Category Archives: Deconstruction

NYS Green Building Conference Set for March 2012


New York State Green Building Conference

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) partners with the U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter to host the 10th Annual New York State Green Building conference March 29 and 30, 2012.

The conference, to be held at the Oncenter Complex, Syracuse, provides focused presentations and discussions on commercial and residential construction, green building chemistry and deconstruction as well as opportunities to network and interact with green building experts, professionals, and researchers.

The conference is currently seeking presentation proposals. For more information on submitting abstracts or to register, visit

via NYS Green Building Conference Set for March 2012.

MMSD to pay $833,960 for deconstruction of 16 houses – JSOnline

Ray Hintz Inc. of Caledonia will be paid $833,960 to deconstruct and recycle 16 residences – an average cost of $52,122 per house – along the Kinnickinnic River between S. 6th and S. 16th streets, under a contract approved Monday by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s commission.

Work is expected to begin in mid-October.

Costs are higher than the estimates of $25,000 to $35,000 for demolition because the district’s deconstruction contract requires the hiring and training of at least 16 local workers in addition to the mandate for recycling 87% of building material, said MMSD Commissioner Ben Gramling of Milwaukee.

No more than 10% of materials can be disposed of in a landfill, under terms of the contract.

“We value putting local people to work and preserving landfill space,” Gramling said.

Hintz was the low bidder, and the contract was approved on a 10-1 vote. Commission Vice Chairman Dale Richards of Oak Creek voted against the contract. He has objected to high costs of recycling in each of the district’s three deconstruction contracts.

The total cost of deconstructing each house in the contract awarded to Hintz includes the following estimates: $3,300 for removing basement walls and the concrete floor slab and $2,100 for filling in the remaining pit; $2,000 for removing a garage concrete floor slab; and $5,500 for asbestos removal.

Since last year, the district has acquired 37 of 83 single-family homes and duplexes targeted for removal as part of a $49.9 million Kinnickinnic River flood-control project. Eight of the residences have been deconstructed under two earlier contracts.

Removing the buildings from the floodplain between S. 6th and S. 16th streets will provide space to widen the stream channel to accommodate greater flood flows and eliminate most flooding of the neighborhood, district officials said.

An additional 19 residences are ready for deconstruction, said Dave Fowler, senior project manager for the district.

In an attempt to reduce costs of future contracts, the commission advised district staff to split the 19 into three groups, according to Gramling.

Deconstruction bids will be solicited for two groups of five residences each. Demolition bids will be solicited for the remaining nine residences as one group.

“This will provide us with better information on costs of both methods as we move into the second half of the removal project,” Gramling said.

via MMSD to pay $833,960 for deconstruction of 16 houses – JSOnline.

Hurricane Hauling and Demolition Starts Deconstruction to Save on Construction Material and Ecology

By Joel Scanlon

Hurricane Hauling and Demolition, a demolition and hauling company based in Marin and providing its services all over the greater Bay Area, declared that it has lately started a tear down project utilizing the deconstruction process.

Demolition services of Hurricane Hauling and Demolition. Credit: Hurricane Hauling and Demolition

Demolition services of Hurricane Hauling and Demolition. Credit: Hurricane Hauling and Demolition

The process prevents the demolished materials from reaching the landfills, instead allows them to be recycled and reused, thus saving the earth from wastes and assist the owners with savings. The company banks on its deconstructing ability to reuse most of the wastes from the projects.

Though the deconstruction process consumes more labor than straight demolition it assists the home owners to save money. The process breaks down a building to its smallest parts separating electrical fixtures, plumbing, carpeting materials, windows, doors, cabinets, shingles, plywood and lumber carefully for reuse or donate them as salvaged materials.

The company is currently engaged in a deconstruction process at a house in Mill Valley. The owners of Mill Valley analyzed the demolition and deconstruction options and opted for home deconstruction after finding the method lucrative from the financial point of view as well as from an ecological point. The deconstruction process while enabling the reuse of materials also allows for a substantial amount of tax credit, which can be spread over a number of years. The process also notably cut down the charges related to the hauling of materials from the demolition site and disposing them.

