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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
Adam Corneil’s Vancouver company UnBuild, offers an environmental alternative to building demolitions and cost savings for homeowners.
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.”
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.
Buildings as Material Banks (BAMB) brings together fifteen partners from seven European countries. Its goal is a systemic shift in 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.
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.
For more information on the study of structural abandonment “Domicology,” visit domicology.msu.edu
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
In addition, deconstruction can potentially generate jobs around harvesting, processing and selling materials. Arlene Karidis | Sep 20, 2018
“The reuse economy is similar to the recycling industry in that it creates more jobs throughout the value chain than strictly disposing material in a landfill. As the reuse market continues to grow, more jobs will be created downstream, including warehouse operations, retail, value-added manufacturing and job training,” says Blomberg.
Photos by Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
Deconstruction is underway at the power plant on 15th Street in Jasper. The company deconstructing the plant anticipates that 90 percent of the building’s material will be reused or recycled.
“We have a tremendous response from farmers, architects, as well as collectors of old memorabilia for most of the items slated for repurposing,” a Green Earth spokeswoman said in an email. She said the company plans to salvage compressors, generators, 60 percent of the beams, electronic switches, metal grading, miscellaneous electronic equipment and the front façade of the building.
The goal of this event is therefore to bring together individuals and organizations active in related areas of heritage conservation, urban, architectural and construction history, critical heritage and discard studies, building deconstruction, sustainable materials and waste management, to address these gaps and possibilities for bridging between these areas as part of projects, policies, research or creative practices.
An architect’s rendering of The Resource Rows
“We keep excavating for new resources to turn into construction materials when we have so many things above ground that are super-accessible. We just need to find the innovations to use them,” says Lendager.
Devna Bose / The Meridian Star
The old cotton press warehouse structure stretches along a portion of Front Street in downtown Meridian. Part of the building is being dismantled and the rest will be saved and repurposed. Material from the building is being reused in buildings across the street and around Mississippi.
“The pine, it’s being shipped and flooring is being made out of it, and its bricks are being used in buildings all over Mississippi,” Massey said.
Photo courtesy of J. Breneman/NRRI
Moving forward, Krause states that educating the public about deconstruction as an alternative to demolition is essential. “Every state has that looming ‘filling-up the-landfills’ problem. This project addresses it directly,” stated Krause.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – Burnham Mansion will be demolished soon, but crews are currently stripping the interior detailing from the historic home.
The demolition is being done to make room for the $87.1 million Central High School expansion.
It takes more workers to pry apart a building than to operate a wrecking ball. Although that makes deconstruction more expensive, creating additional jobs is appealing in a city where 23 percent of residents live in poverty.
Debris remains where a demolished rowhouse once stood on one of many blocks slated for demolition in Baltimore. When possible, city officials want to dismantle and salvage materials from buildings rather than demolishing them.
Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press
The two Baltimore enterprises address multiple problems at once. Details Deconstruction takes apart blighted buildings and salvages or recycles materials that are still valuable — a process called deconstruction. Brick and Board processes and sells reclaimed materials, saving them from the landfill. And both hire people with criminal records and prepare them for jobs in the construction industry.
The Pleasant Green house in Crozet was built in the 1800s. ZACK WAJSGRAS/THE DAILY PROGRESS
“Instead of just salvaging the [house’s] hickory, could we go a step further and actually save the original log cabin that dates back to these transactions that happened with Jeremiah Wayland,” said Jennie More, a county planning commissioner whose grandmother was born in the home. “Our family would very much like to explore that possibility, but we also understand the property owner has salvage rights and that it may not be possible at all.”
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is seeking bids to salvage a Burnside Island cottage built by the uncle of songwriter and Savannah native Johnny Mercer, following calls by preservationists to halt demolition plans for the 101-year-old structure.
OLD HARDWOOD is salvaged from the 78-year-old former Smithey’s warehouse building in North Wilkesboro as part of a joint venture between building owner Cam Finley and North Wilkesboro-based Revient Reclaimed Wood. Second Street is seen through a hole left by a tornado last fall.
The old Smithey’s warehouse had part of its roof torn off by a tornado that touched down in Wilkes in October 2017. “As soon as I saw what was inside it, I knew it was a great building for us to salvage,” said Shepherd.
An environmental collaborative aims to remove vacant properties, plans to salvage materials from 30 buildings in north St. Louis in 2019. Refab, a salvage yard in south St. Louis, is identifying buildings that qualify for deconstruction.
ELI CHEN | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO
“When you strategically disassemble a structure, there’s more opportunities to find and remediate environmental hazards,” Ginn said. “It would allow us to reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to landfills and you don’t have as much dust spreading through neighborhoods.”
GoodWood is hiring a full time Deconstructionist. $20 an hour to start, some construction or deconstruction experience is welcome. You can contact David Greenhill at Talk@GoodWoodportland.com.
GOOD WOOD IS A DECONSTRUCTION & SALVAGE COMPANY LOCATED IN PORTLAND, OREGON. WE PROVIDE DECONSTRUCTION SERVICES FOR RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS AND OFFER AN AFFORDABLE OPTION FOR SALVAGED OLD-GROWTH LUMBER.
