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.
Source: How Women Are Leading the Charge to Recycle Whole Houses | Innovation | Smithsonian
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.”
Source: MRA “plays a role” in city’s push for carbon neutrality, zero waste ~ Missoula Current
Lovett Deconstruction’s Annual Dropbox Derby is taking teams & vendors until July 28th – spaces are limited. Sign up here!
An annual design/build challenge using salvaged materials to raise money for a good cause.
Source: Dropbox Derby — Lovett Deconstruction
“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.”
Source: Efforts switch to barrel recovery as rickhouse deconstruction nearly complete – The Owensboro Times
The demolition sorting operation at Zanker Recycling extracts concrete, sheetrock, asphalt and wood, among other debris, for recyclable markets. Photo by Veronica Weber.
The new deconstruction ordinance is expected to help the city divert 7,930 tons of waste annually (by contrast, the disposable-foodware ordinance that the council adopted at the same meeting would divert 290 tons). The deconstruction ordinance is also expected to reduce the city’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 22,300 metric tons annually (for the foodware ordinance, the number is 470 tons).
Source: To reduce waste, Palo Alto takes aim at demolition | News | Palo Alto Online |
“For too long, we have not done a good job at construction sites and we need to do that,” said Phil Bobel, assistant director for Public Works Palo Alto. Bobel authored the ordinance approved by city council last Monday. “You can’t just smash it and combine everything, so then it’s harder to recycle it or salvage it.”
Source: Palo Alto to require construction crews to deconstruct sites, not demolish by 2020 | abc7news.com
Officials with the distillery said on Thursday that they are pleased with the deconstruction of Warehouse H continues with a planned and controlled collapse.
Source: WATCH: O.Z. Tyler shares video of deconstruction efforts
Landfill diversion from offices currently sits at 78% and Google is focusing on construction and deconstruction to contribute to its circular vision. Google has been implementing interior ‘salvage and reuse’ at the interior building scale since 2012. Last year, the company started work with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to explore the triple bottom line benefits of deconstruction.
Source: Google’s new circular economy strategy to ‘maximise reuse’ across its operations
“We have public policies that encourage people to buy a beverage bottle, consume the product, wash it, take it back to the redemption centre and accept half what what they paid for (in deposit) initially,” he began. “We have no such policy for buildings, which are usually the biggest, largest, most important financial investment of anybody’s lifetime.”
Source: Saint John throwing away ‘millions’ through demolition instead of deconstruction, former heritage planner says – New Brunswick | Globalnews.ca
Gary Ringer. Photo by Stephen Koss.
In 2013, he founded a company called Eco-Environmental Solutions as a grassroots way to address blight in the Detroit area. The company specializes in deconstruction, the process of taking apart old buildings and salvaging parts of them for reuse. In doing this work, Ringer draws on an understanding of structures he’s gleaned from his time as a firefighter as well as prior job experiences building massive homes in the suburbs of southeast Michigan.
Source: Detroit firefighter takes on blight with deconstruction business
A bathroom tile pattern in a Los Angeles home built largely with reclaimed materials was designed to look like a colony of bacteria, based on images obtained from an electron microscope.CreditCreditCris Nolasco Studios
Mr. Pallrand’s master bedroom is paneled in redwood that Pacific Redwood culled from a decommissioned bridge built in 1925 in Humboldt County, its knotholes and bolt-holes still visible. The Philippine mahogany table, now carved with a mycelium-inspired runner down the center, was hewed from 1920s-era church pews that a congregation in Santa Monica, Calif., was dumping.
Source: In a ‘Recycled’ House, Details That Will Grow on You – The New York Times
The Auckland region is in the midst of a major building boom. Whilst this is good news for new homebuyers, it generates a lot of waste that usually ends up being sent to landfill.
The council is working to adopt a deconstruction and soft strip approach as a standard. The deconstruction methodology sees buildings carefully taken down, bit by bit, to recover materials so that they can be re-used elsewhere. This can include building fittings and fixtures, such as seating, light fittings, kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as important building componentry and materials such as trusses, timber, corrugated iron, and steel.
Source: Council goes circular on construction waste | OurAuckland
Deconstructing history isn’t easy. Turney puts hours of sweat into the process, prying out rusty nails that haven’t budged in more than 50 years.This is the second Quonset hut he’s helped reclaim in the past couple years. The patinaed metal will be a huge hit in his Palmer store.“Some people use it as wainscoting or on the trim of a bar,” he said.
