The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Materials Management program offers grants that promote the prevention, recovery or reuse of solid wastes.
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.
Support the reuse industry. This area needs considerable help, and it’s where state leadership is crucial. One state leading the pack is Minnesota. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has shown its support for the industry in many ways, but here are a few of their initiatives that can be replicated by your state: Hold a statewide summit for industry stakeholders; support the launch of a statewide reuse support network (ReuseMN); offer a free, online materials exchange (MN Materials Exchange); conduct a study
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.
Investment and Innovation grants Investment and Innovation grants support efforts to reduce waste through reusing, recycling, composting or making energy from the stuff that is discarded in greater Portland.
“It’s much more oriented toward local governments and economic development practitioners,” who are looking at the steps community leaders can take to encourage greater deconstruction, Pytel said. “Waste is typically a consequence of a bunch of other decisions. We’re going up a few levels to get at the decisions that end up creating waste, as opposed to looking at things as waste to begin with.”
Currently, certain collectors of construction and demolition debris are able to circumvent the requirement to recycle 75 percent by weight of recovered materials by processing mostly concrete and other heavy debris – leaving solid waste to accumulate on site.
Affectionately known as the Money Box, 5 Martin Place is one of Sydney’s most iconic buildings. (Credit: ABC licensed)
“If you look at the steel, we’ve avoided 5,000 tonnes in carbon emissions by not having to produce the steel that would have been needed to replace that building,” Mr Wall said.
Portland city council has voted to strengthen procedures for demolishing older neighborhood homes, while tabling plans to extend a deconstruction mandate for homes built after 1916. (City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability)
“Originally, the goal was to begin at 1916 in Phase I, then move to 1926 as a next step and eventually include housing built before 1940 by the year 2019.” Wood said the advisory group realized that it would be “bad timing” to increase the number of structures covered too quickly, so the 1916 date will hold firm for the foreseeable future, as demolition procedures are tightened.
Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s hammer some bricks!
It is a genuinely comforting thought, that when you look at a brick building any one of those bricks can originate from many different places. Apart from the green-tech-recycling aspect, this makes buildings ooze of history — even if they are brand new.
The grant program was instituted by state legislation to help rural communities with populations of 5,000 or less to deconstruct or renovate abandoned commercial and public structures.
The program emphasizes reuse and recycling of building items, helps improve street appearance and commercial development, and alleviates the environmental concern these buildings can pose. Financial assistance includes asbestos removal, building deconstruction and renovation, and other environmental services.
“Heritage is one of our main economic drivers in the city. The deconstruction policy — if we had one — would address salvaging any materials in the case where demolition is absolutely necessary.”
Real Trends: The Future of Real Estate in the United States, a report commissioned by Capital One and written by the MIT Center for Real Estate.
(Image courtesy of the Delta Institute via Extracting Value through Deconstruction)
On Jan. 1, the country’s second deconstruction ordinance went into effect in Milwaukee. In short, the ordinance “provides deconstruction requirements for the removal of Milwaukee’s older and more historic primary dwelling structures.” Deconstruction, in contrast to demolition, is the process of systematically dismantling a structure in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible manner, aiming to maximize the recovery of materials for reuse and recycling. The ordinance targets primary-dwelling structures built in 1929 or earlier. This reason for this specification? The likelihood that those structures will contain old-growth lumber and other valuable building materials.
Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
Read Preservationists spar over demolition request in Astoria from The Daily Astorian
The shed is among five buildings that comprise the last traditional smoked-herring facility in the U.S., and an organization called Lubec Landmarks has worked for almost 25 years to preserve it. Lubec Landmarks President Rachel Rubeor said legal tangles, including salvage rights claims by some Canadian citizens, could doom the building.
Founder of Community Forklift & Executive Manager of the Alliance for Regional Cooperation, Jim Schulman discusses his work on the Building Materials Reuse Association. His work in cooperation with the DC Sierra Club and others are pushing building code changes to help rescue building materials from the waste stream.
New African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Will Help to Preserve Overlooked Historic Places, Bring Preservation Funding to Underrepresented Communities and Uncover the Untold Stories of Communities of Color
In addition to helping support direct action needed to protect threatened sites of historic significance and addressing critical funding gaps for their preservation, the fund will also help to uncover hidden stories of African-Americans connected to historic sites across the nation, empower youth through National Trust’s Hands On Preservation Experience program, support research on preservation’s impact on contemporary urban problems that disproportionately affect communities of color, and advocate for preservation funding for underrepresented communities.
