Category Archives: Reuse Design

We Like What They Do: Enrique Romero’s PulpLamp | 2Modern Blog


These Pulp Lamps are so rockstar awesome. So earthy, natural and modern. “PulpLamp is a lamp collection made using only materials like paper paste from recycled newspapers, this way giving them a second life. They aren’t standard models, each new creation will have a new shape, color and texture. All the shapes are made with inflatable molds, what gives the possibility of deforming them for creating a unique piece.”

via We Like What They Do: Enrique Romero’s PulpLamp | 2Modern Blog.

Brad Guy’s academic take on U.S. architectural salvage –


“If you’re designing commercial buildings and shopping centres for a living, that’s all great, but it didn’t seem to be making the world a better place, so I went to the University of Florida to study green building. This was in the early 1980s and there were no established programmes at that time, so I spent a lot of time in the library and learned that green building was much more than passive solar design. I met a guy whose goal was to open a reuse store. His name was Kevin Ratkus and we worked to put together the first deconstruction research projects at the university taking apart several homes, and then tracking and analyzing the results.”

via Brad Guy’s academic take on U.S. architectural salvage –

INTERVIEW: Architect and Author Alejandro Bahamon on ‘REMATERIAL From Waste to Architecture’ via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Architect Alejandro Bahamón and artist Maria Camila Sanjinés were fascinated by the use of waste in architecture and decided to document 33 projects from around the world that extensively utilize a wasted material in their new book, REMATERIAL From Waste to Architecture.

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Salvaging Pieces of the Past | How to Use Salvaged Building Materials in New Construction | Photos | Salvage | This Old House

Salvage wood materials

“I’m Yankee and I’m cheap,” jokes Tom. “If used parts are in good shape, I’d rather recycle them than buy new.” So, after knocking out walls and tearing up floors, the TOH team was left with centuries-old wood and brick that might have been destined for the Dumpster at many job sites. Instead, they’ve been picking through the pile, spotting pieces with potential, then transforming these and other old house parts into finishes, details, and furnishings. These salvage projects will make even brand-new areas look perfectly at home next to existing rooms, and will also keep intact the house’s historic character—the very thing the Titlows fell in love with. Read on to see what’s in the works.

via Salvaging Pieces of the Past | How to Use Salvaged Building Materials in New Construction | Photos | Salvage | This Old House.

Y4TE supports the reuse map project for dismissed materials – Gozo News.Com

Y4TE supports the reuse map project for dismissed materials

By filling a contact form, everyone can upload on reclaimed materials on offer or materials requests oriented to design, architecture and construction industry. The reuse map will accept any items which exchange is not harmful or prohibited in any way and that can be reused for any design purpose. Definition of “design purposes” include works of art, restoration, ordinary maintenance of buildings, architectural design at the concept stage. Offers and requests, if acceptable according to the website policy, will be uploaded on the map with their exact location, showing item and quantity.

via Y4TE supports the reuse map project for dismissed materials – Gozo News.Com.

Unconsumption – Creative Reuse Transforms Asheville Community

Residents of Asheville, North Carolina’s Burton Street Community — a neighborhood which fell into decline during the past four decades — have been working with the non-profit Asheville Design Center ”to transform discarded objects into art, neglected properties into community spaces, and at-risk youth into creative catalysts for change.”

A major component of their improvement efforts is an interactive learning and teaching space, designed and built by area university students and community members, in the Burton Street Peace Garden.

Materials used include discarded signs (a large Texaco sign, pictured above, serves as a sliding door), old windows, and door and window screens, among other items.

via Unconsumption – Page 2.

10/21/2011 – Free Building And Design Workshop Is Oct. 29 – Real Estate –


Ask the Experts is part of a series of free design workshops offered as service to the community by the ReStore.

Future sessions include: Home Weatherization, 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, and “Mr. Fixit” – Basic Home Repair, 1 p.m., Dec. 16.

For more information about these workshops or the ReStore, call 634-1004 or visit

via 10/21/2011 – Free Building And Design Workshop Is Oct. 29 – Real Estate –

Deep Energy Retrofit Demonstrates Significant Energy Savings With Help of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts – MarketWatch


CET has transformed a 100-year-old brick mill building into a modern green building with the help of funding from Columbia Gas. The building will house the EcoBuilding Bargains store, a non-profit recycled construction materials retail establishment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency similar commercial buildings and manufacturing plants account for nearly half of all U.S. energy consumption or $2 billion a year.

This EcoBuilding Bargains store is a green standard-bearer, using only about 1/2 of the energy than a normal building of its size, according to John Majercak, CET’s Executive Director.

The $3.3 million energy-efficient makeover of the historic structure is a forerunner in sustainable practices and is just one of the many “Deep Energy Retrofits” (or superbly-insulated, highly-airtight buildings that dramatically reduce heat loss) supported by Columbia Gas around the Commonwealth.



via Deep Energy Retrofit Demonstrates Significant Energy Savings With Help of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts – MarketWatch.

Redesigners part of national project-Calaveras Enterprise

Interior Redesign Industry Specialists has announced ReDesign with ReStore, a nationwide philanthropic relationship with Habitat for Humanity. The initiative connects IRIS redesigners with the 700-plus Habitat for Humanity ReStore outlets throughout North America, including San Andreas.

Through ReDesign with ReStore, IRIS redesigners from coast to coast will show the public how to reuse and repurpose furniture and building supplies found in area ReStores.

“IRIS is delighted to be teaming up with Habitat for Humanity and ReStore,” said Anna Jacoby, executive director of IRIS.

Drew Meyer, senior director, ReStore and gift-in-kind support at Habitat for Humanity International, echoed Jacoby’s thought: “We are very excited about our new relationship with IRIS and its members.”

ReStore outlets sell donated building materials and home furnishings at discounted prices to aid Habitat’s mission to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income families.

IRIS members are certified interior redesigners and home-staging professionals who specialize in repurposing and reusing existing home furnishings when decorating rooms.

Meyer added, “The commitment and creativity the IRIS members bring to our relationship will make a real positive impact on the work Habitat for Humanity does to build homes and communities.”

“Our talented members are experts at thinking creatively and giving old things new life,” Jacoby said. “With the IRIS philosophy of ‘use what you have first,’ this collaboration is right up our alley.”

“Repurposing existing items in new and creative ways makes great sense economically and ecologically. This is what IRIS has always been about and we look forward to this terrific new partnership,” Jacoby concluded.

For more information about ReDesign with ReStore, contact Linda Lawrence at 728-2732 or

The Calaveras Habitat for Humanity ReStore is at 172 California St., San Andreas. Open hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information call 754-3234 or visit

via Calaveras Enterprise

Reworks Upcycle Shop | Avenue Magazine


Why recycle when you can upcycle?

According to the newest eco store in town, Reworks Upcycle Shop, upcycling is the “process of converting waste materials or useless products into new material or products of better quality of a higher environmental value.”

In short, it’s making new products out of old ones, without using the massive amounts of energy that is often required to proccess products for recycling.

Reworks Upcycle Shop’s owner, Solita Work, has tracked down upcycled furniture, lighting systems, jewelery and accessories from top notch artisans and small-scale manufacturers to provide Calgarians with products that are friendly to the environment and totally unique.

Quantities of all products are limited, so there are new things all the time, but here are a few upcycled products that Reworks has at their store right now:

These transit chairs by well-known American artist Boris Ballytransform recycled street signs into one-of-a-kind, handmade seating. The stainless steel hardware is rust proof, and recycled champagne corks are inserted on the bottom of the legs to protect floors.