Source: Deconstructing history: Alaska Picker salvages, upcycles WWII-er – KTVA 11 – The Voice of Alaska
The project wants to build a regional economy network around wood and land restoration, with a specific focus on reclaiming wood, lives and neighborhoods in the urban and rural areas.
Source: Can the Wood Project save Baltimore? – Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner
“I don’t think (the fee increase) goes far enough,” he said, adding that “there should be a law that you either move the house or use portions of it to build a new house or disassemble it board by board so it can be used.”
Source: Richmond council pushes for more salvage, including wood waste | Burnaby Now
As an alternative to demolition, you may find a deconstruction company in your area that can take apart buildings and divert up to 90 percent of materials from landfills to reuse. You may also save money by selling or receiving a tax deduction from donating the used building materials. Endeavor to use treatment technologies that are designed to keep waste generation down.
Source: Tips to Reduce Environmental Footprint of Your Cleanup
Re-use Hawaii founder Quinn Vittum talks about the salvaging operation at Kona Village Resort at their yard below the Kaloko Light Industrial Area. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
One company on Hawaii Island has assumed a more macro view of recycling and in only a year has filled an entire baseyard with salvaged material from demolished structures. Re-use Hawaii is a nonprofit deconstruction business, and the only one of its kind, focused on reducing the single largest landfill waste stream in the state.
Source: Waste not: Company takes environmental approach to deconstruction in West Hawaii – West Hawaii Today
9 Factory St. is due for demolition in mid-June. Photo by Terry Smith.
“We’re focusing on iconic aspects of the Factory Street building, and repurposing materials where it makes sense to capture that building’s character as part of the new construction,” Ken Johnson, D.O., executive dean of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, said in the release. “We have found some beautiful and creative ways to honor 9 Factory St. in the new facility’s café,” added Johnson, who also serves as OU’s chief medical affairs officer.
Source: New medical school cafe to honor Factory St. building | Campus News | athensnews.com
Rather than demolishing blighted buildings, the city is helping fund nonprofits that take the buildings apart piece by piece—then resell the parts, which still have significant value in construction.
Source: How Baltimore Is Deconstructing Itself—With Local Nonprofit Help: Associations Now
In addition to that, make sure you’re deconstructing your home during a renovation instead of demolishing it. This ensures that some materials in your home can be repurposed instead of being thrown out as waste. You can sell or donate your deconstructed items and help another person make a sustainable choice by upcycling them.
Source: Sustainable Trends In Home Renovation & Design
For example, in the summer of 2012, Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts) deconstructed two small wood-frame buildings and, in the process, recycled 92 percent, by weight, of the total material removed from the project site. The Williams small building deconstruction resulted in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 14 cars from the roads for a full year (66 metric tonnes).
Source: COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONSHousing deconstruction as a climate change strategy – News – Belmont Citizen-Herald – Belmont, MA
Hydraulic shears takes down part of the old ACRA building for the new Aspen city offices on March 6.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times
“We had a goal of 65 percent for diversion and we are at 74 percent,” said Brain Thomas, the project manager for Shaw Construction. “We are happy with Aspen Deconstruction. They knocked it out of the park.”
Source: Construction debris to make way for Aspen government office mostly avoids landfill | AspenTimes.com
“The reuse industry needs to continue building more circular economy partnerships to repurpose reclaimed materials on a larger scale, “ Goodman says.
Source: The salvageable lifecycle – Living Building Chronicle
UNBUILDERS — Adam Corneil, who operates Unbuilders, says he aims to collaborate, rather than compete, with traditional demolition contractors, letting them take down a building to the wood frame.
“Tens of millions of dollars of lumber are purchased every day in this country,” he explains. “The fact we’re just shredding it (old wood structures) up and burning it is completely irrational in my mind.”
Source: Unbuilders Deconstruction takes a new approach to demolition – constructconnect.com
Stacked flooring that was taken out of the former Case buildings in the Water Street Redevelopment Area deconstruction. An Appleton company, Urban Evolutions, bought all of the wood and timbers from the project area. Photographed in January 2019.
The first project, Janson said, was pulling out all of the maple flooring. They were able to save close to 200,000 board feet of flooring and about 400,000 board feet of decking, or subfloor, from the buildings. (A board foot is 1 by 12 by 12 inches, or 144 cubic inches.)
Source: Case deconstruction is lumber mother lode | Money | journaltimes.com
MinnPost file photo by Bill Kelley
Burying construction debris can dredge up naturally-occurring chemicals in the soil like arsenic and manganese that leach into groundwater after precipitation.
