinking past the dumpster.” She is adamantly opposed to what she sees as the waste generated by conventional demolition.
TRI-COUNTY TIMES | TIM JAGIELO
While the landscaping is still well tended, the house on Shiawassee Avenue, as of Friday, Sept. 9, was nearly gone.
“We’ve been building homes for years, and have demolished a lot,” said Bloomingdale. “I always felt bad about disposing of material that we’re never going to find again. Slow-growth lumber doesn’t exist anymore and here we are throwing it away.” That’s why Bloomingdale decided to get himself a warehouse and start dismantling and reusing materials out of these homes.
Before you demolish… should you deconstruct? Some residential buildings may be good candidates for full deconstruction (rather than demolition). Or before demolishing them, you could salvage materials with architectural value or reuse potential.
(Credit: Lovett Deconstruction)
“We’re providing money to these projects but we’re getting something back,” says Wood. “We’re getting hard data but then also some softer stuff like lessons learned.” That feedback helped inform the deconstruction ordinance. Grant recipients were required to place a sign on the site of an active deconstruction, for example, to educate the public and promote the method. The ordinance requires signage too. The grants will continue; they’ve recently been increased to $3,000.
Mike Hudson, standing in the hayloft of his current barn project, says he will deconstruct about 10-12 barns in the next year. He sells the reclaimed wood at his lumberyard in Elbert, Colorado. (Photo by Kristofor Husted, Harvest Public Media)
“Most people want those accent pieces,” he says. “They want to have those pretty beams in the ceiling or they want to have the barn wood walls, or the tables and the furniture.” A few years ago, many farmers didn’t understand how valuable their old barns were and might have been swindled, Bowe says, but today they know the capital they’re sitting on. He says we’re in the midst of a barn wood frenzy right now, but it still likely has a shelf life. Indeed, there are only so many weathered barns in the U.S.
Building Research Establishment Trust is working on several research projects focused on mitigation and resilience to climate change
Another research project last year also looked at the impacts of deconstruction – or, essentially, demolishing buildings – on the circular economy, as “effectively dealing with buildings at the end of their life has the potential to unlock significant economic value”, according to the Trust. Construction and the built environment is the single biggest user of materials and generator of waste in the UK economy, but the value that can be extracted from deconstruction is very much dependent on how buildings have been designed and built.
Starting at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, Camp Okoboji will be auctioning off its Crafts building in order to make room for the new DISCOVER Activity Center.
The goal is to recycle, reclaim and repurpose as much of the Crafts building as possible. It has many old windows and doors, benches, work tables, wood flooring, tongue and grove siding and paneling, exhaust fans, bathroom fixtures, etc.