Shovel chair by artist Nathan Smith (Nelson, B.C.)

via Reworks Upcycle Shop | Avenue Magazine.

6 Tips For Green Renovation –



For architects, builders and suppliers, Greenbuild is like Thanksgiving, Earth Day and a little bit of New Years all wrapped up into one. It’s a time to exchange ideas about sustainable construction, which for me is an opportunity to talk about how to plan for the resulting waste streams that every project generates.

You know, people are usually surprised to learn this, but managing waste is ranked by green building experts as the second most important element of environmental performance (just behind energy efficiency). To get you started on a path to success, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Make a plan

Before you tear down that kitchen wall or pull up an old carpet, make sure you have a plan to dispose of that waste. First, identify where you are going to send your materials to be recycled. Whether you have copper piping, lumber or linoleum, Earth911’s search database can be helpful in finding recycling facilities.

Next, establish a process for separating and collecting each type of waste for recycling. It’s more efficient and safer to collect materials from the start of a project, rather than sifting through a full mixed pile at the very end. With proper planning and careful sorting, almost all construction debris can be recycled. On some of the projects Waste Management has worked on, we were able to recycle more than 80 percent of total waste.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so if during a build, you are looking to earn LEED certification, keep in mind that some large construction teams use tracking systems, like WM’s Diversion and Recycling Tracking Tool, to collect data on their waste diversion rates. This information makes its easier to monitor (day or night) your recycling performance when applying for LEED certification. Home renovators may not need such a technical tracking system, but keeping tabs on your overall performance is important, too. Even if it’s just to share with your friends on Facebook.

2. Build with recycled materials

Save money and our environment’s resources by using recycled materials rather than new in your next construction project. There are many places to get “used” building materials, including Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore locations throughout the country or websites like and Here’s one example of building with recycled materials in WM’s Recycling Education Center in Houston.

3. Recycle wall materials

Cardboard, paper, plastics and metals can all be converted into new goods through traditional recycling methods, but the walls in your house can also be carefully recycled. First, remove all nails and screws from your clean wood and drywall scraps. Next, you can send larger, useable pieces to charities like Habitat for Humanity and the smaller scraps to specialized facilities to be processed.

Wood scraps can be recycled into mulch or biomass fuel. Biomass fuel – or tiny bits of wood and other organic material – is burned or gasified to produce renewable energy. Like wood recycling, drywall can be recycled in specialized facilities to be chopped up and made into new drywall.

4. Recycle roof materials

Thanks to new recycling technology, we can now recycle more than just bottles and cans. Check with waste collection facilities in your area to see if your roofing shingles can be recycled near you. Certain types of roofing shingles are made from asphalt, and can be recycled back into asphalt to pave roads in some areas.

5. Recycle floor materials

It’s important to recognize that from ceilings, to walls, to flooring, many construction materials are recyclable. Conduct some research to see what recycling facilities are available near you. Send your carpets to be broken down and reused to make everything from composite lumber to carpet cushion to automotive parts. Tile and crushed concrete can live a second life as gravel or dry aggregate for new concrete. Dirt, rock and sand can be used in landfills for Alternative Daily Cover (ADC), which when layered over incoming waste helps to keep those items contained.

6. Remember that it’s a cycle

Environmental performance doesn’t stop when you drive in the last nail. It’s important to remember that sustainability must continue during occupancy. So, build with recycling in mind. Design a space for a recycling container; since there’s very often little space for even an everyday waste receptacle (a lot of people squeeze a small container under the sink). Be vigilant when it comes to maintenance and keep tabs on different innovations that come out to make your home or office better for the environment.

According to Waste Business Journal, only 25 percent of construction and demolition waste is currently put to reuse. Recycling opportunities vary depending on your location, but when available it can really send this percentage much higher. Consider these tips next time you dust off your sledge hammer and saw. Even small residential projects can help drive us towards a zero waste future.

via 6 Tips For Green Renovation –

From Scrap To Stylish Stump: Recycled Timber Furniture By Ubico Studio – TreeHugger


We admit it: we can’t get enough of stump-themed furniture. And now, from Tel Aviv-based Ubico Studio comes this tongue-in-cheek creation, made from salvaged wood scraps, glued together and skillfully shaped to give the appearance of wholesome stumpiness.


Inspired by the Christian wake ceremony and recently seen over at Designboom, this seating collection is simply titled “Wake.” The eco-minded Ubico Studio, which centers around “urban gathering and reclaiming,” salvages its raw materials from dumpsters, renovation sites and the streets, and gives some details about how these stump-mimicking works were made:

The furniture [is] made of relatively small pieces of scrap timber cut to extremely accurate sizes and then glued together in a matrix to a block. The blocks are then carved into tree stump-like shapes.



Granted, these adorable pieces are more like postmodernist versions of real tree stumps. But they’ve got the right idea about recycling wood scraps that would otherwise be discarded, and transforming them into down-to-earth yet sleek furniture that could grace any tastefully decorated living space.

Like this? Follow Kimberley on Twitter or subscribe via RSS

More on Recycled Wood Furniture
Salvaged Tree Stump Furniture By Denis Milovanov
Making Sidetables from Stumps
Tree Stump Coffee Table: Because We Can

before & after: sofa made from old doors | Design*Sponge

You know my love of “frankenfurniture” (a neologism I’m desperately trying to spread around), and it should come as no surprise that I adore this sofa that D*S reader John Doucet made from old doors. Now the key to successful frankenfurniture is not just a novel idea of how to combine or turn one furniture object into another, it’s also the execution. A sofa made from old doors could be a big old mess if designed poorly, which is why I admire John’s piece all the more. I love the look of the subtle tilt, the decision to leave the old metal details and the hours of work John put into stripping the doors down to their beautiful raw state. This is a truly gorgeous piece, and for $55 (!), you could not score something of this quality in a million years. Can you tell I want one of my own? 🙂 Wonderful job, John! — Kate

via before & after: sofa made from old doors | Design*Sponge.

Matfield green home rebuilt with recycled materials |

When Kansas City photographer Elaine Jones undertook remodeling her home in Matfield Green, she didn’t make a trip to the local hardware store for materials like most people. Instead, she made a trip to the junk yard.

In a “period of transition,” Jones moved to Matfield Green from Kansas City because she wanted to help with the restoration and research the Land Institute was in Matfield Green to do.

The Salina based-organization founded by Wes Jackson spent several years in Matfield Green researching ways small agrarian communities can survive in modern society while maintaining the prairie land. Jones was already involved in the Flint Hills area, having worked with the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and as a tour guide for several writers including “PrairyErth” author William Least Heat-Moon.

“I was sold on the idea of the Flint Hills to begin with,” said Jones. “I really couldn’t just go anyplace, because what would I do? I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “The obvious place was where the Land Institute was already developing a presence there.”

Jones said when she told Land Institutes founder Wes Jackson she was moving to Matfield Green, he didn’t like the idea.

“He said, ‘Over my dead body,’” said Jones. “I don’t want some Johnson County housewife coming out here and bringing a lot of people here. We aren’t doing that sort of thing.’ It was kind of a joke between us. He says he never said that.” Continue reading Matfield green home rebuilt with recycled materials |

Carved Floral Tires- via GreenMuze

We like to share inspiring posts here at The Reclamation Administration (waste can get depressing). These carved tires are a perfect example of artistic reuse. The website GreenMuze is has a nice variety of Cool Environmental News too – check them out!

