The Singer building was one of the worlds most beautiful examples of urban architecture – now it is an example of poor historic preservation.
Environmentalists worry old-growth logging approvals are increasing, which could be harmful for B.C.’s biodiversity. (The Wilderness Committee)
Old-growth logging approvals have gone up over the past year despite the B.C. government promising to protect old-growth forests, according to new research from an environmental group.
KAREN | AdobeStock
Pittsburgh officials aim to remove blight in neighborhoods by deconstructing city-owned properties that are condemned but not slated for demolition. The deconstruction will involve stripping buildings of useful materials to preserve their integrity so that they can be used in other building applications, according to the city.
This is the 3rd video in the Strong Towns series, and is probably the most important core topic: the fact that American car-dependant cities are financially insolvent, and function like a Ponzi scheme. This is the reason most American cities are bankrupt.
Governor Newsom, Cal Fire, and the California Natural Resources Agency continue to pay lip service to the climate emergency while promoting commercial logging and road building as appropriate responses to the wildfire crisis. They spend millions of dollars on a PR campaign for Nature-Based Solutions, but move forward with business as usual, promoting and approving the logging of millions of acres across the state, burning massive quantities of fossil fuel just to destroy our best ally in our fight to have
Source: Mendocino Trail Stewards
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have introduced a “Green New Deal for Public Housing” that would provide $172 billion to retrofit existing housing.
A Google Street view of Shreveport, LA downtown area abruptly ending where it meets the highway.
US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is among those who have spoken out on the history of Black neighborhoods being disproportionately divided by highway projects, and has called for righting those wrongs.
The consultant, Tap International, says the Construction and Demolition Waste Diversion Program Program needs improvement to ensure that the City’s requirements and the intentions of the program are met.
In December 2020, Victoria council voted to approve an ambitious plan to reduce city waste by 50 per cent by 2040. “If we diverted all the construction waste currently going into the landfill, that would take us 10 per cent of the way to our targets,” said Helps. In an effort to cut red tape for companies like Unbuilders, city staff are in the final stages of drafting a deconstruction bylaw.
“By effecting a step change in how we use and reuse resources, the move to a circular economy will deliver major environmental and economic benefits and is an essential element of making net zero a reality.”
The IRS now maintains that the Manns are not entitled under § 170 to either the original $675,000 fair market value deduction or the amended $313,353 deconstructed value deduction. The IRS asserts that in donating the value of the House, the Manns donated only a part of their interest in the Property, and that such partial-interest donations are impermissible under § 170. In opposition, the Manns assert that they had a discrete interest in the House that could be and was properly and separately donated purs
Source: Tax News – Bills / Cases / IRS
Logging makes fires worse, not better. One of the most fateful management choices Congress and our federal forest agencies made in the past was to allow logging corporations free reign on public lands to take the biggest, oldest, most fire-resistant trees with them and leave behind flammable piles of slash, dense plantations of young trees and networks of logging roads that would stretch from here to the moon and halfway back. With these roads come more human-sparked fires from logging equipment, irresponsible campers, gunfire and fireworks. Ninety percent of wildland fires are human caused and this labyrinth of logging roads provides the conduit.
“Once materials – raw materials – leave the biosphere and enter the technosphere because they are processed, we need to keep them in the technosphere and recycle or reuse them as much as possible,” Pralle said. “For that we need to create a deconstruction industry as powerful and elaborate as the mining industry.” Pralle said the success of a deconstruction industry
A house on Vancouver’s West Side being dismantled by the group Unbuilders is seen on Sept. 30, 2020.
“What you’re going to see over the next five years is a rollout of deconstruction policy across the board,” said Corniel. “So, we’re the first of our kind in Canada, doing what we do, but this will be the typical way that houses are taken down and taken apart in the future.”