According to Molly Samietz, Donation Solutions’ founder and appraiser of the deconstruction project at Mill Valley, a properly performed deconstruction project allows reuse of around 85% of content, which can be either reused or donated thus reducing the burden on landfills that overflow.


via Hurricane Hauling and Demolition Starts Deconstruction to Save on Construction Material and Ecology.

NewsMaker – Building Green Houses from Garbage

The economy has forced the world to find new means of creating green houses. The world has gone to the garbage dumps to build green houses. These materials that are being used to build these green houses would of ended up in the landfills, but instead are being put to good use and being recycled into a useful building for many homes and business’ across the nation.

From floors, counters, and even roofs, we are seeing scraps not big enough for normal use being recycled into the green houses. The scraps of wood are used to make a mosaic floor or counter tops, and roofs are being made out of license plates.

Can you imagine what a green house would look like made up entirely of materials that were headed to the landfills?

Continue reading NewsMaker – Building Green Houses from Garbage

Deconstruction reuses what would be demolished  – News – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports –


Chris Dorst
Adam Stewart of Modern Home Concepts carries away wall trim after removing it from a deconstruction site in Hurricane. The old house on Victorian Place would have been demolished, but a new company is taking it apart and donating its contents to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.



HURRICANE, W.Va. — A dilapidated house in Hurricane is being taken down, but not by a bulldozer. Instead, it’s being deconstructed piece by piece as part of Sarah Halstead’s effort to make her home state more environmentally friendly.

“It’s a hip concept,” said Halstead, the executive director of WVGreenWorks. “It’s all about reclaiming and reusing as much as possible and diverting as much as possible from the landfill.”

WVGreenWorks, which is dedicated to, among other things, creating sustainable, green jobs in local communities, is partnering with The ReUse People of America, based in Oakland, Calif., in a business venture, which will deconstruct buildings in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and parts of Pennsylvania, rather than simply demolish them.

The first regional deconstruction process of the joint effort began Tuesday at a house on Victorian Place in Hurricane.


“We’re hoping this professional approach to deconstruction will give municipalities and homeowners doing remodels more choices and more options on how to deal with construction and demolition debris,” she said. “Really, it presents a whole new chance to shift your mindset. Most people will just ‘doze a building, but when you take a look at the materials involved, some of that lumber you’ll never find again.”

Halstead said the idea is innovative around the area. She said she corresponded with Ben Newhouse, the Hurricane city manager, before the city recently installed solar panels at the wastewater treatment facility.

“It’s a new concept for the folks I’m working with in Hurricane,” she said. “I’ve worked with Ben Newhouse in the past, and he’s a forward thinker.”

Halstead said she talked with Newhouse about the deconstruction business.

“I called Ben and he said, ‘Oh what a shame, we just demolished a house and we’re about to bulldoze another,'” she said. “I said, “Please don’t do it.’ He said the house was really old, with a tile roof and hardwood floors.”

The man who owns the house told Halstead he wanted the house demolished, and she said he didn’t recognize that the materials could be reused.

“I told him, ‘You’ve got a tile roof worth thousands of dollars,'” she said. “Why throw away perfectly good materials other people can use?”

Newhouse is excited about the possibility of recycling materials that otherwise would be thrown out, he said.

“If there’s an opportunity to save the stuff that’s in this house, which has a ton of oak and cherry woods in it, I said, ‘Let’s do it,'” he said. “That stuff is expensive, and there’s no reason to send it all to the landfill.”

Halstead said some people who qualify based on their income can receive a tax-deductible donation for reusing the materials. She said the donation deduction oftentimes will offset the labor costs, which are usually about 5 percent more than what it costs to demolish a building.

“Before we do any kind of deconstruction work, even if it’s a kitchen remodel, we come and completely inventory everything,” she said. “We then send pictures and descriptions off to a certified IRS building-material appraiser, and they write back and give us a range of value.”

Materials taken from the three-story brick house in Hurricane will be donated to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Charleston.


via Deconstruction reuses what would be demolished  – News – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports –.