Pneu Recycled Tire Series by Wim Delvoye.

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has turned the problem of what to do with the millions, perhaps even billions of used tires generated each year around the globe – turn them into gorgeous works of art.

Pneu Recycled Tire Series by Wim Delvoye.

In his creative art tire series, dubbed Pneu (French for tire), the artist handcarves these incredibly detailed floral patterns into the black rubber. Delvoye transforms an ugly object into a unique work of art that also operates to upcycle a poor recyclable product that is clogging landfills around the globe.

Pneu Recycled Tire Series by Wim Delvoye.

Carved Floral Tires via GreenMuze

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

Dundee residents encouraged to produce art from rubbish | Dundee and Tayside | STV News

Dundee residents are being encouraged to produce art that is rubbish.

The city council’s environment department is running a competition designed to inspire residents to think about what they throw away by turning their trash into artworks.

The Reuse Solutions 2011 promotion asks participants to make art from reused everyday materials, or to compose creative writing with a recycling theme.

Dundee residents encouraged to produce art from rubbish

There are six categories including nursery, primary and secondary schools, community groups and businesses.

Cash prizes are on offer of £250 for category winners with the closing date for entries being November 4.

City council depute environment convener Councillor Alan Ross launched the competition by inspecting artworks that have been created at Camperdown Wildlife Centre using recycled material.

He said: “Dundee currently has the best recycling rate of any city in Scotland which is great news and we want to make sure we keep hold of this position.

“We all know how important it is to recycle our waste but we should also try to reuse it when possible.”

via Dundee residents encouraged to produce art from rubbish | Dundee and Tayside | STV News. Check it out for a great video too!

2nd annual ReStore and After says: Get Hammered! | Eye Candy

2nd annual ReStore and After says: Get Hammered!

Posted by Leslie Newell Peacock on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Toy box, before

Toy box, before

Toy Box, after, by Lori Weeks

Toy Box, after, by Lori Weeks

Habitat for Humanity’s annual fund-raiser auction of artist-restored furniture is tomorrow night, Sept. 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Lafayette Square building at Louisiana and Sixth streets (523 Louisiana) and if you want to bid on some beautiful things for a beautiful purpose, clear off your calendar now and plan to go.

“Get Hammered!” is the theme of the 2nd annual Restore and After event, where Hammer-tini cocktails, beer, wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served for a mere $25 ticket price. The Rodney Block Band will entertain.

Among the items to be auctioned are no fewer than four doghouses, all decorated by realtors with the Little Rock Realtor’s Association, toy chests, chairs, hutches and more.

Dog house

Here’s how it worked: 14 artists purchased items from H for H’s ReStore outlet in North Little Rock and turned them into works of art for auction. Last year’s event raised $7,000, enough to build a room in a Habitat house. Go here to purchase tickets or call 379-1583.

via 2nd annual ReStore and After says: Get Hammered! | Eye Candy.

Vintage hardware finds new home on leather handbags and accessories

Raw Edge Messenger

A new local company, Divina Denuevo, is selling a collection of leather bags and accessories that use antique and vintage hardware and adornments: anything from old skeleton keys, cabinet door handles, keyplates and door knockers.

The duo behind the Divina Denuevo line (Divina Denuevo means “divine again” in Spanish) are Victoria Ronco and Dave Kelly.

“We search high and low for antique and vintage hardware, keys and adornments, in an effort to up cycle something old that was otherwise destined for the landfill, and make it new again.” says Ronco in a prepared release.

via Vintage hardware finds new home on leather handbags and accessories.

Reduce, reuse and rehome at ReFest on Oct. 1 |

Photo courtesy of Humane Society for Greater Savannah

Photo courtesy of Humane Society for Greater Savannah

By KELLY NELSON ReFest is an extravaganza of reducing, reusing and re-homing, hosted by WellFED, Emergent Structures, Wooden Sheep and Southern Pine in part to benefit the Humane Society for Greater Savannah. The event features the Design & Build Competition: Dog Houses and Cat Structures built from reclaimed, sustainable materials. I’ve seen the structures and I’m here to tell you that they are amazing!One of the Cat Structures, designed and built by The Inclusion Counsel at CSX the railroad has multiple levels and is fashioned after a train’s caboose! It features scratching posts, hiding places, and lots of space for multiple cats.Butterhead Greens Cafe has created a “Green House” Dog House. You can actually use the roof as a greenhouse! And there are about a dozen more wonderfully thought out and creative structures to impress you.The event held at Southern Pine ties together two seemingly unrelated topics; RePurposing building materials in order to decrease the waste that bloats our landfills and ReHoming unwanted companion animals in an effort to decrease pet overpopulation and homelessness.Starting at 2 p.m., you can bid on the Dog Houses and Cat Structures through a silent auction. There will also be a live auction of winning structures around 6 p.m. All proceeds from the auctions go directly to the Humane Society for Greater Savannah.In addition, HSGS will be on site ReHoming pets from our shelter! ReFest is an awesome opportunity for you to bring your family, visit or even adopt our shelter pets, check out and bid on some great and eco friendly Dog Houses and Cat Structures and, as the night goes on, enjoy great music, great food, great drinks with great people!

via Reduce, reuse and rehome at ReFest on Oct. 1 |

Tables Sawed: Old Furniture Sliced & Stacked into Shelving | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Difficult and expensive do not mean better, as this eccentric do-it-yourself shelves can attest, requiring a random mix of recycled vintage table parts, some paint, screws, a saw and a plan.

Isabel Quiroga collected an eclectic set of desks, side tables and cabinet drawers, old and new, measured her target space and started sawing accordingly.

After painting the pieces purple – to give their mixed appearance a sense of uniformity beyond style – she piled and attached them to create an unusual site-specific solution to shelving with definite decorative flair.

via Tables Sawed: Old Furniture Sliced & Stacked into Shelving | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Often when we hear “prefab houses,” we conjure up thoughts of structures pieced together on a site like a puzzle made from mass produced parts that were shipped as separate pieces. While these homes are often more sustainable, they can leave much to be desired in regards to character, aesthetic, and durability. But Reclaimed Space, founded by Tracen Gardner in Austin, Texas, is changing the way we think about prefabricated buildings. Instead of using anonymous materials from mega-factories, Gardner and his team salvage beautiful woods and metals from old homes, barns, and buildings across Texas and use these unique materials to build one of a kind, handmade spaces. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Gardner and learn how Reclaimed Space is carving an artisan niche in the prefab world and why Gardner believes that all designers have a responsibility to be sustainable.

Read the Interview Here

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

T.D.M – TrashDesignManufaktur


The TrashDesignManufaktur-Vienna – short TDM – is a division ofDismantling and Recycling Centre (DRZ) , a socio-economic operation of Viennese Adult Education Centres Ltd. The focus of the work is the reintegration, qualification and Vermitttlung of long-term unemployed and people with disabilities..

In TDM unique design is created from the remnants of our society. Thanks to new ideas, the company drives people out of work were long, with a high success rate into the labor market and the back of them created and manufactured products in Europe in the temple of art. We produce elegant and high quality jewelry, furniture and accessories. Our products consist mainly of recycled parts from used electrical and electronic equipment.Each piece is handmade and therefore unique. The project is funded by funds from the AMS Vienna  and the European Social Fund (ESF) . With the purchase of a TDM product you purchase not only a designer piece, but you also support the idea of social economy.

T.D.M – TrashDesignManufaktur.