The B-Wa (h) renhaus with its shop-in-shop range of used goods is also a unique project nationwide. It is an important step on the way to ‘department stores of the future’, which offer attractive shopping opportunities for used goods. As part of the Re-Use initiative, three to four “used department stores of the future” are to be built in Berlin in the medium term.
Photographer: Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images
Berlin hopes to use the stores to “anchor the re-use of used goods in urban society” by functioning as centers to educate and spread tips on re-use — especially to sections of the public that aren’t currently much involved in the circular economy. The initiative is part of a broader plan from Berlin’s ruling center-left/Green/left coalition that looks to slash waste in all areas of the city’s economy.
The government needs to go further with its circular economy plans if the UK is to reduce its waste and make a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to engineers from the University of Sheffield.
Adding circular economy principles to the planning process would put greater emphasis on retrofitting buildings, designing for adaptability, deconstruction and reuse of materials at end of life. It would both reduce waste, and help to reduce the UK’s demand for new materials.
To be eligible, the structure must be a home or apartment with up to four units built before 1950 and with a renovation area of at least 250 square feet. Moreover, six material types need to be removed to be reused and at least 550 pounds of wood must be salvaged from the project. All non-reusable building materials must be sent to a county-approved C&D recycler.
In recognition of national Preservation Month, Preservation New Jersey (PNJ) announced its annual list of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in New Jersey at a virtual press conference on Thursday, May 14, 2019.
Image: courtesy Doughnut Economics Action Lab
According to the model, no one should fall into the hole in the center of the doughnut, which would mean they don’t have enough to afford basic needs. The outer ring of the doughnut represents the ecological limits of the planet, from biodiversity loss and air pollution to climate breakdown.
The city needs to use original brick to reconstruct the corner of 234 Butler St. Photo by Meg Capone
Federal and state officials have upheld an agreement with the city to reuse tens of thousands of original bricks to restore the facade of the historic Gowanus Station site when construction crews tear down the building for a new water-filtration facility, according to an April 21 letter.
Meanwhile, the ordinance’s continued suspension provides more time to develop a market for materials recycled from deconstructed houses. Selling those materials helps reduce the higher cost of deconstruction.
A 2017 UN Environment report estimated the building sector contributes 49 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions thus making it the single largest contributor to climate change. Globally, building operations account for 28 percent of GHG emissions and the embodied carbon of building materials–the emissions generated in the production, transport, and assembly of materials such as wood, concrete, and steel–accounts for another 11 percent.
“We’re seeing these forests disappear overnight. It’s happening so fast, and there’s very little old growth left in this part of B.C. It’s an environmental crisis that’s no less tragic than the loss of coral reefs and tropical rainforests.”
Half of the 100.6bn tonnes of materials were sand, clay, gravel and cement for building, plus minerals quarried for fertiliser. Photograph: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy
The lion’s share of the materials – 40% – is turned into housing.
The historic St. Mary’s Catholic Church rectory in Owen Sound. The empire-style building was constructed in 1872. A wraparound porch was added in 1917 and was enclosed, as it appears today, in 1965. Denis Langlois
“Not only would we be destroying building materials superior in quality to what we can easily obtain today, we would be burning fossil fuels to transport these wasted materials to the landfill,” Elgie said. “Replacing these building materials extracts a huge toll on our natural environment – the fossil fuels burned, the greenhouse gases emitted, the air and water pollutants generated when new iron ore is mined, new steel smelted, new girders manufactured and transported to warehouses and ultimately Owen Sound – to mention just a few of the greenhouse gas-emitting steps in the construction process.”
“One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat,” architectural historian Vincent Scully Jr. lamented.
Green, the deputy ombudsman, points to a $4 million project in the Overlook neighborhood. The contractor failed to remove the siding before demolition took place. The penalty? Just $876 in administrative fees due to the stop-work order. (BDS does not issue fines for first-time violations.)”Why follow the rules if the fine totals $876 and you’ve saved $5,000 on removing the siding by hand?” Green asks. “Human nature is not on the side of doing right.”