Deconstruction as a Community-Building Tool

This regional forum on deconstruction will showcase how local communities have developed successful partnerships to create jobs, train individuals and salvage still-usable building materials. Deconstruction saves materials that would otherwise be dumped, which wastes resources and needlessly strains local landfills. Join us and learn about the benefits of deconstruction as well as how cities and businesses can be more engaged in the deconstruction industry.

Speakers include:

Ted Reiff, president of The ReUse People of America, has worked with the Kansas City region the past few years on deconstruction efforts. Reiff will share stories from the field in other regions of the country as well as projects he’s worked on in the metro.

Gerald Shechter, sustainability coordinator for the City Manager’s Office of Environmental Quality and grant manager for EnergyWorks KC in Kansas City, Mo., will explain why the city included deconstruction as part of its $20 million EnergyWorks KC grant. Shechter will also cover the city’s plans to deconstruct homes on its dangerous buildings list and in partnership with neighborhood organizations.

Brian Alferman, director of Habitat ReStore Kansas City, will discuss his organization’s partnership with The ReUse People, and how Habitat ReStore trains and certifies deconstruction contractors for whole-house removals. Alferman will also explain how to work with local ReStores to salvage usable materials and reduce costs through tax deductions.

Register now.

via Deconstruction as a Community-Building Tool.

Home leveled brick by brick, then donated – The Park Record

One local family redefined home recycling this month.

A growing trend featured in the Park City Area Showcase of Homes this year is homeowners tearing down old houses to build new on their lots mostly because Park City is running out of vacant lots.

Rob and Barbara Wolin decided to do this to their house on Silver Cloud Drive.

“They loved the views and the neighborhood, but architecturally, they wanted something different,” said Realtor Karen Gage.

But the Wolins couldn’t bear the thought of all the waste, so they asked general contractor Sam Costanzo to salvage as much from the house as possible. What was reusable was donated to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.

The ReStore accepts salvaged or unneeded construction materials and resells them to help fund the organization’s projects.

What wasn’t donated was reused if possible. Some wood will go back into the new house. Some decorative stone will be crushed for gravel.

“It seemed the more responsible thing to do,” Barbara Wolin said. “I’ve always been concerned about environmental issues and believe in recycling It was worth it, totally worth it.”

“It would have cost her a lot less to have a demolition team. She just had a really hard time thinking that all that stuff would go to the landfill,” Costanzo said.

He hired Mike Maza to take the home apart piece-by-piece.

“And I mean piece-by-piece,” he said. “He dissembled it All the stone work, all the cabinetry, interior lighting, doors, windows copper pipes, copper wiring.”

Demotion would have taken five days with a wrecking ball, but the dissembling took nearly three weeks and was only just completed earlier this week, he said.

Ed Blake, executive director of the Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity said the Salt Lake City ReStore often receives material from these kinds of projects. They also see excess tile from finished jobs, replaced furniture from hotel rooms, and recently received five semi-truck trailers full of unwanted, but brand new, cabinets from Lowe’s.

The ReStore keeps thousands of tons of material out of landfills, Blake said, and the proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. Within the next year, profits from the ReStore will be able to fully fund overhead, allowing every monetary donation to go directly toward a beneficiary’s mortgage.

via Home leveled brick by brick, then donated – The Park Record.

Deconstruction: Most materials from a kitchen remodel can be resold and reused |



Nicolas Vidal (left) and Mike Richardson remove a stove which in turn will be resold.


You see it on TV all the time: The home remodeler takes sledgehammer in hand, hauls it back and thwack! There go the cruddy kitchen cabinets and counters. The remains get hauled to a trash bin, presumably to head to their just reward, the dump.

Ditto the old flooring, wood, nails, whatever. Trash bin, dump; trash bin, dump. R.I.P.

The first hint that something was wrong with this picture came at the ReBuilding Center on North Mississippi Avenue. There were doors. Windows. Electric and plumbing fittings.

And yes, cabinets, intact. Tiles. Wood.