The Divine Lorraine Hotel, a 19th-century North Philadelphia building that had fallen into disrepair, has been rehabilitated into apartments and retail and restaurant space. Credit Mark Makela for The New York Times
In Philadelphia, losing the tax credit could have a devastating effect on efforts to defend the historic building stock, said Harris Steinberg, executive director of Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and chairman of the new preservation task force. “It very well could lead to more demolition of unprotected historic fabric,” he said.
Demolition dumps materials into landfills, boosts carbon emissions and releases asbestos and other harmful matter into the air, says Ald. Bob Bauman.
The Common Council approved the new deconstruction ordinance – which was co-sponsored by Alds. Nik Kovac and Khalif Rainey – Tuesday, and the rule that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, requires deconstruction rather than demolition of most one- to four-family buildings built before 1930 that are scheduled to be razed.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has selected recipients for five micro grant projects aimed at workforce development in the reuse and repair industries. Each grantee is receiving up to $10,000 that can be used to purchase equipment and train employees to support long-term business expansion.
Source: Oregon.gov: NewsDetail
1207 E. Broadway is one of five homes being renovated and sold as affordable houses. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling
All five homes were constructed sometime in the 1890s and are being preserved. Meanwhile, a 260-unit, multimillion-dollar apartment building is under construction in the same block. “We are seeing an entire neighborhood recreated,” said Christy Lee Brown, a local philanthropist who has helped promote historic renovation in Louisville by funding half of a historic preservation revolving loan fund.
City owned home at 2817-19 North 22nd Street. Photo from the City of Milwaukee.
The ordinance will kick in whenever the city is set to demolish a structure or a private contractor seeks a permit to demolish. And there are exceptions to the mandate to deconstruct if there are safety considerations or the salvageable materials have been damaged by something like a fire. While Bauman and Kovac are both historic preservation hawks in Milwaukee, because demolition and deconstruction jobs employ individuals from underserved communities in the city Bauman said “I do see this primarily as a job creation tool.”
Master of Special Problem Solving, Dave Bennink Disassembles 1,000 Buildings by Hand
by Sara Badiali
Imagine you are packing your car for a trip. You can only move your gear once, but you still have to maximize space. Sound difficult? Now imagine you have to do it with a stranger’s gear. That’s what Dave Bennink of Re-Use Consulting has been doing almost every week for the past 25 years.
But instead of gear, he does it with entire dismantled buildings. Dave’s expertise is in disassembling structures, staging the components for transport, and then moving them to be resold.
Dave deconstructs buildings for reuse. He’s dismantled 1,000 structures, in 42 states and 4 providences. He is a master of spatial problem solving. The materials are so big and take up so much space on site that they can only be moved once.
Dave Bennink’s extensive knowledge and experience meant that when the City of Portland passed their new Deconstruction Ordinance, they asked Dave to train the City’s first Certified Deconstruction Contractors. They also tapped him to train and certify a new deconstruction workforce.
In addition to his own business dismantling structures, Dave is a certified Deconstruction Trainer for the Building Material Reuse Association. He’s done trainings for the City of Seattle, Vancouver, other municipalities, numerous small businesses and organizations.
Students are drilled in safety, technique, material recovery, recycling, diversion equations, staging and selling materials. All of the lessons take place in the actual building the students are deconstructing.
It is a common site to see Dave drawing out waste diversion calculations on the interior walls one day, and the next day the walls are gone. If you ever buy reclaimed materials with calculations on them, you may have just purchased a piece of one of Dave’s many classrooms.
Along with his own business, and deconstruction training, Dave also is a consultant for reclaimed building material reuse start-ups. Guiding entrepreneurs with reuse business planning, deconstruction jobs, and marketing used building materials is Dave’s passion.
He is happy to help new converts into the world of environmental stewardship, job creation, community building, and healthy alternatives to demolition. His motto is “Say no to the track hoe”.
If you are interested in meeting Dave Bennink you can see him present twice at the Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo: Saving Our Past, Building the Future conference in Portland, Oregon on September 24th-27th. Dave will be on a panel with some of his certified deconstruction students. He will also be speaking on the basic principles of starting a reuse business (including spatial acumen).
