“At least we can salvage, and save parts of the building and keep some of these in circulation,” Snyder said. “We’ve done quite a bit of salvage work.”
“At least we can salvage, and save parts of the building and keep some of these in circulation,” Snyder said. “We’ve done quite a bit of salvage work.”
The Prairie Barn Brothers are taking on their biggest project yet: the deconstruction of a 126 x 68 two-storey timber frame barn. (Stefanie Davis/CTV News)
“There’s so many different unique applications you can do with the barn wood that just makes it stunning,” he said. “We regularly get cedar, fir, spruce and spine as the major types of wood.”
The Phoenix Net Loft has deteriorated even further, according to a recent engineering report, and could cause contamination to the Fraser River if it collapsed.
Photograph By FILE PHOTO
City staff are asking council to approve a plan to deconstruct the 1940s building where fishing nets were cleaned and repaired until the early 2000s, but the plan includes keeping as many of the “heritage elements” as possible.
Skanska’s Jimmy Mitchell has been a strong advocate for salvaged building materials for more than a decade.
From Long Beach to Boston, a new generation of organizations has grown up around the deconstruction of buildings and the sale of reusable materials. They’re often nonprofits backed by local architects, builders and environmental groups. Their aim is to build a supply chain that puts salvaged goods on equal footing with new products and materials.
A 2016 photo of the U.S. Gypsum marine loading crib in Tawas Bay on Lake Huron, offshore of the company’s former mine and overwater tramway in Alabaster Township, Mich. (Garret Ellison | MLive)Garret Ellison | MLive
As part of a mutual agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USG stated that it will be documenting the deconstruction of the historic structure for archiving purposes. Images will regularly be shared on the company’s webpage.
Wesley Posvar Jr.
“It’s a project started by Jay Troutman to make sure we reuse and repurpose as much of the materials and plants as we can,” he said. “It started with the plants,” said Mr. Troutman, vice president of Fox Chapel Borough Council.
Jocelyn Aucoin of the Canning-based 1850 House specializes in dismantling historic structures by hand and salvaging material that can be reused. – Ashley Thompson
Aucoin sees the growing popularity of tiny homes as an opportunity to find another use for the reclaimed material 1850 House is able to salvage by carefully dismantling heritage homes in a manner the significantly reduces the amount of waste bound for a landfill.
The city needs to use original brick to reconstruct the corner of 234 Butler St. Photo by Meg Capone
Federal and state officials have upheld an agreement with the city to reuse tens of thousands of original bricks to restore the facade of the historic Gowanus Station site when construction crews tear down the building for a new water-filtration facility, according to an April 21 letter.
Meanwhile, the ordinance’s continued suspension provides more time to develop a market for materials recycled from deconstructed houses. Selling those materials helps reduce the higher cost of deconstruction.
The National Association of Home Builders reports that 58,600 houses were removed from their lots in 2017 to make way for newer, almost always larger, houses. Many of them were obsolete places that nobody wanted, and the land under most was probably more valuable than the houses themselves. But instead of being demolished, at least some could have been deconstructed: taken apart systematically so their parts could be reused.
Image: author provided.
Advanced sensors and AI that can detect quickly and determine accurately what can be used among CDW and efficient robotic sorting could aid circular construction by vastly improving the recycling of a wide range of materials. The focus should be on the smart dismantling of buildings and ways of optimising cost-effective processes.
“In a demolition project, the entire building is demolished and wrecked,” said Olivia Cashman, construction and waste specialist with Hennepin County. “Whereas in a deconstruction project, the building is taken a part and it’s typically by hand so that process typically takes a lot more labor and time.”
This article explores how heritage values can be productively sustained or transformed by processes of building deconstruction and materials reuse, which address the increasing magnitude of demolition waste, landfill and resource use in urban development. The article starts by examining literature in heritage studies, sustainable building, and discard studies, then presents two examples from Vancouver, a Canadian city under intense development pressure, to help frame questions from project and policy contex
Hennepin County has a total of about $100,000 in deconstruction grants available for 2020.
PHOTO: CLARA HOWELL – Workers have started building vertical on the new City Hall building.