The key to deconstruction is salvaging as much as you can — like these tiles — for future use.

The second hint arrived in the form of a coupon: up to $50 off something called DeConstruction Services. Its premise, says co-founder Shane Endicott, is, “If you can build buildings, you can unbuild them.”

Or as any 3-year-old knows, what can be put together can be taken apart.

So when we decided to remodel our kitchen, we chose deconstruction. Even though our cabinets were low quality, to put it kindly, they weren’t disintegrating. The one-row tile backsplash also could be salvaged. Ditto the sink, disposal, plumbing fittings and a couple of appliances we weren’t replacing. The bids we got — deconstruction vs. demolition — were virtually identical, plus we wouldn’t have to pay for a trash bin. What’s more, we would receive a tax deduction for the (nominal) value of the items we donated to the ReBuilding Center.

DeConstruction Services is a part of Our United Villages, which includes the ReBuilding Center. The center has been involved in deconstruction since its 1997 beginning, Endicott said, partnering with a friend of his who did architectural salvage. DeConstruction Services started operation in 1999, when it took apart a block of homes near the Multnomah Athletic Club. 

“It just took off. The next thing I knew, we had a full-time, year-round operation,” he said, growing from four volunteers to 30 employees. (The recession has taken its toll; full-time employment is down to six.) To Endicott’s knowledge, the service is the first in the nation; people have visited from all over the country and internationally and used it as a model, he said. 

“We don’t reclaim based on resale value; we focus on what’s reusable,” he added. To make sure items are reusable, Mike Richardson, 51, and Nicolas Vidal, 30, unscrewed the cabinets one by one; took off trim wood and set it aside, pulled off countertops and pried off tile. 

Richardson, who’s been with DeConstruction for seven years, allowed that taking apart a structure is a lot different than demolition. “You’ve got to be a lot more careful,” he said, “especially if you come from the style of banging away, knocking down walls.” 

The ReBuilding Center can’t take everything: Used drywall goes in the trash, no matter who does the work. 

Even demolition doesn’t warrant total guilt: Trash bins full of construction debris no longer head straight to the landfill. Metro, the tricounty regional government, stepped in in 2009 with new rules. 

All mixed dry waste first goes to material recovery facilities, according to Shareefah Hoover, a Metro spokeswoman, where wood, cardboard, metals and other things are removed. 

Metro adopted the rules with the aim of increasing the region’s waste recovery rate from its then-55.3 percent, Hoover said. The program’s impact is under evaluation. 

Separately, flooring, roofing and other contractors (or DIY-ers) can find places to take waste via Metro or the city of Portland. (See accompanying box.) Garbage-haulers all know the drill, and some smaller materials can be recycled curbside. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores also take various used fixtures, though they are more limited. 

“The more you recycle, the more money you save,” Hoover said. “It reduces the garbage load” being hauled to the regional landfill in Arlington. 

The afternoon of our deconstruction, a truck pulled up. Soon, our cabinets were shrink-wrapped and loaded up, off to the ReBuilding Center at no extra charge. 

Lettered on the side of the truck: “Just because they’re called landfills, it doesn’t mean we have to fill them.” 

— Naomi Kaufman Price

via Deconstruction: Most materials from a kitchen remodel can be resold and reused |

Local building wins environmental award – WDRB 41 Louisville – News, Weather, Sports Community

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — It’s called the Green Building. The Louisville structure was recognized for the environmentally-friendly design Friday that won it the first award of its kind in the state.

State representative Steve Riggs presented the building’s owners, Gill and Augusta Holland, with an award of merit from Kentucky.

It comes after the Green Building earlier this year became the first commercial building in Kentucky to be awarded platinum level LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification.

“A lot of people worked on the design. A lot of people worked on the interior demolition. You know, we didn’t want to send anything to landfills. A lot of people then worked on sourcing materials, renewable materials, recycled materials, recycling materials from the building. And then we finally built the building and then we had to market and promote the building,” says Green Building owner Gill Holland.

Holland says he’s also proud of the impact the building has had on the design of other buildings in Louisville.

via Local building wins environmental award – WDRB 41 Louisville – News, Weather, Sports Community.