In order to catch up with demolition, Adams said he wants people who don’t deconstruct buildings to pay what he calls the “social costs” of carbon emissions to cities, which is the price of mitigating climate change. Reuse and recycle of construction waste cuts down on emissions in part because of the energy it takes to create new building materials. Adams pegged that carbon cost at roughly $9,000 for a typical house. He said cities should use that money to offer grants to homeowners who can’t pay for decon
Source: The problem, and politics, of throwing old houses in the garbage | MinnPost
For reclaimed wood customers like Sween, the two remaining Globe Elevator structures — undamaged by the fire — might serve as a source for wood.
Source: For Globe Elevator owner, December fire was ‘devastating’ | Duluth News Tribune
I was reading about the scale of the abandoned housing problem – that there are 40-60,000 abandoned, vacant, or blighted houses in Philadelphia. The idea was to create an organization that could take on the abandoned housing blight block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Source: Q&A with Greg Trainor of the Philadelphia Community Corps – Shareable
The city’s economic development agency, St. Louis Development Corp., is testing an alternative process this year that deconstructs buildings piece by piece. The more expensive process is used to salvage materials as well as reduce health risks from dust and debris. City officials said it isn’t financially feasible to use “deconstruction” to remove all of St. Louis’ 12,000 vacant properties, but they hope to expand the 30-building pilot project in the future.
Source: Officials: St. Louis demolitions could reverse lead progress – Herald-Whig –
Duplexes at 2075 N. Cambridge Ave. were set for deconstruction last summer. (Photo: Stephanie Morse/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Of nearly 500 city-owned houses slated for demolition, only five were deconstructed in 2018, according to the Department of Neighborhood Services. The department struggled to get reasonable bids from contractors, said Tom Mishefske, neighborhood services commissioner.
Source: Backlog leads Milwaukee to suspend deconstruction rule for old houses
Some drywall is gone from Building 2 on the Microsoft campus.
“From concrete and steel framing to carpets, ceiling tiles, electronic and networking gear, interior debris and loose assets like furniture, chairs and whiteboards, to even the artificial turf outside — most of the materials in the old spaces will find a new life,” the company said in a statement.
Source: Microsoft begins demolishing buildings in Redmond campus remodel
“The Heart Pine will be going down into the southeast and will be used for timbers in building projects and for floorings,” says Fox. “It’s an extinct species. The forest has been depleted, and there are no standing Heart Pine trees anymore.”
Source: Remains of an old Rock Island rubber plant are given a second chance | WQAD.com
Milwaukee could pause its enforcement of a mandate requiring contractors to deconstruct, rather than demolish, historic homes after a assessment of the policy found that it struggled to get off the ground in 2018.
Source: Milwaukee officials considering pausing deconstruction policy until 2020 – The Daily Reporter – WI Construction News & Bids
The City of St. Louis is ramping up demolition of vacant buildings on properties owned by the metro’s land bank, but some of them will undergo deconstruction instead. (Photo by Oscar Perry Abello)
As he gears up for the pilot project with the city, Schwarz says that Refab will tighten its hiring focus. “We’ll hire people from the neighborhoods where we do the deconstruction,” he says. “We’re going to take tax dollars and put them into the pockets of the residents who are affected by this activity in their neighborhood.”
Source: Can Deconstructing Some of St. Louis’ Past Help Build a Sustainable Future? – Next City
This North Vancouver home, at 5,000 square feet, is one of the largest projects Unbuilders has taken on. After three weeks, they have completed the front-end salvage and the strip-out of the four units. The entire project, from start to finish, is estimated to take six weeks. Photo by Michelle Gamage.
And now, as some 3,000 homes are being torn down in Metro Vancouver each year, the material is being sent to landfill or, in the case of the lumber, being burned for heat or energy. “It’s really not waste — it is wasted. This is all reusable material,” Corneil said, gesturing around the home.
Source: Eco ‘Unbuilding’ Ensures Material from Demolished Homes Is Re-used | The Tyee
Buildings as Material Banks (BAMB) brings together fifteen partners from seven European countries. Its goal is a systemic shift in sustainable building.
Source: BAMB: could this be the new future of sustainable building?
The former Ashaway School building, built in 1904, is set to be demolished, but a committee is working to see that valuable materials are salvaged first. Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun
Swain said some of the potentially valuable components would be difficult to show in photographs. “Ornate cast iron radiators, slate chalkboards, I can look and find out the species of wood, but it should be hardwood trim,” he said.
Source: Residents see value in salvage materials at old Ashaway school | Richmond & Hopkinton | thewesterlysun.com
Refab crews will dismantle the historic building and preserve its handmade bricks and timbers.