Huntington Bank forecloses on Baker Lofts, saying Holland developer Scott Bosgraaf owes millions on projects around the state |


Scott Bosgraaf stands in front of Baker Lofts in 2007. He redeveloped the former Baker furniture factory into commercial and residential lofts. The project incorporated recycled building materials from the old plant, including railings made from the old factory fire sprinkler system pipe.

HOLLAND — For years, Scott Bosgraaf’s specialty was turning brown buildings green.

Bosgraaf — whose family name is synonymous with quality development along the Lakeshore — has been known for transforming vacant factories or other eyesores into trendy, yet historic residential and commercial spaces.

He had a formula for keeping prices affordable: recycling elements of a building into stylish features, and tapping into local and state incentives to help cover the costs, including Brownfield, tax-increment financing and small business credits.

His projects included Baker Lofts and Scrap Yard Lofts in Holland, Kirsch Lofts in Sturgis, Central Lofts in South Haven and Woodard Station in Owosso.

In short, Bosgraaf was the kind of developer that state and local officials liked to see.

But now court documents show his real estate entities and other businesses owe millions to Huntington Bank. To recover more than $6 million in unpaid real estate loans, the bank foreclosed on Baker Lofts and Woodard Station and has filed a lawsuit for loan default for Central Lofts.

The court paper trail shows the resolutions in some of the properties remain fluid. The bank’s lawsuit and Bosgraaf’s countersuit are being dropped this week, both sides confirmed.

Two Bosgraaf companies file bankrputcy

And the lawsuits have a broader reach than Bosgraaf’s bricks-and-mortar businesses. Two of his companies, Faargsob LLC and Auto Sports Unlimited Inc, which were used as collateral on some developments, have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate assets.

Both Bosgraaf, 47, of Holland, and attorney Robb Wardrop, who represents Auto Sports Unlimited in its bankruptcy, declined comment, citing ongoing legal issues.

Bosgraaf’s story isn’t uncommon.

Many developers in recent years have felt the double whammy of the real estate market crash and banks calling in loans after reassessing falling property values.

What was different about Bosgraaf was that he was launching projects through 2009, when many other developments were going under. Through press conferences and statements by state officials, he was held up as a poster boy for how to do redevelopment projects right.

His relationship with his major lender, Huntington, started to sour in 2010, as the financial crisis and federal regulatory changes put pressure on the banking industry to reduce real estate loans.

Huntingon gave notice of a foreclosure in a legal notice in the June 9 edition of the Zeeland Record, claiming that Baker Lofts LLC defaulted on a $5.3 million loan. The property was bought July 14 for just over $1.8 million by an entity of the bank.


Scott Bosgraaf projects

Baker Lofts, a $17 million, 100,000-square-foot mixed use development in Holland. Bosgraaf has until Jan. 16, 2012 to pay Huntington Bank just over $1.8 million, plus interest, to redeem 25 units out of the 101 units in foreclosure.

Woodard Station, a $20 million, mixed-use 220,000-square-foot development in Owosso in Shiawassee County. A portion of the property — 22 of 132 units — is slated to go on the auction block Wednesday (9/21) to recoup more than $1.1 million Huntington says it is owed. Bosgraaf has filed a countersuit.

Scrap Yard Lofts, a mixed-used development in Holland. The $5 million renovation of two former Holland Furnace Co. buildings isn’t vulnerable to foreclosure because the project was completely financed by property owner Padnos Iron & Metal Co.

Kirsch Lofts, a nearly $20 million, mixed-use development of a nearly 1 million- square-foot former curtain rod factory in Sturgis in St. Joseph County acquired in 2009. The project, which isn’t completed yet, wasn’t financed by Huntington, but did receive $2 million in Brownfield Redevelopment incentives.

Central Lofts, a $15 million, multi-phase redevelopment of 110,000 square feet of a former school in South Haven, purchased in 2007. Huntington filed a suit on Feb. 2 after the developer defaulted on $3.7 million in loans. Huntington’s lawsuit and Bosgraaf’s countersuit are expected to be dismissed this week.

Bosgraaf has until Jan. 14, 2012 to pay the bank the purchase price, plus interest, or Huntington will take over ownership of about 25 of the 101 condo units in the development at 533 Columbia Ave.

via Huntington Bank forecloses on Baker Lofts, saying Holland developer Scott Bosgraaf owes millions on projects around the state |

Present Tents –

Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Australia

So long, tepee. The next level of “glamping” is the architent — high-spec, high-style canvas accommodations.


The main lodge and cabins at this resort make use of recycled building materials from a dismantled lodge in Queensland. All 15 safari tents are internally clad in polished blackbutt (a dark eucalyptus) and simply furnished, offering airy lodging for nature lovers who want to explore Australia’s Northern Territory.; from about $235.

via Present Tents –

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst and Fleming Home, Maine

Well, Im officially declaring the posting drought on the PGM Blog over! Inspiration is abounding these days – not in the least with regards to the development of Issue 7 and our launch in print. Many exciting things happening on that front and I literally cannot sleep at night because of it. While we keep working away on that matter well keep you inspired right here!I came across this home while browsing the weekend paper and was immediately impressed and inspired. This coastal home in Maine is a testament to what can be achieved with some creativity, patience and know-how of course I think some good design sense is needed too as this project is absolutely stunning considering its humble roots. Owned by a former schoolteacher, Jennifer Wurst and her partner, artist and creator Michael Fleming, the pair have managed to completely renovate and furnish their home for an incredible $4000 dollars!! According to the couple and the article, which orginally appeared in the New York Times and was reprinted in The Globe and Mail the living room was the priciest endeavour coming in at $828, largely due to Jennifers “spluge” on a antique sofa from Brimfield Market for $150, which has now been slipcovered in an antique linen sheet. The cohesiveness and polish in this home is astounding, considering Jennifers primary source of treasures is the dump!! From the article: “Some days it’s pure excitement, running back to the car to unload armfuls of stuff, only to go back for more!” she wrote in an e-mail. “It’s amazing what people throw out. I have found completely new still in packaging items such as my Bodum tea press/pot and even down throw pillows still in packaging and a fabulous ’50s-style wall-mounted can opener.” I have always said there is nothing more humbling than a trip to the dump – a grim reminder of our terrible habits of overconsumption – but I seriously commend Jennifers ability to scavenge such wonderful items from the heaps of trash! If their home is an example of what can be achieved then Id say its worth the challenge.

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst and Fleming Home, Maine

Among the home’s upcycled decor examples can be seen of Michael’s work – he collects sea bleached pieces of driftwood, from twigs to stumps and creates everything from scultural peices (as in the large-scale piece seen here behind the dining table) and this original and imaginative driftwood pendant lamp (seen above). View more on Michael’s site Designs Adrift.

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine


Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

via Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine.

Shack-Crazed Builder Constructs Fantastic Recycled Shelters | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Shacks occupy a strange place in society. On the one hand, outdated and dilapidated dwellings come to mind. On the other hand, such otherwise-sad shanty structures conjure visions of peace, quiet and personal freedom and lived-in comfort as well.


Ethan Hayes-Chute takes found objects and turns them into quaint huts and half-collapsed homes, over and over and over again. Some are wrapped around real living trees, while others are set inside museums, contrasting starkly with white walls all around.

Tina DiCarlo summarizes this strangely obsessed artist-and-builder well:“[His work]  is so basic, so familiar, so ordinary, and such a mess that at first glance one might mistakenly call it primitive”

“…. [but each building]  is an accumulation of stuff, the ephemera of the every day. Its materials are found, stitched together, hand-assembled – chair, desk, table, shaving mirror, and coffee mug furnish the cabin’s primary function to house and sustain.”