Campbell River Mirror – In demolition, old school teaches three Rs


Bob Clarke of Coast Realty Group takes works to remove a coat hanger from one of the old classrooms inside the former Campbellton school.

By Kristen Douglas – Campbell River Mirror

Published: August 30, 2011 1:00 PM

Updated: August 30, 2011 1:40 PM

Pieces of the old Campbellton school will help provide needy families with new homes.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers, along with Coast Realty staff, have been salvaging what they can from the old, abandoned building. The recovered items will be sold, with the proceeds going towards construction materials for new homes.

“We do these salvage operations for two reasons – it keeps materials from entering the landfill and we raise funds for our mission, to build homes for people who need them,” said Ken Miller of Habitat for Humanity Campbell River.

Coast Realty Group, who works for the new owner of the old building, contacted Habitat for Humanity to give permission to take what they can from inside the facility.

Miller and his crew have been dismantling parts of the school for about a month now and figure they’ll be working for about another week more.

Volunteer Terri Chalaturnyk, from Coast Realty Group, found not only precious recyclables but a keepsake of sorts.

Behind a cabinet was a dusty piece of ripped, orange construction paper with a note written by two students on May 23,1968. It reads: “Campbellton is the best school by far. We went to this school.”

Volunteers have also pulled out blackboards, coat hooks, breaker panels, basketball netting and hoops, a stage in the gymnasium and tons of plywood – some pieces up to 10 feet long.

The material is then turned over to the ReStore on Willow Street, which sells the items for 50 to 70 per cent off retail prices. The proceeds then go towards Habitat for Humanity’s building program which provides housing for low income families.

Miller, who manages the local ReStore, said de-construction and salvage operations have been ongoing in Courtenay for the past three years, and would like to see the program get going in Campbell River. So far, Habitat for Humanity crews have salvaged parts from an old home on Racepoint Drive and from a mini-storage in Campbellton.

“We hope to do more of this, we’re hoping to take down more houses – and we’ll take it down completely,” Miller said. “We’d love to have more people donate materials and homeowners are eligible for a tax receipt for all materials we’re able to sell.”

And demand for the materials is huge.

“The shelf-life of the wood is about a few minutes once I get it to the store,” Miller said. “I’ll have about 15 people a week come by and ask ‘when can I get plywood?’ I have the clientele that want the material, so if there’s people who have the material to fill that bill, it’s great.”

Habitat for Humanity has so far been able to house two families in Campbell River. The society built a duplex on Maple Street in 2009 and it hopes to build more.

Miller said the group hopes to see a fall start, but housing all hinges on whether there’s land available that the city is willing to part with.

The materials taken from Campbellton School, which was sold by School District 72 to E&D Properties Ltd. in late June, will go to the Campbell River ReStore but will go towards housing projects in both the Comox Valley and Campbell River.

via Campbell River Mirror – In demolition, old school teaches three Rs.

The Herald-Sun – A thrift shop for building materials


DURHAM – Richard W. Morgan Jr. has opened a store in downtown Durham, the ReUse Warehouse, that’s like a thrift shop for building materials.

In a 8,500-square-foot space at 800 Taylor St., Morgan is selling surplus new as well as used materials from porcelain tile to used cabinets, commercial-grade carpets, old doors and antique bricks that he said are priced lower than their original retail value.

The warehouse is near the new location of the nonprofit The Scrap Exchange in the East Village Plaza that’s owned by Julio Cordoba. The property is next to Golden Belt and is also part of what was historically a textile mill facility.

“The mission is to divert material from the landfill, period,” Morgan said of the mission of the business’ nonprofit partner, the California-based The ReUse People of America.

The nonprofit repurposes building materials to keep them out of landfills. Morgan said that since the store is a partner with the nonprofit, homeowners or others can receive a tax deduction for making a donation of building materials.

He also sells items on consignment in the shop, with a portion of the sales price from the items going to original owner.

Morgan, a loan officer for Harrington Bank who is running the ReUse Warehouse business on the side, said he believes God had a hand in the location and launch of the new business.