CREDIT LAURA GINN | SLDC
As part of the contract, Refab will disassemble a three-story brick warehouse built in 1884 in the Vandeventer neighborhood.Schwarz said the building was an “excellent candidate” for deconstruction, in part because its brick and timber have survived more than 100 years without being painted.“We were just shocked when we got into it for the first time that it was so well preserved,” he said.
Source: Deconstruction projects aim to give new life to historic building materials | St. Louis Public Radio
As people abandon homes the effects ripple through the community. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
We’ve coined the term domicology to describe our study of the life cycles of the built environment. It examines the continuum from the planning, design and construction stages through to the end of use, abandonment and deconstruction or reuse of structures.Domicology recognizes the cyclical nature of the built environment. Ultimately we’re imagining a world where no building has to be demolished. Structures will be designed with the idea that once they reach the end of their usefulness, they can be deconstructed with the valuable components repurposed or recycled.
Source: Domicology: A new way to fight blight before buildings are even constructed
DOWN TO THE FRONT DOOR: The stately, nine-bedroom home that stood for 96 years on Hodge Road was torn down recently due to damage from a fire, still under investigation, that broke out last July. A local shop was able to salvage some of the interior features. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)
“I salvaged some mantels, a couple of doors, and some smaller items throughout the place,” Menapace said last week. “Unfortunately, the demolition happened faster than I would have liked, and there wasn’t a lot that I could have grabbed.”
Source: Owner of Homestead Princeton Saves Pieces of Hodge Road Home | Town Topics
In September, Habitat for Humanity volunteers “deconstructed” elements of Bradley Center suites.
“You know there’s salvage in every job. It’s up to us to determine what percentage. That’s what makes people competitive,” Hosier said.
Source: There’s A Growing Trend To Repurpose More, Landfill Less When Deconstructing Buildings | WUWM
Mark Raszewski rescues unclaimed materials from businesses when they close or renovate. Nearly all of the items he sells are from Dane County. PHOTO ERICA KRUG
When local businesses or facilities close or get renovated, Raszewski helps to take places apart (recently Mautz Paint, Marling Lumber, UW-Madison’s Agronomy research lab, and Oscar Mayer), salvaging many unclaimed materials.
Source: The salvage man – Isthmus | Madison, Wisconsin
Katie Deuel, executive director of Home ReSource in Missoula, said thousands of items from the old Mercantile found their way into homes, schools and offices across the city. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current)
“One woman had a table made for her husband,” Deuel said. “He had worked at the Merc for 35 years, so she really wanted that. There’s some great human interest stories in there. People recognized the value of it as material that came locally from our ecosystem and stayed in the community.”
Source: Piece by piece, deconstructed Merc found new uses across Misssoula ~ Missoula Current
A sign welcomes visitors to Fort Vancouver National Site as a historical warehouse building, skinny building in background, is seen nearby Thursday morning. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)
“As a woman- and Native American-owned small business, RJS Construction, Inc., is beyond excited to be a part of a project that is focused on respect for history and consideration for the environment,” Chris Boring of RJS Construction said in a news release about the demolition. “We look forward to partnering with the National Park Service and Fort Vancouver as they move forward with the removal of buildings and salvage of historic wood.”
Source: 5 buildings at Fort Vancouver National Site to be demolished | The Columbian
Unbuilders is quickly becoming Canada’s deconstruction industry leader.Over the past year, Unbuilders has saved over 100,000 board feet of lumber and 250 tonnes of garbage from being thrown in landfills.In the most recent unbuild, just 3% of materials from an entire house ended up in the landfill.
Source: Vancouver-based Unbuilders aims to transform how homes are demolished | Daily Hive Vancouver
Stardust, a Southeast Valley nonprofit headquartered at 1720 W. Broadway Road in Mesa, is partnering with several Valley companies to divert used building materials at construction sites from the landfill to repurpose and resell.
Stardust, the only building-material reuse nonprofit in metro Phoenix, has created “Starve the Landfill,” focused on sustainability in the construction industry. Starve the Landfill stresses the importance of deconstruction and donating building materials to be reused and repurposed.The goal is to create a strong community of eco-friendly contractors and suppliers that want to reduce their material waste.“One of the amazing benefits is that local companies will be acknowledged for their partnership and commitment to sustainability and the reuse of building materials,” said Karen Jayne, CEO of Stardust.
Source: Mesa nonprofit wants tons of improvement in construction- recycling effort | Life | eastvalleytribune.com