Dave will be presenting at the Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo with over 50 other building material reuse experts, and hundreds of participants. This is the largest building material reuse event in the country and is being hosted by the City of Portland, Metro, the Reclamation Administration, and Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions.
Mary Reese hunts for tile at the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Gresham.
Jacobson compares shopping for salvaged building materials to thrift or vintage shopping, and advises shopping early and often. “Stock changes from day to day and quantities can be limited,” he says. “The list of stores is growing and that makes it easier to find what you need, but the region’s supply chain for used building materials is still a work in progress” Also, he says, find a contractor willing to work with you, one who’s willing to deconstruct and salvage materials, as well as incorporate reused items into the new space.
Recology CleanScapes Artists in Residence Max Cleary and Meg Hartwig exercises her “scavenging privileges” at SoDo recycling facility.
“What’s interesting about recycled materials is that when it comes down to it, they’re all just things caught in a cycle of being acquired and passed on,” Cleary observed in April, early in his residency. “The materials I find within Recology’s recycling stream have the potential to contain richer, more unexpected backgrounds and be in unpredictable states, which is exciting to me.”
Anne Nicklin, executive director of the Building Materials Reuse Association, which represents suppliers of used construction parts, says that only a “a very tiny percentage” of useful items currently is salvaged from building demolitions. Times are changing, though, she says. Governmental officials, mostly at the municipal and county levels, are discovering that reclaiming stuff from torn-down buildings helps them conserve landfill space and avoid the economic and environmental downsides of trucking waste to far-off disposal sites. “They realize that they have a problem and that this is the best available solution.”
Last chance for earlybird pricing + outstanding keynotes + book your hotel now!
Fireworks Flash Sale Thru Friday!
Say that five times fast…
In keeping with a celebratory week, we’ve created a special sale and brought back earlybird pricing on Decon + Reuse ’17 for five days only!. Register today to lock in the savings, or wait til Sunday and help donate a bit extra to the BMRA.
Jim Lindberg & Adam Minter – Keynote Speakers
We have locked down two really outstanding keynote speakers for the conference. On Monday September 25th, Adam Minter will kick off the conference speaking to the globalization of reuse and recycling markets. Then on Tuesday we’ll hear from Jim Lindberg of Preservation Green Lab on how reuse is a key tool of re-urbanization and future building.
Hotel Blocks in Portland
The low low pricing that we managed to negotiate at two hotels in Portland expires on 7/24/17 – book your rooms today!
The Reclamation Administration has made a lot of friends over the years.
We are proud to say that over a third of the speakers for Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo: Saving our Past, Building the Future are from our invitations. These presenters have all been featured on the Reclamation Administration going as far back as 2011!
Here is a list of Presenters brought to you by the Reclamation Administration. You can see them all in Portland, Oregon on September 24th – 27th at the Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo.
“I had no idea deconstruction even existed,” Stigen says. “I was working a dead-end job. I had know idea what kind of trade I wanted to get into.” When she heard later about the deconstruction training, she said her first thought was “perfect. Sign me up.” When CityLab spoke with Stigen, she was on her lunch break at a deconstruction site with Lovett Deconstruction, where she secured a job before the training even started.
Patricia Kobylski has been trying to get the City of Detroit to remove a pile of debris left from an illegal demolition in her east-side neighborhood. On Tuesday, she holds an envelope filled with notes on her calls to city officials. (Photo: Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press)
The property is owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority, but spokesman Craig Fahle said city officials don’t know who tore it down in January 2015. Fahle said no one pulled a demolition permit, and the Free Press could not find any demolition or asbestos abatement notices on file with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for the property on Westphalia between Gratiot and McNichols.
(Photo: Nina Mehlhaf)
That rule means a lot more certified deconstruction experts are needed. Tuesday, the city let us into a hands-on workshop at a home on Northwest 23rd Avenue, where 15 men and women were learning the trade.
Devon Campbell-Willliams is one of those trainees. He worked as a construction flagger before, and wanted to learn deconstruction technique hands on.
“You don’t want to go to straight in and straight up to pry up floorboards, if you do that you could crack the wood and it wouldn’t be reusable,” he said.