Homes along Laukahi Street with Hawaii Loa Ridge homes in the background, 2015. The City and County of Honolulu could pass a law to require better use of teardowns.
Seeing the pile of rubbish that was once a house made of beautiful clear heart redwood, I could not help thinking about the environmental activists, U.S. National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service staff who have worked for decades in California to save the remaining giant redwoods from logging, while here in Hawaii we are using them for landfill. There was a significant value loss as well since similar redwood boards (8-feet-by-8-feet) would cost at least $50 each if bought locally.
A work crew deconstructs a Southeast Portland home in 2015 (The Oregonian/File)
The majority of council members said Wednesday that they plan to approve the ordinance, and Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty and Chloe Eudaly said they would like to see a more severe penalty for violators. A first offense can lead to a fine of up to $500 and a third or more can be up to $1,500. “I support everything else, but I think if you’re going to hold people accountable, they’ve got to feel it,” Hardesty said. “This is not something that they’re going to feel.”
“Number one, it’s an economic driver,” said 15th District Alderman Russell Stamper II. “We’re providing opportunities for individuals to learn skills on how to deconstruct, put some money in their pocket, and most of all have a job right here in the city of Milwaukee.”
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting applications for the 2020 Derelict Building Grant Program. The program promotes the reuse or recycling of building materials from dilapidated buildings in communities of 5,000 residents or less.
The Solid Waste Division (SWD) strives to enhance the efficacy of Construction & Demolition (C&D) recycling. SWD is offering a new $700,000 C&D Grant Program for innovative projects that support King County’s Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan (Comp Plan). As established in the King County Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP), King County aims to divert C&D materials from landfills at a rate of 85 percent by 2025, and also has a countywide goal of zero waste of resources by 2030.
The specific solicitation for the C&D Grant Program can be accessed here – https://procurement.
kingcounty.gov/procurement_ OVR/detail.aspx?bidid=4231 (click “Enter as Guest”).
Source: C&D grant program – King County
New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust general manager, Francesca Lipscombe, says the new ecolabel could be a game changer for the construction industry. She is pictured at the Waitakere Refuse and Recycling Centre with Auckland Council manager of waste solutions Parul Sood.
The Environmental Choice label would differentiate C&D service providers from each other by their environmental impact and mark those who were top providers and demonstrated best practice around waste minimisation and reduction.
Since 2016, one-fourth of whole houses that were taken down in Palo Alto were deconstructed instead of demolished. This means workers were required to disassemble structures so materials could be recycled. The new policy intends to bring the successes of deconstruction to a city-wide scale. The ordinance will impact approximately 114 projects annually, according to a City Council Staff Report.
Ruthie Mundell stands among new and vintage chandeliers—all salvaged and ready to find a new home. (Teresa Carey)
“You have a grassroots momentum for something like deconstruction, and you have a massive industry against it,” says Sara Badiali.
The building material reuse consultant thinks regulations are an effective way to make a change. Yet, she has searched the world and “can’t find any place that actually has the words ‘building deconstruction’ in legislation.”
Badiali worked with the city of Portland, Oregon, to create the nation’s first reuse ordinance. Now, Portland homes built before 1916 must be evaluated for deconstruction. Other cities like San Francisco and Milwaukee are drafting their own ordinances.
Most of that material salvaged from the old Mercantile made their way to Home ReSource. Roughly 200,000 board feet of lumber ended up in new projects across Missoula. MRA required deconstruction as part of the Mercantile project. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current file photo)
Over the past few years, and with sustainability in mind, MRA has given preference to certain building materials. It also encourages deconstruction over demolition when possible, even if doing so costs a little more.“We’re constrained by state law on how we can spend our funds, but if you take the facade improvement program, one of the underpinnings of that is sustainability,” said MRA director Ellen Buchanan. “Our deconstruction policy is also huge. The city can’t require deconstruction, but we can.”