Redevelopment Manager Sidaro Sin said contractors were able to recycle 90% of the two existing buildings — a former medical office and doggy day care — that were on the property where the new City Hall is being built. That was about 15% more than the contractors’ original goal.
A 2017 UN Environment report estimated the building sector contributes 49 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions thus making it the single largest contributor to climate change. Globally, building operations account for 28 percent of GHG emissions and the embodied carbon of building materials–the emissions generated in the production, transport, and assembly of materials such as wood, concrete, and steel–accounts for another 11 percent.
Jeremiah Logemann rummages through a storage locker Friday to show off some of the parts from the St. Raphael steeple that he plans to turn into pieces of art. St. Raphael in Downtown Madison was destroyed by fire in 2005. Since its demolition in 2008, the steeple has been kept in a lot along East Washington Avenue, but Logemann assumed ownership of the spire in June when the Madison Diocese was looking for a way to dispose of the 18-ton structure. STEVE APPS/STATESMAN JOURNAL
“I’ve been busy as hell since that day. It’s kind of miraculous,” Logemann said. “There are a lot of people in Madison that either just want art to make their place look cooler or they like the story of the steeple or a barn or they’re philanthropists. It doesn’t matter where their heart is at. We’ve got the material and I have the drive to make it. We can make great public art all over this city.”
Worker removes plaster from a brick wall with a perforatorGETTY
If the salvageable material from deconstructing your house is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, you should not need to pay somebody to take the house apart so that you can give the pieces to charity. There should be people waving money in front of your face to come in and take it apart.
For about six months last year, the St. Louis Development Corporation hired workers to carefully take apart a former storage warehouse in the Vandeventer neighborhood and saved lumber, brick and other materials for reuse.
DAVID KOVALUK | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO
“Each job is like a cadaver. You get to dissect the building, see how it was put together, how it worked, how it could fail,” Schwarz said. “And each job is different. You don’t always know going into it what exactly is going to be there.”
Dismantling a historic barn is an exacting process, requiring weeks of logistical planning. Because the team hopes to repurpose every piece of wood, most work is done by hand, with the occasional support of heavy machinery. “The barn has its own plan,” says manager Anthony Saraceno. “There are always surprises.” Photo by Joe Polillio
Each salvage job is unique. In the case of Pitney Farm, a portion of the grounds is to be converted into a public park. Some of the salvaged wood was set aside to build benches for the park. Real Antique Wood will repurpose the rest. “I’ve probably made 25 mantels from the beams of that barn already,” says Anthony Saraceno, who manages the mill and Real Antique Wood.
‘To me, this indicates the need to further question the current practices of the construction sector. How is it that something so simple and obvious as keeping reusable resources intact and in circulation can have become so complicated to put into practice?’
The crews carefully deconstruct old homes to rescue as many reusable materials as possible, including old growth timber.
With the climate crisis in our face, and the need to keep forests in the ground, Corneil recognized an opportunity for a holistic approach to demolition. He shifted his Vancouver construction business two years ago into a deconstruction company called the Unbuilders, and business is good.
The volunteer group started recycling the bricks from the former Harbour Board building in 2018.
A community effort to recycle material from Whangārei’s old Harbour Board building has come to a close and after two and a half years of chipping, project leader Andrew Garratt is counting nearly 40,000 bricks to be used in the new Hundertwasser Arts Centre.
Ethical bank Triodos claim their new headquarters is the world’s first totally demountable office building. Photograph: Ossip van Duivenbode
With a structure made entirely from wood, it has been designed with mechanical fixings so that every element can be reused, with all material logged and designed for easy disassembly.
“It can be hard to describe exactly what we do because we do a lot! Our deconstruction team takes apart old buildings; our resale team finds new homes for the reclaimed materials; and our Refab Lab crew turns some of those materials into high-quality home furnishings. On top of all that, we provide training and reemployment opportunities to recently homeless men.”
Throwback from 2015.
From the chapel, more than 250 tons of material was reused or recycled with almost 85 percent diversion, and nearly 700 tons of material was reused or recycled from the laundry with a 73 percent diversion rate. Overall, the three buildings totaled 1,717 tons of material of which 1,246 tons was reused or recycled, making the project a successful venture.