This is a row of four townhouses on East Grand Boulevard, three blocks from East Jefferson. If you stand on the sidewalk you can see the Detroit River – right where cars turn to reach Belle Isle. That’s what gives the area its name: Islandview. Paula Gardner | PaulaGardner@mlive.com
Detroit is still a city balancing rapid redevelopment downtown with slowly rebounding real estate market – and 90,000 vacant houses.
There is a proposed Senate Bill for Oregon to require a lead paint-based paint survey prior to a building demolition.
If SB871 passes it means that buildings must be surveyed for lead paint, in addition to the already required asbestos survey before being demolished. This information would then be available to the public by request.
In short, if you are living next to a building scheduled for demolition, you have the right to know if there is asbestos in that building. With the passing of SB871, you will have the right to know if there is lead paint in that building too.
Listed below are the bill sponsors who are waiting to hear from you. Each name is linked to their email. Please take a moment to let them know that you support this important legislation.
Status: Introduced on February 28 2017 – 25% progression
Action: 2017-03-02 – Referred to Environment and Natural Resources.
Pending: Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Text: Latest bill text (Introduced) [PDF]
|Sen. Michael Dembrow [D]||Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer [D]||Sen. Lew Frederick [D]||Sen. Kathleen Taylor [D]|
|Rep. Mitch Greenlick [D]||Rep. Ken Helm [D]||Rep. Tina Kotek [D]||Rep. Sheri Malstrom [D]|
|Rep. Robert Nosse [D]||Rep. Karin Power [D]||Rep. Jeff Reardon [D]||Rep. Tawna Sanchez [D]|
|2017-03-02||Senate||Referred to Environment and Natural Resources.|
|2017-02-28||Senate||Introduction and first reading. Referred to President’s desk.|
Oregon State Sources
Deconstruction of an 1884 House in Portland. | Credit: Scott A. Tice
It is important to note, too, that Portland city leaders also considered deconstruction as a job engine. Although rehabilitation of an older building—one that is neither demolished nor deconstructed—is likely to generate more jobs than deconstruction, supporters of the ordinance noted that deconstruction will provide six to eight jobs for every one job associated with traditional mechanized demolition. Furthermore, although it doesn’t compare to the reuse of an entire building, deconstruction will provide carbon-reduction benefits by preserving the embodied energy of at least some existing building materials and by cutting the greenhouse gasses associated with sending waste to landfills.
Christina Radvak leads Habitat for Humanity’s deconstruction team which removes useable materials from homes slated for demolition. The materials, construction materials, hardware and other useable goods, are sold through the non-profit society’s ReStores, which are located throughout B.C. ReStores are a popular shopping outlet for do-it-yourselfers and smaller contractors.
Badelt, a Buildex Vancouver panel member at session W33: Deconstruction and the Green Demolition Bylaw on Feb. 15-16, said the city brought the bylaw, which is similar to those in the U.S., into effect for two reasons. Cities want to reduce landfill materials, but many of these earlier homes contain quality wood and craftsmanship.
“These buildings have old-growth wood and we want to save those materials as well as the architectural details such as the old style windows. We saw a lot of material that could be salvaged and recycled,” he said. The bylaw also aligns itself with heritage conservation values in the city.
The outcome surprised many, as it revealed replacement does not necessarily have an advantage from a cost or environmental perspective. Having accurate data, FBRC proposed a creative solution, which was acceptable to consulting parties. Over the next 10 years, FBRC will repair and replace windows in the historic housing. The resulting mix of refurbished historic windows and new replacements will improve the quality of life for residents on Fort Belvoir while maintaining the historic character of the Fort Belvoir Historic District to the highest degree.
This is expected to divert about 8 million pounds of material from landfills per year and affect about 30% of homes that would be demolished. A study from the Northwest Economic Research Center estimates the policy could create 30-50 jobs and up to $1.5 million in local economic activity.
Rebuilding Center Photo
Dismantling a home carefully enough that its components can be reused is a more intricate process than demolition. It takes longer and requires more labor in place of machinery. At first glance, the labor costs make deconstruction more expensive than demolition. In most cases, though, the tax benefits more than pay for deconstruction—the value of salvaged materials, which can be donated for tax credit or saved for reuse in later projects, is typically thousands of dollars greater than the cost difference between deconstruction and demolition. “When you don’t have to use energy to create a project, you’re just harvesting, it’s almost like free money,” Badiali says. “By simply dismantling something, you’re creating a product. You’re adding value.”