The demolition sorting operation at Zanker Recycling extracts concrete, sheetrock, asphalt and wood, among other debris, for recyclable markets. Photo by Veronica Weber.
The new deconstruction ordinance is expected to help the city divert 7,930 tons of waste annually (by contrast, the disposable-foodware ordinance that the council adopted at the same meeting would divert 290 tons). The deconstruction ordinance is also expected to reduce the city’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 22,300 metric tons annually (for the foodware ordinance, the number is 470 tons).
“For too long, we have not done a good job at construction sites and we need to do that,” said Phil Bobel, assistant director for Public Works Palo Alto. Bobel authored the ordinance approved by city council last Monday. “You can’t just smash it and combine everything, so then it’s harder to recycle it or salvage it.”
The Auckland region is in the midst of a major building boom. Whilst this is good news for new homebuyers, it generates a lot of waste that usually ends up being sent to landfill.
The council is working to adopt a deconstruction and soft strip approach as a standard. The deconstruction methodology sees buildings carefully taken down, bit by bit, to recover materials so that they can be re-used elsewhere. This can include building fittings and fixtures, such as seating, light fittings, kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as important building componentry and materials such as trusses, timber, corrugated iron, and steel.
“I don’t think (the fee increase) goes far enough,” he said, adding that “there should be a law that you either move the house or use portions of it to build a new house or disassemble it board by board so it can be used.”
NYC’s VIA 57 West building was one of the first pilot projects to recycle all new construction gypsum trim scrap.
Beyond the environmental impacts, “We’re throwing away valuable resources when we’re not recycling this material,” Kaminsky says. “In landfills, when materials are layered on top of other materials in humid, anaerobic conditions, we can see hydrogen sulfide generation. Gypsum is a major contributor to hydrogen sulfide gas, which is associated with the ‘rotten egg’ smell people are familiar with.”
Examples of grant project ideas are creating a pilot reusable to-go container service program that partners with regional takeout restaurants or launching a construction and demolition building materials reuse program.
In October 2016, in an effort to reduce waste, support material reuse, and reduce environmental impacts of demolition, the City of Portland, Oregon, enacted an ordinance requiring manual deconstruction of residential homes built in 1916 or earlier. This study analyzes the material quantity data from the first 36 deconstruction projects in Portland to measure carbon and energy impacts. The carbon and energy impacts were also calculated for a hypothetical scenario in which the same houses were mechanically demolished.
The goal of this project is to calculate the carbon and energy impacts of deconstruction and demolition of
single-family houses in Portland, Oregon. The results will allow the City of Portland to measure the effectiveness of their deconstruction policy in achieving climate and energy goals.
Nat Hyman, Allentown developer and former mayoral candidate, sued the state Department of General Services in an attempt to prevent it from demolishing the Allentown State Hospital. (Kevin Mingora / The Morning Call)
Preservationists point to historic value, architectural beauty and potential repurposing in their effort to save the property from demolition. More than 5,000 people have signed an online petition to preserve the buildings.
The scheduled demolition of this carriage house in Morristown’s Historic District has spurred an anti-demolition ordinance. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Residents and town officials were alarmed in February by a pair of knockdowns of historic mansions in Montclair, where a Turkish billionaire aimed to erect a mega-mansion to rival Mar-A-Lago.
For example, in the summer of 2012, Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts) deconstructed two small wood-frame buildings and, in the process, recycled 92 percent, by weight, of the total material removed from the project site. The Williams small building deconstruction resulted in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 14 cars from the roads for a full year (66 metric tonnes).
Public Domain Concrete demolition via PXhere
Workers performing concrete chipping at substructure bridge repair sites had the highest level of respirable crystalline silica exposure, a time-weighted average of 527 micrograms per cubic meter of air. That is more than 10 times the PEL of 50 micrograms per cubic meter that OSHA established in its most recent silica regulation (1926.1153).
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.