Policies worldwide recognize that the construction sector needs to take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, tackle the climate crisis and limit resource depletion, with a focus on adopting a circular economy approach in construction to ensure the sustainable use of construction materials.
Instead of simply knocking buildings down and sending the CDW to landfill, circular construction would turn building components that are at the end of their service life into resources for others, minimizing waste.
Imploding the building was an option but considered too risky to public safety.
“You can’t put a dollar value on health and safety.” Deconstruction was a more conservative option but the company did not want to end up in court if demolition caused problems.
“We are already selling pieces from the hotel’s interior on our website. Items for sale include light fixtures fashioned from Venetian glass and French crystal, along with more than 40 marble mantels carved in a variety of styles, including a $40,000 inlaid marble mantel from the US Ambassadors Suite. More affordable items include steak knives ($25), polished bronze swan hook ($45), stainless steel slotted egg spoon ($20), and a steel ice scoop ($10),” added Browne.
Workers from the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse have already begun the deconstruction process as part of YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s long-term expansion plan. (YWCA Evanston/North Shore)
YWCA is partnering with the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse because the local non-profit organization employs high quality, sustainable deconstruction practices.
Homes along Laukahi Street with Hawaii Loa Ridge homes in the background, 2015. The City and County of Honolulu could pass a law to require better use of teardowns.
Seeing the pile of rubbish that was once a house made of beautiful clear heart redwood, I could not help thinking about the environmental activists, U.S. National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service staff who have worked for decades in California to save the remaining giant redwoods from logging, while here in Hawaii we are using them for landfill. There was a significant value loss as well since similar redwood boards (8-feet-by-8-feet) would cost at least $50 each if bought locally.
A work crew deconstructs a Southeast Portland home in 2015 (The Oregonian/File)
The majority of council members said Wednesday that they plan to approve the ordinance, and Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty and Chloe Eudaly said they would like to see a more severe penalty for violators. A first offense can lead to a fine of up to $500 and a third or more can be up to $1,500. “I support everything else, but I think if you’re going to hold people accountable, they’ve got to feel it,” Hardesty said. “This is not something that they’re going to feel.”
“Number one, it’s an economic driver,” said 15th District Alderman Russell Stamper II. “We’re providing opportunities for individuals to learn skills on how to deconstruct, put some money in their pocket, and most of all have a job right here in the city of Milwaukee.”
This was the first deconstruction project in the City of Milwaukee since the passage of an ordinance in January, 2018 which hopes to create a new market for repurposed building materials, reduction of waste and job creation for Milwaukee residents.
Buildings like the vacant row houses in Baltimore can be demolished, but they can also be deconstructed to salvage the materials. The salvaging process requires much more time and labor than demolition. For Baltimore – a city with an unemployment rate of nearly 5%, climbing up to 15% or more in some neighborhoods, and a poverty rate nearly double the national average – this presents an opportunity.
Prasad would like to see architects ‘go for it’ even without the requirements of the London Plan. He said: ‘Circular economy applies to buildings of all scale and all types, and I would love to see it being applied to smaller buildings than the threshold indicates at the moment.’ He said this was not ‘a glum duty’ or ‘dreadful imposition’. ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to innovate and think in different ways. And the lovely thing is, it can be done on so many fronts. As the name implies, the circular econo
The project will see over 1,000 homes demolished and materials reused. Based on an initial assessment of the regeneration project, the scale of benefits that may be realised through comprehensive implementation of Clarion’s circular economy strategy are significant.
The idea works like this: before an abandoned building is torn down, crews salvage all the materials they can get from it – like wood – and keep it out of landfills. At the same time, they give the people who live in those neighborhoods the job of doing that. “It gives you a new sense of your community,” said Baltimore native Kobe Bland, who works at Brick and Board. “You start to view your community a little different because you see the potential of what could be.” What started out as the “Baltimore Wood
The most interesting architectural feature of the Rehoboth Public School is its modernist, art deco-style main entrance.