Born on the east coast of the united states – an area famed for its quaint cottages and regional vernacular architecture – this builder is not just creating a sense of nostalgia, nor simply tapping into emotional reactions. He is, in a sense, telling stories of historical and personal fantasy, blending old yarns into modern tales free of simplistic morality or happy endings … somewhere between fiction and folk art.


via Shack-Crazed Builder Constructs Fantastic Recycled Shelters | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Giant Cow Sculptures Created Using Automobile Parts -Laughing Squid


Finnish sculptor and Marimekko textile company designer, Miina Äkkijyrkkä (aka Liina Lång) created this wonderful series of giant cow sculptures made from recycled automobile parts starting in 2000. Known throughout Finland for being a protector of the native Eastern Finncattle dairy breed, Äkkijyrkkä was inspired by her own cows to create these towering metal bovines.

via Colossal, Illusion and Designaside

photos by Juha Metso

images via Colossal

via Laughing Squid.

matter! where art and sustainability hang together – via Upcycling


matter! is a contemporary fine art gallery featuring original artworks from over 100 artists using recycled and reclaimed materials; sculpture, garden art, furniture, lighting, jewelry, paintings and other wall art. If you have questions about an artwork or artist, need help buying a gift, or want to learn about artworks on the way, email or call! And if you’re anywhere near Olympia, WA – come visit! We’re open everyday. Check out a slideshow of some of the stuff at matter!

To shop now, you can browse by category or by artist on the matter! website. Have fun! matter! was started by these fascinating people:

Owner & General Manager: Jo Gallaugher

Jo has 20 years business experience and a long-standing love for artworks incorporating reclaimed materials. She holds an MBA from University of California Irvine, and a BA in Political Science from University of Washington. Jo has primarily concentrated on west coast artists while gathering works for matter!, but has begun to expand geographically. She is continually on the lookout for artists creating beautiful artworks with repurposed materials.

Photographer & Art Accomplice: Bob Snell

Bob was trained as a commercial photographer, but quickly decided mainstream commercial photography wasn’t for him. In addition to being the sole art photographer for matter!, he has done several photography shows featuring his original works… choosing everything from stripper shoes to metropolitan skylines as subject matter. His goal is to honestly capture the crazy inventiveness inherent in all that is human.

via matter! where art and sustainability hang together.

10 Sources for Reclaimed Living | Apartment Therapy Marketplace


10 Sources for Reclaimed Living

Much like the growing slow food movement, in which people want to know more about where their food comes from, there is an increased interest amongst people buying furniture and building new homes who want to feel connected to the materials used throughout their space. Sourcing reclaimed woods for anything from tabletops to flooring is a good idea for many reasons – not only is it an environmentally friendly approach to design, but salvaged materials contain a rich history in all their notches and nail holes. If you have an interest in living the reclaimed life, then check out these ten stores and services in our Marketplace for bringing natural, handmade furniture into your home.



Old Barn Reclaimed Wood Co : A massive retailer of high-quality reclaimed wood products, this company offers recycled flooring, lumber, furniture and wood paneling. With materials pulled from 19th century

barns, tobacco warehouses, textile mills and factories, you can bet the pieces made from Old Barn are full of character.

Crofthouse083011Croft House – Modern Reclaimed Wood Furniture : This LA-based company is a great local producer of handmade furniture and home decor. With a focus on sustainable materials, Croft House’s designs are simple, sophisticated and offered at a practical price point.


Danielstrack083011Daniel Strack Furniture : In addition to his use of reclaimed wood for his original furniture designs with eco-friendly finishes, this Chicago-based designer also creates a beautiful line of guitars. Custom work is also an option.


Industrywest083011Industry West : From Jacksonville, FL comes this company with a goal “to help you create a more intriguing environment for your home.” Their inventory includes recreations of 19th and 20th century furniture pieces made from metal, distressed fabrics and reclaimed woods.


Cliff083011Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker : With an aim to evoke warmth and create comfort in the home through each piece, Cliff Spencer offers custom designed furniture and cabinetry while specializing in lesser known hardwoods. All wood is hand sourced in California.


Environmentfurniture083011Environment Furniture : With showrooms in New York, LA and Atlanta, this California-based design house specializes in timeless contemporary collections of furniture that respect the planet. Using unique, sustainably harvested wood like patinaed Brazilian Peroba Rosa wood and salvaged maritime shipping beams, each piece from Environment Furniture is full of rustic elegance.

Americanbarn083011American Barn Company : Started by contractor Jay Wikary, this company has recently relocated to Friendship, Wisconsin, where he continues to source the best local reclaimed materials possible to produce all kinds of home decor products and lumber. American Barn Company also accepts custom order requests.

Meyerwells083011Meyer Wells : Using the grand reclaimed trees of Seattle’s urban areas as the source materials for their line of modern furnishings, Meyer Wells has created a hands-on production process that makes use out of materials that would normally be considered part of the waste stream.


Fromthesource083011From the Source : With their eclectic mix of antique and contemporary pieces made from plantation grown and reclaimed wood, this company offers solely unupholstered pieces, primarily made from teak. With furniture available for all areas of the home, From the Source has a gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood as well as a design house in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Reclaimedmain03083011The Brooklyn Home Company : This design house is made up of a family-run cooperative of artists and craftsman dedicated to creating quality and classic, well-designed living spaces. Based in Brooklyn, the RISD-trained team at The Brooklyn Home Company is focused on designing homes that will endure.

via 10 Sources for Reclaimed Living | Apartment Therapy Marketplace.

Upcycling Becomes a Treasure Trove for Green Ideas –

Reusing, and Diversifying

Upcycling can be a boon to existing businesses as well. For Hammer & Hand, a Portland, Ore., design-build construction firm, upcycling became a jobs-saving revenue stream during the recession. It began a decade ago, when co-founder and president Sam Hagerman quit using dumpsters.

“I was writing the garbage man a $10,000 check every month, and I realized that could support a living wage and a half,” he says. So he bought a truck and started an in-house recycling system in the yard of the office building (which boasts flooring made from recycled bleacher seats).

From then on, Hagerman took reusable parts from construction sites–framing components, light fixtures, appliances and lumber. “I realized we could get a beautiful pile of lumber for free,” he says, “and turn around and add value to it.”

When the construction industry got a walloping in 2008, Hagerman weathered the downturn by entering the upcycled furniture market, along with the home energy and the handyman business. “We saved the jobs of 40 people,” he says. “We got creative by necessity, but we changed our business because it also makes financial sense.”

If there is a downside to upcycling, Hagerman says, it’s the inefficiencies related to organizing, moving and storing the supply. Regardless of how cheap any reclaimed materials are, they can represent a huge waste of energy and time if you don’t already have a purpose in mind when you take possession of them. Plus, there’s the danger of running out. “You can’t develop a line of something, because there’s no guaranteed way to get more of the material,” he says.

via Upcycling Becomes a Treasure Trove for Green Ideas –

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

 Since 2008, Hayes-Chute has been building these quirky huts, hermitages and shacks while exploring themes of self-sufficiency, self-preservation and self-exclusion. Built completely out of salvaged wood, found materials and vintage and antique goods, the huts are piecemeal – as though they were constructed slowly over time. Hayes-Chutes builds these shacks inside museums and galleries so visitors can tour through them and experience a mode of living that is normally inaccessible.