“I can see his hand in everything,” he said.

Morgan said he started planning for the for-profit ReUse Warehouse a year and a half ago, and has gotten a lot of support from his father, Richard Morgan, who owns the longtime downtown home furnishings retailer and gift shop Morgan Imports.

He said his father has supplied a large amount of material for the shop, since his father has a partnership with Triangle Flooring out of Cary that has surplus materials from big construction jobs.

Morgan said he also is looking to gather materials from homeowners looking to demolish their property, or who in donations from homeowners who would pay for a deconstruction in exchange for a tax deduction.

Inside his shop, he pointed to a corner containing cabinetry, an oven, and a kitchen countertop taken from a home in Hope Valley that was sold and was targeted for a renovation by the new owner.

“It was a whole house remodel,” he said.

Morgan said he believes the tax benefit of a donation would offset the additional cost of a deconstruction project, as opposed to doing a demolition. But he said the company is also looking into bidding on demolitions to be able to access the materials as well.

He said he expects to see business for the store generated from customers looking to do remodels, and said he believes the slow-to-recover economy will be on his side, as consumers are looking for a good deal.

Ted Reiff, president of ReUse People of America, said the nonprofit has seen deconstruction drop by 20 to 25 percent from a high in 2007 or 2008, but he said retail sales have increased.

The nonprofit partners with seven other stores scattered throughout the country, and also operates two of its own. Reiff attributed the increase in retail sales to more people focusing more on own home renovation projects rather than new construction.

“A lot of people have downsized their projects, and they’ve also found that reused materials are often just as good as new materials, and they’re priced significantly less,” he said.

On Monday, Hillsborough resident Carey Collins was in the ReUse Warehouse of Durham looking at materials for a home renovation. Collins said he’s also a contractor with the company MCN Woodcraft.

He said he has bought building materials from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which also sells donated surplus building materials, but he said he’s seen a decline in the available supply as a result of a drop-off in new construction.

He said the stores are helpful for selling items at lower prices.

“It looks like (Morgan) is getting enough volume of product where you can actually plan something,” he said.

via The Herald-Sun – A thrift shop for building materials.

Ondagumi president Chuya Onda | The Japan Times Online

News photo

Ondagumi president Chuya Onda


Chuya Onda, 68, is the president of Ondagumi, one of Japan’s biggest hikiya companies. Hikiya specialize in deconstructing, rebuilding and moving buildings. They are also experts at lifting up houses in order to make them earthquake-proof with special high-tech materials. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, Onda’s company has been overwhelmed with the demolition aspect of his business. If a building is too dangerous to use, Onda and his team must demolish it. If it is merely tilted, then Ondagumi will straighten it out. Onda is well known as a tough guy who knows no fear when it comes to blowing up buildings, but when it comes to his wife — even after 42 years of marriage — he still gets weak in the knees.

Anyone can demolish a structure, but the real trick is to lift up and move a whole building without spilling the tea on the table. That’s what we do. We prepare for two weeks and then voilà, we raise the whole building with all the furniture inside it and move it so smoothly that everything stays exactly as it was when we began our work. The furniture, the dishes — nothing is disturbed. The homeowners could even sit on the sofa and sip tea as we move their whole house, but usually they want to watch the process so they remain outside taking photos.

Japanese buildings might look weak, but they are strong. Three top U.S. demolition teams came to Japan and tried to blow up typical Japanese homes with dynamite. The results were surprising: no team succeeded! The spots where the dynamite was placed were damaged, but the rest of the building was undisturbed. The kind of effect one sees in other countries, where even high-rise buildings crumble once some floors get severely damaged, just doesn’t happen in Japan because all structures are built to withstand quakes.

Instead of cutting down a tree or demolishing a house, save it by moving it to a new location. Japanese cities grew quite organically, so their roads are very narrow. Once the need for wider roads arose, starting in the Edo Period, Japanese moved trees and buildings by a few meters to make room for road construction.

Continue reading this article here

via Ondagumi president Chuya Onda | The Japan Times Online.