“Because of the salvage value, and the fact the contractor could do the work in the summer when there were few people on site, we were able to get a relatively low demolition cost, so everybody wins,” said Bassett.
Contractor Alex Clarke was carefully taking the single-car garage apart by hand, separating various building materials for reuse and recycling, when he pulled off an interior wall to discover hundreds of newspapers and magazines. Nailed in neat stacks between the studs as insulation and protected between cardboard, much of the paper was in surprisingly good condition.
The redwood boards they’re recovering from the library are a wide range of shapes and sizes and they’ll use them for a number of student projects, including siding the first ever CR tiny house. They’ll also run it through the Architectural Millworks class to use as molding and trim on next year’s student-built house, which will be constructed in an historic neighborhood in Eureka. Using this old growth redwood will tie the new house in with the aesthetic of the neighborhood and maintain its historic integri
Poppy Johnston | 17 September 2019
As resources become scarcer, building owners may one day be able to sell walls, ceilings and floors to other developers, instead of demolishing them.
In practise, circular construction is all about the “connections, joints and system layers,” says Guldager Jensen. For example, windows might be attached using a mechanical method rather than glue, or lime mortar might be used rather than concrete mortar.“It’s about being able to think about the mechanics and being able to do it in reversible ways.”
Deconstruction of the Mercantile in downtown Missoula prior to construction of the Marriott. (Home ReSource)
From an energy perspective, it saves about 95 percent of the energy that would be required to produce the same materials, and it also has major implications for waste reduction, job creation, and historical preservation. The Home Resource-led deconstruction of the Missoula Mercantile building in 2017 is a great example of deconstruction in our community. It diverted hundreds of thousands of board feet of old-growth lumber away from the landfill and reintroduced it into Missoula’s economy.
Ever think about what happens what is going to happen to your building design after 50 years?Well most people don’t, and we would like to change that.With so much existing building demolition happening in Seattle, we will touch on designing for smarter demolition.Join us for the discussion of community and carbon benefits of strategic reuse of deconstructed building materials, and how you can go above and beyond typical demolition recycling practices.
Since 2016, one-fourth of whole houses that were taken down in Palo Alto were deconstructed instead of demolished. This means workers were required to disassemble structures so materials could be recycled. The new policy intends to bring the successes of deconstruction to a city-wide scale. The ordinance will impact approximately 114 projects annually, according to a City Council Staff Report.
Everything from lumber to nails is being recycled from Avon’s Hahnewald barn. The barn is being dismantled to make way for a new wastewater treatment facility.
The wood and other materials will be conveyed to Salvage Design Center, which will sell the reclaimed barn material. Given interest from some community members, the district worked with Salvage Design Center to sell the reclaimed barn materials locally at a 50% discount from their Denver showroom prices.
Ruthie Mundell stands among new and vintage chandeliers—all salvaged and ready to find a new home. (Teresa Carey)
“You have a grassroots momentum for something like deconstruction, and you have a massive industry against it,” says Sara Badiali.
The building material reuse consultant thinks regulations are an effective way to make a change. Yet, she has searched the world and “can’t find any place that actually has the words ‘building deconstruction’ in legislation.”
Badiali worked with the city of Portland, Oregon, to create the nation’s first reuse ordinance. Now, Portland homes built before 1916 must be evaluated for deconstruction. Other cities like San Francisco and Milwaukee are drafting their own ordinances.
Most of that material salvaged from the old Mercantile made their way to Home ReSource. Roughly 200,000 board feet of lumber ended up in new projects across Missoula. MRA required deconstruction as part of the Mercantile project. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current file photo)
Over the past few years, and with sustainability in mind, MRA has given preference to certain building materials. It also encourages deconstruction over demolition when possible, even if doing so costs a little more.“We’re constrained by state law on how we can spend our funds, but if you take the facade improvement program, one of the underpinnings of that is sustainability,” said MRA director Ellen Buchanan. “Our deconstruction policy is also huge. The city can’t require deconstruction, but we can.”
“We thank everyone for their hard work. We can breathe a sigh of relief that we no longer have to worry about the rickhouse coming down on its own. Now we can concentrate efforts on our barrel recovery.”