Deconstruction vs. Demolition
May 20, 2011 by Mike Gold · Leave a Comment
According to the National Association of Home Builders, about 245,000 homes and apartments are demolished every year, generating 74 million tons of waste. This construction and demolition (C&D) waste includes concrete, wood, brick, asphalt, metals, glass, and typically ends up in landfills. But by deconstructing instead of demolishing these homes and apartments, much of these materials can be put to good use.
Home deconstruction is the process of taking a building apart with the intention of salvaging all or part of the materials – and it’s a growing movement in the building industry. Deconstruction not only makes it possible to reuse materials, it also has these “green” benefits:
It reduces greenhouse gases, as well as noise pollution
Cuts the amount of materials going to a landfill
Exposes the possibility of unforeseen hazardous waste
Homes that make the best candidates for deconstruction are either older homes that contain high-quality materials like old-growth lumber and hand-crafted moldings or new houses with modern, high-performance features, like energy-efficient windows.
If you would like more information about deconstruction, contact Habitat ReStores at habitat.org/env.restore.html, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance at ilsr.org or ask for referrals at your local recycling center.
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