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.

Demolition News » Comment – Deconstruction course lacks ambition…


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

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 For more information on the ReBuilding Exchange and its deconstruction training program, please visit

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

via Crews begin taking apart Cloverleaf Kennel Club in Loveland – Loveland Reporter-Herald.

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.

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.


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.

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 |

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 |

Habitat for Humanity takes apart a house for supplies | St. Cloud TIMES | – 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,



“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 |

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.

Habitat for Humanity salvages items from Dexter Village house slated for demolition


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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Deconstruction of old homes reaches new diversion levels with a little planning and technology


The home had many layers of lead paint and asbestos which required abatement. Once that was complete, Greenworx began the deconstruction of the home, starting with the roof and working their way down to dirt. Each material was sorted and source separated to achieve the maximum purity of individual materials for recycling and reuse. That is something that cannot be done with traditional tear down demolition. The project generated a total of 162.7 tons of material, of which 130.16 tons were recycled and salvaged, achieving a diversion rate of 81.29% on the project.

via Deconstruction of old homes reaches new diversion levels with a little planning and technology.

JLLs DC Construction Team Counts 1,233 Tons of Recycled Building Materials – Citybizlist Washington DC

Construction professionals at Jones Lang LaSalle recycled more than 72 percent of all building material waste from new construction, renovation and tenant fit-out projects in the Washington, DC area in 2010.Across the 42 projects monitored last year, 1,233 tons of construction waste was recycled, including 302 tons of metal, 165 tons of wood and 313 tons of drywall gypsum.Jones Lang LaSalles DC Construction team created a program in 2009 to monitor building waste and to divert as much waste as possible from landfills by reusing it in another application or otherwise recycling it.

via JLLs DC Construction Team Counts 1,233 Tons of Recycled Building Materials – Citybizlist Washington DC.

Boeing Plant Camouflaged Beneath a Fake Neighborhood Tapped as Salvaged Lumber Source | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

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South of downtown Seattle is an old Boeing airplane assembly plant that produced nearly 7000 Flying Fortresses while hidden beneath a roof with a fake suburban neighborhood on top. The site is now the source for a huge lumber salvage operation – Duluth Timber Company is now deconstructing the 1.7 million square foot facility and reclaiming the lumber for real homes. The beauty of reclaimed lumber is not just in its quality and size but in its history – and the 1/4 million board feet that will come out of this deconstruction has a lot of tales to tell.

via Green design will save the world | Inhabitat – Part 2.

Centennial Woods Has Reclaimed and Repurposed Over 5 Million Feet of Fence | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

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Centennial Woods reclaims wood from snow fences across Wyoming and sells the sustainable harvested wood for both interior and exterior applications. The wood is a stunning mixture of grays and browns in unique grain patterns that are characteristic of the windblown state of Wyoming. The company has repurposed more than 5 million feet of snow fence, saving snow fence owners more than $9 million and avoiding more than 9,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Unlike other reclaimed woods, Centennial Woods’ have never been painted or chemically treated, and are completely free of lead and other hazardous treatments common in older barns and other structures.

via Centennial Woods Has Reclaimed and Repurposed Over 5 Million Feet of Fence | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World. – Habitat volunteers salvage items from 2 FMC buildings – Southern US

Ed Cescutti, Habitat for Humanity, takes a gutter off a building at the intersection of West 5th Street and North 4th Avenue on Thursday. Habitat for Humanity is salvaging building materials from two buildings on the Floyd Medical Center Campus. (Ryan Smith,

Ed Cescutti, Habitat for Humanity, takes a gutter off a building at the intersection of West 5th Street and North 4th Avenue on Thursday. Habitat for Humanity is salvaging building materials from two buildings on the Floyd Medical Center Campus. (Ryan Smith,


Two vacant buildings set to be demolished turned into something that will benefit countless people.

For nearly a week, volunteers from Rome-Floyd Habitat for Humanity have salvaged building items from two buildings owned by Floyd Medical Center on the corner of North Fourth Avenue and West Fifth Street.

via – Habitat volunteers salvage items from 2 FMC buildings.