The UK Green Building Council significantly cut landfill waste by refurbishing its head office with 98% of the original fixtures reused or repurposed. Photograph: UKGBC
Such measures could bring about a similar shift in mentality within the industry as has been witnessed in relation to health and safety, he argues: “Time is a real pressure when it comes to taking materials down to reuse them, but it’s interesting that time is never an issue for health and safety these days.”
On October 31 of this year Portland plans to implement a policy requiring deconstruction on any demolition of a house or duplex which was built in 1916 or earlier. Pre-1917 houses currently account for approximately one-third of the 300+ demolitions taking place in the city each year.
A number of BMRA members have been involved with the effort to develop, pass and implement a deconstruction ordinance in Portland. BMRA member Sara Badiali, of the Reclamation Administration and also a member of the City of Portland Deconstruction Advisory Group touts the pioneering aspect of this effort:
“The City of Portland, Oregon’s Deconstruction Ordinance is unique as the very first in the world to lawfully require dismantling buildings for reuse. Its historical precedence lays the foundation for other laws to be created to close the loop in our building material waste streams. I am honored to be on the team that created the Deconstruction Ordinance and I am thrilled for the future of the planet.”
Source: BMRA News June 2016
Image credit: Till Krech/Wikimedia Commons
The WEF claims that less than a third of all construction and demolition waste is recovered and reused, resulting in billions of tonnes of materials being wasted. In the United States, about 40 percent of solid waste derives from construction and demolition.“Such waste involves a significant loss of valuable minerals, metals and organic materials,” wrote the WEF’s Keith Beene. “With such quantities involved, even small improvements in the way the construction industry works will have significant impacts on sustainability.”
The test site will be the western Michigan city of Muskegon, which researchers say has more than 3,000 abandoned residential and commercial properties. They want to look at whether traditional demolition is the best bet or if materials should be reused and repurposed.
Funding that the city has lent through its reuse program includes $750,000 to TM Montante Development for Planing Mill project. Derek Gee/News file photo
The new fund, part of the Buffalo Building Reuse Project, is designed to speed up redevelopment in the city’s downtown core, with a specific focus on residential and mixed-use projects that will put empty and derelict properties back to active use.
The city has already had some public-sector dollars available to lend through the reuse program, such as the $750,000 that it provided to TM Montante Development last year for its Planing Mill conversion on Elm Street. The addition of the banks’ money will allow the city to support nearly three times as many projects per year in downtown Buffalo than was previously available.
I sold my beautiful 1904 home in North Portland in May. I was assured by the buyers that they planned to rent my home while they built a second or third structure in the backyard. I now find that they are planning (and probably always planned) to tear down the house. This house should not be a tear down. It is in beautiful condition with old growth fir floors, built in cabinets and many new upgrades to bath and kitchen. There should be a law that requires buyers to inform the sellers of their intentions in regard to the existing structures on the property. I had other offers that I would have taken if I had been informed of this buyer’s intentions. We are losing so much history with the destruction of these older homes. I am not opposed to new buildings, but not at the expense of what is still viable and oh so beautiful. There may not be time to save my house, but we can hopefully prevent more wanton destruction in the future.
WASHINGTON—Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced the Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act (H.R. 3237) today, which will support communities striving towards zero waste by establishing a grant program that funds the infrastructure, technology, and community outreach needed to achieve it.
“Preventing waste and diverting it from our landfills means a healthier environment and a more sustainable economy,” Rep. Ellison said. “Zero Waste is about preventing waste at the source and reusing the rest. It’s also about creating local jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and using our limited resources wisely.”
The program looks to ensure more demolition materials are reused. WENDY CULVERWELL
The awards would give $2,500 to those fully removing houses or duplexes within Portland. The money would only back those projects that employ deconstruction and reuse.
* EcoStores Nebraska received $20,000 to work with five contractors and property owners to divert construction waste from the landfill and develop best management practices for construction and demolition waste.
The Alchemist pub before it was illegally demolished
“In our view the demolition was a very serious breach of planning rules which can only be put right by the complete rebuilding and reconstruction of this important community asset, using the same materials and to the same architectural design.
“This building was an integral part of the St John’s Hill Grove conservation area and its loss has been keenly felt by local people. That’s why we are determined to take action to ensure it’s restored for future generations.”
The Alchemist pub after being knocked down