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

City Museum – St. Louis, MO

The City Museum is the Mecca of all reuse destinations. The creativity, scale, craftsmanship, and sheer amount of material reuse is breathtaking.  If ever there is a place that will restore faith in the ingenuity of humans, the City Museum is in the top two (the first being developing countries). 

Check out the site and then get in a car, bike or take a flight to St. Louis and see the City Museum – it will change your life!


1-to-1 Conversion: Single-Piece, Reused-Wood Pallet Chair | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

They are so commonplace within industrial districts you almost don’t notice them – stacks of usable and broken pallets made of plastic, metal and wood, just waiting for someone to program them into something fresh and useful again.

Younger cousins to the increasingly-famous cargo container (widely used both in shipping and, more recently, architecture), the wooden pallet is used to transport things like furniture from place to place via ships, trains, trucks and fork lifts.

Using pieces from precisely one pallet per seat, this design was modeled after careful structural considerations, scale model testing and much thought about how to take the fewest steps possible from old to new uses.

Pierre Vede preserves the appearance (and thus: the associations) of these ubiquitous building-and-transport blocks, modifying them minimally and adding a few off-the-shelf IKEA cushions to the chair as a finishing touch for human comfort.

via 1-to-1 Conversion: Single-Piece, Reused-Wood Pallet Chair | Designs & Ideas on Dornob. Where recycling meets design | Tree House




Tree House

‘When Christiana Wyly was in high school in Switzerland, she read the Italo Calvino novel “Il Barone Rampante,” or “The Baron in the Trees,” and was captivated by its story of a boy who climbs into the trees and stays there for the rest of his life. Nearly a decade later, Ms. Wyly, an investor and a director of Zaadz, a sort of MySpace for the spiritual and environmentally conscious set, was still thinking about the book when she commissioned a 150-square-foot, $75,000 treehouse to serve as both a guest cottage and a refuge for herself and her daughter, Viola, at their home in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County. Designed by Roderick Romero, an artist and musician in Manhattan who builds treehouses under the name Romero Studios, the house, completed in February, is shaped like a Moroccan lantern (to match the Moroccan furniture in the main house 100 feet away) and made of salvaged redwood from old olive oil tanks (the top and bottom are copper). Mr. Romero covered the staircase — eucalyptus branches fastened to eucalyptus railings and arches by hidden screws — with resin and salt; when the salt dissolved, it left little indentations, giving the steps traction. Ms. Wyly, 25, said she visits her treehouse retreat daily, to read, meditate and practice yoga, and to spend time with Viola, 4. “It’s a quiet space,” she said, “completely silent except for the wind moving through the trees.” ‘

Quoted and picture:

via Where recycling meets design | Tree House.

Submissions Wanted for ‘ReNew ReUse ReConnect’ Public Art Initiative | The Jersey City Independent – NJ

The High Line in Manhattan — a defunct elevated railway retrofitted into a dynamic public park — is a raging success. While said success is a complicated equation, for art lovers, one of the major attractions the High Line offers is a revolving schedule of temporary artworks in and around the park — for the pleasure of visitors and neighborhood locals alike.

Here in Jersey City, the 6th Street Embankment is the rogue cousin of Manhattan’s High Line. While experts and architects differ on whether a redeveloped Embankment could actually replicate the High Line’s success, the six-block former rail spur, long abandoned and overgrown with foliage, is an untapped resource begging for artistic intervention.

That’s where ReNew ReUse ReConnect (RRR) comes into play. The project, organized by Anne McTernan and Sophie Penkrat, is a Jersey City public art initiative dedicated to the Embankment with a curated program of temporary installations that are designed to draw attention to the structure. McTernan and Penkrat were awarded $695 at one of last year’s Pro Arts Art Eat-Ups by for their RRR proposal, and now they need artists.

RRR will be a two-day temporary exhibit taking place during this fall’s Jersey City Artists’ Studio Tour on the evenings of October 1 and 2, from 7 to 10 pm. The site-specific installations will be located in the alley adjacent to the Embankment, running between Jersey Avenue and Monmouth Street.

Initially, the deadline for participation was July 29. McTernan and Penkrat have extended the deadline to solicit more proposals, so if you have an idea, email them ASAP at annemacdesign (at) or sophie.penkrat (at)

via Submissions Wanted for ‘ReNew ReUse ReConnect’ Public Art Initiative | The Jersey City Independent.

Supermodel Tatjana Patitz reuses salvage in her California home –

Tatjana Patitz’s kitchen with salvaged wood sink and 1960s stove [photo Living etc

California, USA – Hidden away among towering pines and orange groves, Tatjana Patitz’s California home, full of flowers, foliage and double-height windows that draw the outside in, is at one with the nature on her doorstep. An outdoor bamboo rainshower and reclaimed stone tub create an indulgent, Japanese-style bathroom, French doors open onto a plant-filled outdoor terrace with a cushion-strewn daybed and views over the garden to the ocean beyond, writes Living etc.

Furnishings are an eclectic mix of old and new, antique and bespoke, faded rugs, wind chimes, stacks of books, and swathes of fabrics in earthy tones and textures.

Tatjana has brought old-fashioned cosiness into her kitchen (see photo) with a 1960s stove and rough-hewn sink, both from a scrap yard. Cupboards and shelves are made from salvaged wood.

Living etc: Take a tour around supermodel Tatjana Patitz’s ranch

via Supermodel Tatjana Patitz reuses salvage in her California home –

Furniture made the green way – Telegraph

Seeing the potential: Max McMurdo turned a bath into a chaise longue

Seeing the potential: Max McMurdo turned a bath into a chaise longue  Photo: JOHN LAWRENCE

‘The problem with much modern furniture design is that it is not built to last,” says Dr Jonathan Chapman, author of Emotionally Durable Design (£24.99; Earthscan), a book that asks people to reassess their relationship with the items they fill their homes with.

Dr Chapman argues that one of the reasons for the environmental “mess” we are in is “the way we design, manufacture and consume objects… we are hopelessly seduced by the glow of all things modern, be it a flatter screen or a smarter plastic”.

Furniture never used to be “throwaway”, replaced every few years either because it was too shabby or had ceased to be fashionable. Dr Chapman says that in the Thirties economists came up with “planned obsolescence”, meaning that if people had to replace items more frequently, they would buy more and thus stimulate economic recovery. The past few years of recession and stagnant growth have underlined the flaws in this theory: building an economy on consumer spending does not necessarily result in sustainable growth.

Maybe it’s time to make our purchasing decisions on how durable and Earth- friendly an item is.

One idea being pioneered by the New Forest Trust is to give every tree felled for furniture its own GPS reference so people can pinpoint its provenance and even visit the stump.


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How to get the community involved with energy efficiency 06 Jul 2011

“It’s about getting people to think differently about their new bed or coffee table,” says trustee Donald Thompson. “Rather than just seeing it as a commodity, to see it as wood that was once a tree growing in a forest, that what you have is unique.” Furniture makers using New Forest timber now have access to this service (

So what is eco furniture? There isn’t an official definition but some of the elements eco-friendly design must include are:

The reuse or sustainable use of materials: using reclaimed wood or wood from certified forests; using renewable materials such as flax, jute, hemp and cotton instead of plastics; reusing items that are otherwise thrown away.

The use of local materials: the fewer miles a piece of furniture and its components have to travel the better.