Juana Briones House in Palo Alto coming down piece by piece – San Jose Mercury News

Palo Alto’s oldest residence is being taken apart “brick by brick, board by board,” to the dismay of history buffs who have long fought to save it.

The dismantling of the Juana Briones House began Friday, said Kent Mitchell, a lawyer for the property’s owners. He said the city last week reinstated a demolition permit on hold since its issuance in 2007 due to a legal challenge by preservationists.

“For people who have been involved, it’s sad news,” said Scott Smithwick, president of the Palo Alto Stanford Heritage preservation group. “Not unexpected, but sad.”

Briones, a successful rancher and businesswoman, built the home at 4155 Old Adobe Road in the 1840s. The city initially fought plans by current owners Jaim Nulman and Avelyn Welczer to demolish the historic structure. The Friends of the Juana Briones House then took up the fight but ultimately lost when the California Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal of a lower court’s ruling favoring the owners.



via Juana Briones House in Palo Alto coming down piece by piece – San Jose Mercury News.

Home deconstruction: Can an entire house be recycled? – Kansas


Jack Williams and Jane York had their Kansas home ‘deconstructed’ and the materials resold or reused.

Photos courtesy of Jack Williams

Construction and demolition debris take up more than one-third of landfill space annually, but on average, more than 60 percent of a house – and in some cases, more than 75 percent – could be reused or recycled, says Bradley Guy, who researches architecture and deconstruction at The Catholic University of America.

“Deconstruction, although it’s difficult to do, offers a lot of opportunities,” says Jesse White, creator of and owner of an architectural salvage store in Sarasota, Fla.

via Home deconstruction: Can an entire house be recycled? –

Deconstruction vs. Demolition : Mike J. Gold’s Blog

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

Creates jobs

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, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance at or ask for referrals at your local recycling center.

Related posts:

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via Deconstruction vs. Demolition : Mike J. Gold’s Blog.

Colcord Hall Deconstruction | New Hampshire



Materials that are salvaged will be brought to Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, located in Dover, and will be sold to benefit the building of future Habitat for Humanity homes. The fee paid to Habitat for Humanity for the deconstruction will also be used to fund future and current Habitat for Humanity projects.

In addition to helping build Habitat houses, the average deconstruction also salvages 60 percent to 90 percent of the materials, vastly reducing the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill. To finish the massive project, Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity is aiming to have a crew of up to 20 volunteers to work on site for four or five days each week. The crews will be led by an experienced builder who has built hundreds of homes and renovated hundreds more.


via Colcord Hall Deconstruction |

Delaware charity: Fixtures from never-opened hotel go to Habitat for Humanity | The News Journal |

Reclaimed fixtures to benefit Habitat for Humanity

The long-embroiled, twice-sold but never-opened Radisson hotel near New Castle this week took a new role — salvage site.

Habitat for Humanity is salvaging never-used material in the longtime white elephant from sinks to lights in its 193 rooms and halls.

“It’s like a ghost ship,” said Brian Cunningham, spokesman for nonprofit Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County.


Four questions for a pro: Jessie White of Sarasota Architectural Salvage | (Florida)

I found this article on my daily morning news hunt. I just posted the question I thought the most interesting, but the article itself is only okay.  I am encouraged to see more companies being created around building salvage (especially in Florida!!).  I will always post these types of news bits.  To see all four questions use the article link below.  Enjoy!

Jesse White, owner of Sarasota Architectural Salvage, in the “Side Yard” of his Central Avenue business. His company provides used building materials and other items reclaimed from deconstructed buildings. STAFF PHOTO / HAROLD BUBIL

Q:How do you get jobs doing architectural recycling work?

A:Our contacts are builders, home owners and demolition contractors, and we are called to go into a building and pull out anything of value before it gets knocked down.

We recently got our license to do demolition ourselves, so I’m hoping we will get contracts, and, in the process, save 20 to 40 percent of the building by doing a whole-house deconstruction.

via Four questions for a pro: Jessie White of Sarasota Architectural Salvage |