Source: Good Wood
“It is important to us to use local contractors but also people with experience in deconstruction to help us reach our goal. Since there is local interest, we will reopen the bid process.”
2075 N. Cambridge Ave. Photo by Dave Reid.
“I mean, I thought we were doing something great here. But it’s contingent on, as usual, the private sector, money, fear of hiring ex-offenders.” Bauman called this program a case study in the obstacles confronted by attempts to create jobs. “If every time you try to create jobs for the folks most in need and the folks you want to keep off the street and keep out of the criminal justice system, if there’s a million obstacles put up, we’re sunk. We’ll never solve the problem.”
Photo by Darrell Jackson
Pictured is the interior of the Glendale location where Stardust Building Supplies offers a large assortment for sale to the public.
“Our deconstruction service is free and we have a list of questions that we ask to determine if the job is something we can do,” Fulton said. “Due to Environmental Protection Agency rules, we cannot do houses that were built before 1978 due to rules about asbestos and lead paint. A job supervisor will also do site searches to make sure the job is something we can do.”
Though we tend to think of buildings as singular entities, in reality, they are complex structures made of thousands (if not millions) of smaller parts. And, even though a building may be at the end of its life cycle, the components that make it up aren’t.
Treena Gowthorpe and Kate Otter-Lowe are setting out to prove that a house can be deconstructed and recycled for the same price as demolition.
“You take a house that isn’t wanted in the community and deconstruct it. You carefully harvest all the materials from the house and then you use those materials and reconstruct it into tiny builds,” she said.
2075 N. Cambridge Ave. Photo by Dave Reid.
There are a number of city-owned properties that have to be demolished. And using the requirements of its residents preference program, firms going after the deconstruction contracts will have to meet workforce goals and train unemployed or underemployed city residents in this new trade.
Workers remove seating planks from the East Grandstand at Hayward Field and take them to a truck for transport Monday, June 11, 2018, in Eugene, Oregon. Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard
In a first step toward dismantling the 93-year-old grandstand, workers removed original seat boards and placed them in a truck. The salvaged Douglas fir bleacher seats are among numerous items that are to be reused in a modern stadium that is to be built on the same site as Hayward Field in time for the 2021 World Track and Field Championships.
Lynne and her contractor rescued a nearby barn (that had been destroyed in a tornado) to form the bones of the treehouse. Salvaged windows (including stained glass from an old church) complete the vintage look.
Four workers survey how to pull plaster off one of the walls. Baihly Warfield/WDIO
Better Futures Minnesota is managing the projects, Miigwech Aki is providing labor, and the Natural Resources Research Institute is adding in their expertise. They each believe the extra time involved with deconstructing a building instead of demolishing it is worth it.
“Oftentimes, when people compare demolition and deconstruction, they compare just the cash outlay right at the beginning. But we don’t believe that’s a fair comparison,” he said. Adams pointed to the legacy of overflowing landfills and the health risks they present. He also noted the increase in jobs and taxes generated by dismantling a building.
Thomas Adams, president and CEO of Better Futures Minnesota
© 2018-Del Norte Prospector
“Once the bond passed, we started the repurposing committee that is comprised of school staff and local residents to see if we could actually get some of these buildings off of our hands and save some extra funding to go towards the new school,” explained Burr.
New marketplaces, such as Loop, are disrupting the industry and facilitating transparency by enabling asset owners to list and identify reuse opportunities for materials or equipment ahead of demolition. Looking ahead, circular models require cross-industry collaboration – it certainly isn’t just the demolition sector that needs to act.
The domicology movement aims to save materials from demolished buildings, sending less to landfills.
WKAR FILE PHOTO
“Consumers want to be more environmentally sensitive in their consumer purchases,” LaMore says, “so they’re willing to pay a slight markup on a reused or salvaged product if they know that they’re reducing their environmental footprint and supporting a more robust, environmentally sensitive construction economy.”
DX RUST Speaker Freedom Moreno at
ReUse-Aplooza at the Oregon Public House June 10th
Freedom Moreno is a Certified Deconstructionist with the Building Material Reuse Association. She was in the first building deconstruction certification class for the City of Portland, Oregon. She is also an Alumni of Oregon Tradeswomen Inc.
Freedom pioneered as the first women and woman of color, to be a lumber specialist for Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage.
PDX RUST Speaker Simon Love atReUse-Aplooza at the Oregon Public House June 10th
Simon is the reuse and repair specialist at Oregon DEQ, leading the implementation of DEQ’s strategic plan related to extending the lifespan of products through reuse, repair and improvements to product durability.
Source: PDX RUST
PMV Canada says it will demolish these vacant buildings at 120 and 126 Main Street over the next two weeks. (Google Inc.)
“We could repurpose some of those materials, not see them end up in landfills like other demolitions,” said Janelle Russell, Heritage Saint John’s vice-president.”There’s, of course, the front trim, there’s staircases, banisters. … A lot of the buildings in this area are made out of virgin wood, so they’re very strong, and the wood is still good and solid.
Pete Brands (left) and Travis Blomberg (right) with WasteCap Resource Solutions
The four departments we plan to offer in the next six months are deconstruction, salvage services, the retail store and Do It Yourself, in which WasteCap partners with Fox 6 News to provide upcycling and reuse tutorials using materials in the warehouse.