Emissions during manufacture: much mass-manufacture of furniture results in toxic pollution from dyes, paints, glues and chemical treatments. Techniques such as traditional dovetailing in carpentry – rather than using glue – minimise emissions.


Max McMurdo has a knack for seeing beautiful potential in builders’ and retailers’ salvage. He has made coffee tables out of washing-machine drums and chairs out of shopping trolleys. His latest creation is a chaise longue made from a Victorian cast-iron ball-and-claw bathtub.

“Because they are so heavy, cast-iron bath tubs are often sledgehammered in situ and removed from Victorian properties in pieces. It’s such a waste of a classic design,” says McMurdo. “The ball-and-claw feet are a lovely feature and it’s a shame so many are destroyed. I’ve turned them into sofas before but I was experimenting recently, taking more off the back to create a chaise.”

McMurdo is acquiring a name for himself among the house-clearance brigade. “I get calls from plumbers and scrap merchants offering me baths. Some people just turn up at my workshop with them.” His designs can be seen on


Traditional bed makers Harrison Spinks ( have been manufacturing mattresses and divans in Yorkshire since 1840, but recently decided to try to source materials more locally. “We were importing our mattress wool from Australia and our wood and other mattress fillings were either imported or partly synthetic,” says Simon Spinks. “We wanted our beds to be natural and our raw materials closer.”

The firm purchased a 300-acre farm near their Leeds factory, where a thousand Texel/Leicester and Swaledale sheep graze before supplying their fleeces for bedding. “We’ve reduced a 12,000-mile trip to 15,” says Spinks. “What’s more, Yorkshire wool is better than Australian for beds, it’s more springy.”

The firm has now bought a nearby wood which from next year will supply the pine and spruce for the bed bases.


Working in futuristic fabrics after graduating from the Royal College of Art made Inghua Ting ( think about the impact of design on the environment.

“I witnessed factories in Japan overproducing tons of material just because it was the wrong shade or specification,” she says. “There is so much waste that just ends up in landfill.” Ting makes fabulous hammocks, cushions and stools out of car seat belts that have not passed vehicle safety or colour tests. She also makes parquet flooring and furniture from second-hand leather belts sourced from flea markets and charity shops.

via Furniture made the green way – Telegraph.

Habitat’s ReStore Offers New Options For Dorm Decor

The last bit of metro college students moved in today at Creighton University. Last week UNO students moved in and chances are students are spending time organizing and getting their new living space in order. But there is a popular decor option that gives back to the community.

“And we made it into a magazine rack,” Volunteer Jessica Duce said. “I love the idea of using things at the restore that have been donated, and repurposing them for somebody’s home or dorm room.”

She spends her time helping people find ways to re-use hundreds of home improvement supplies.

“We can be so creative, make doors and cabinets and spray paint lamps and make old news again,” Duce said.

She showed us how to make a desk using bathroom cabinets and an old door, jewelry storage using old shutters and old artwork into new.

“This is the before and what we did was took out he center, flipped it around and we created some custom art for a girl,” Duce said.

But for every item she helps sell at Habitat’s Restore, she’s helping fund habitat for humanity homes.

“If you think about one of the big box home improvement stories, the Lowes, Home Depot or the Menards. It’s really anything that you would see down in those, only some of these might be gently used,” ReStore director David Klitz said.

They have old and new appliance, tiles, artwork, you name it and they’ve probably got it.

“And just the wide variety of items that come down here. Anything from furniture and home décor items,” Klitz said.

So far, money from sales this year alone, have funded 4 and a half homes in the Heartland.

“It’s a great time for people to come down here,” Klitz said.

He says now more than ever, college students are coming in to find ways to liven up their living space.

“People are really really creative and they see something and they really run with it,” Klitz said.

“And everything that you get here, gives back to habitat for humanity so it’s a win win,” Duce said.

A win for volunteers, college students and Habitat for Humanity.

Restore is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. They are closed on Sundays. You can also drop off donations at their location at 1003 South 24th street.

via Habitat’s ReStore Offers New Options For Dorm Decor.

Building awareness and a cabin – Regina, Canada

Take a stack of old pallets, the lids off some old car trunks and the plywood off old, worn-out signs and what have you got?

For most of us, it’s a big pile of garbage.

But for a group of inspired builders and Tyler and Parise McMillan of Weyburn, it’s a home away from home.

Looking to build a cabin this summer, the McMillans looked to Waalnut Construction to see what could be done.

That got owner Eric Penner de Waal thinking about how to build on the cheap and in the most environmentally friendly way possible. He teamed with Regina’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Robinson Residential Design Inc. to come up with a plan to build the cabin entirely out of recycled materials.

So over a three-day build which ended Sunday at the ReStore, those pallets became the exterior siding of the cabin. The trunk lids from a Honda Civic, a Ford Mustang and a Chevy Nova? Window awnings. And the old signs are the sheeting that surrounds the wooden frame.

All told, building the small, loft-style cabin with two bedrooms will cost less than $30,000 (thanks in part to plenty of donated labour).

The McMillans weren’t to arrive in Regina until Sunday night to get their first look, but even before then Tyler knew – at the very least – they’d have a conversation piece on their hands.

“Once you step past thinking of them as pallets and start thinking of them as building materials, it changes and you don’t feel all that uncomfortable,” Tyler said, noting the couple’s five-yearold son Calder is “pretty fired up” about the loft.

“As long as you’re comfortable with the guy doing the work, it’s not too much of a stretch for us to think wood pallets can be used as an exterior on a cabin.

“(The trunk lids) were a total shock and I have no idea what those are going to be like, but you have to have a little fun with it.”

For Penner de Waal, a regular customer at the ReStore, the project became less about money (his company is making no profit) as much as it was about building awareness for the Habitat for Humanity store. Used and new materials are donated to the store and sold by Habitat to raise funds for its other endeavours.

“We want to show everyone in the city that this is what you can do with that stuff we’re throwing in the big hill northeast of town,” said Penner de Waal, referring to the city garbage dump.

All of the windows in the cabin were donated, the flooring is multi-coloured as it is made of a range of hardwood project leftovers and the flooring underlay, while a new product, is made of recycled materials.

“Having to source all the material was a challenge,” said Penner de Waal.

“The stuff that people are throwing out (is surprising). We’ve got a pallet of shingles – enough to do a whole roof – and RoofMart can’t sell broken bundles that are weird colours to clients. So they have all these saved up in the yard and what do you do with them? They usually end up in the dump.”

While the McMillans are paying for the materials that are coming out of the ReStore, the ReHouse project, as it has come to be known, wasn’t about money for Habitat for Humanity, either.

“It wasn’t a project about the money; it was about awareness,” said Habitat volunteer co-ordinator Cindy Covey. “Some people know about it, some people don’t, which is sad because some of the product is unbelievable. You can get 80-per-cent discounts on some things.

“When we were at our old store we had that ‘Garagesale perception’ but as we’ve moved here, we’ve been trying to changes people’s perspectives. A lot of it is brand-new product when in the past it wasn’t.”

The cabin has a narrow design so it can be easily loaded on a flatbed truck and taken down the highway to its permanent location at White Bear Lake.

“If you’re willing to let them try a bunch of things and step outside what the normal building materials might be and at the same time feel like the skeleton of the building can be recycled too and be comfortable with that . we were convinced,” said Tyler.

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

via Building awareness and a cabin.

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World


Inspired by the cooper tradition of barrel making, an old whiskey shop in London’s Covent Garden has been given a new life that pays tribute to the sauce. Redesigned by Anonymous Artists, the whiskey shop was transformed into a cozy bar, using only recycled materials. Donated by the Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, the team used 3,500 recycled slats of packing wood and 50 barrels to outfit the shop’s interior.

Read more here

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

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.

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.

Reuse Alliance Expands Board — NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —

Two Reuse Leaders Extend Commitment to Sustainability, Join National Reuse Nonprofit

NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Michael Meyer of Goodwill Industries International and Nathan Benjamin of PlanetReuse and PlanetRestore are furthering their commitment to the reuse movement by joining the Board of Reuse Alliance — a national nonprofit working to increase awareness of reuse by educating the public about its social, environmental and economic benefits.

Michael Meyer is Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Sourcing for Goodwill Industries International Inc., which provides services to 165 independent, community-based Goodwill® agencies. Meyer’s work focuses on creating business relationships that support four key areas of the Goodwill social enterprise: leveraging buying opportunities through strategic sourcing; contract opportunities for the employment of those served by Goodwill; Goodwill’s retail business, through the acquisition of goods and services for its more than 2,500 store locations, and business models for reuse, repurpose, landfill diversion and sustainable consumption for the billions of pounds of donations that enter our donation stream. “Reuse Alliance establishes another platform through which organizations and consumers can engage and participate in meaningful reuse/repurpose activities that directly impact the very communities in which they live and do business. I am pleased to have been appointed to serve on its board and am looking forward to supporting the strategic direction of the Reuse Alliance,” said Meyer.

Nathan Benjamin (LEED AP) is the Principal and Founder of PlanetReuse and PlanetRestore. PlanetReuse is a reclaimed construction material brokerage and consulting firm with national reach, to help commercial designers and architects incorporate reclaimed building materials into new projects. PlanetRestore serves the residential construction market by offering reuse centers (e.g. Habitat for Humanity ReStores) throughout North America, technology and services to instantly post reclaimed building materials to the web, sell more materials, faster by dramatically increasing inventory exposure and simplifying point-of-sale. A staunch believer in the necessity and value of sustainable design and construction, Benjamin created these companies to take that ideal a step further. PlanetReuse and PlanetRestore are predicated on a simple but revolutionary idea: make it easy for people to use reclaimed materials and they’ll do more of it, keeping those materials out of landfills. He holds an architectural engineering degree and has been a fixture in the construction industry for more than a decade, focusing on sustainable and LEED-certified projects. He has presented on the topic of reclaimed materials at industry conferences nationwide, and is also well known for his passion for sustainability, the arts and community involvement. “Reuse Alliance is a remarkable organization that provides a great way to bring together local, regional, and national communities to raise awareness and create partnerships around reuse. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the Board to advance the critical work that has been accomplished in its initial years,” said Benjamin.

As Reuse Alliance board members, Meyer and Benjamin will support a national movement to increase public awareness and access to innovative reuse and waste prevention services. Rounding out the board of directors is Ann Woodward, The Scrap Exchange; Harriet Taub, Materials for Arts; Joe Connell, Portland Metro Habitat for Humanity ReStores; Lorenz Schilling, Deconstruction and Reuse Network; Mary Ann Remolador, Reuse Marketplace; MaryEllen Etienne, Reuse Alliance; and Stefanie Feldman, Waste Management. “I look forward to working with such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic team that shares a common commitment and passion to promote the triple bottom line benefits of reuse,” stated MaryEllen Etienne, Executive Director of the Reuse Alliance.

via Reuse Alliance Expands Board — NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —.

Reclaimed lumber adds history to new home – Canada

Wide boards of reclaimed wood from the Canadian Heritage Timber Co. provide a warm base for this sunlit kitchen.

Wide boards of reclaimed wood from the Canadian Heritage Timber Co. provide a warm base for this sunlit kitchen.

Photograph by: Handout, Vancouver Sun

EDMONTON – Dear Leanne: We are planning to build a second home in Canmore and would love to use reclaimed lumber for the floors. Do you have any comments on this product and where to get it?

We have talked to a few flooring companies and have not received positive comments on the product.

A: Reclaimed wood is more than flooring, in my view; it is an art form that pays homage to our heritage. Reclaiming wood refers to salvaging the wooden remains of deconstruction sites such as historical homes, old buildings, mills, warehouse or barns.

The wood that is reclaimed holds the story of the building it had originally supported. It reflects a place in time and honours the craftsmanship involved in the original construction.

Another major interest people have in using reclaimed lumber is the eco-friendly nature of this resource. There are a few companies, with the closest Canadian companies being in British Columbia, that take great pride in restoring previously used lumber for various applications.

During the salvaging and restoration process, the lumber is categorized into suitability for interior flooring, decking, beams, mantles, stair rungs or furniture. In addition to determining structural integrity, the process is quite elaborate involving hand-grading each plank, sizing for both random and custom lengths and sanding to bring out the natural beauty each plank possesses. See a slide video at

There is a great deal of labour involved to get the wood from its original state to one that can be reused in homes today. It is no surprise that this product also costs more than the prefabricated wood floors that are a beautiful and readily available alternative.

One video I suggest you take a look at is offered by another B.C. company, Second Wind Timber. This video shows the splendour and versatility of reclaimed wood as an Alberta client takes you on a tour of her beautiful home overlooking Shuswap Lake.

I suggest you contact the companies that process these products directly to gain a greater understanding of the specific availability, limitations and costs involved. They can also give you names of clients that have used their products to get a truly unbiased view of choosing reclaimed wood.

Dear Leanne: I would like to add a solarium on to my home and wondered if you could tell me how to make sure it is energy efficient.

A: Adding a solarium or sunroom onto your existing house is a great idea. Planning is the key to longterm enjoyment. When it comes to building onto your home I always recommend you seek the advice of a professional who has expertise the in the area you require — and a client list you can call as a reference check.

There are a few steps you need to consider regardless of who will build the solarium.

Step 1: Determine how you want to use this room. Is it intended to grow plants, be used as a sitting room, a kitchen nook, house a hot tub or increase your current floor space?

Step 2: Consult with a contractor and designer if you are intending to construct this from scratch. This expertise will ensure you have adequate foundations, electrical/ plumbing, insulation, ventilation (important for room temperature as well as moisture control), window construction and security. If you currently have a security provider, ensure you inform them of this new project as it should be protected as well.

You may have decided to use a prefabricated room addition. See your yellow page listings or Google local solarium manufacturers.

Step 3: Ensure you have all permits in place for this construction. An experienced contractor can guide you effortlessly through this process.

Step 4: Plan a product list that will ensure the maximum effectiveness regarding energy efficiency. With glass being the predominant building material used in this structure you can understand why this room will not be the most energy-efficient room in your home.

There are a few things you can do to ensure the solarium is cool in the heat of the summer and yet warm in the winter without taxing your energy bill. Many all-year-round prefabricated solariums offer state-of-the-art window construction to improve temperature fluctuations during seasonal extremes.

If you are building yourself, ensure you use high quality windows. This is the most critical building product for reducing energy losses.

Other considerations include incorporating a stone floor to absorb heat and window treatments that can allow you to control the sun and heat throughout the day, while increasing your privacy at night.

An electric ceiling fan will also aid in moving air, and although does not have the same results as air conditioning, it is more energy efficient.

Leanne Brownoff is an Edmonton interior design consultant who welcomes your questions at Answers will be featured in her column as high volumes prevent individual e-mail responses. Also follow Leanne at

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

via Reclaimed lumber adds history to new home.

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.