In chapter 3, Larry Strain makes a great case for renovation, noting that there are two reasons to do it: The first is to reduce operating emissions from existing buildings, and that applies to all buildings. The second is to reduce embodied emissions by renovating existing structures instead of building new ones.
Biological House was unveiled in Middelfart, Denmark. Photo via Inhabitat
Tomato stems and wood chips, for example, were turned into composite boards, which were then used to build the house. Collaborating with another local architectural practice GXN, Een Til Een used digital production technology to design an adaptable structure that can be quickly assembled and just as easily disassembled—which is why it was built on screw piles instead of a traditional concrete foundation.
Carpet removed in construction and demolition projects cause a myriad of problems, including the cost and accessibility of carpet recycling programs. The difficulty of recycling carpeting is because a carpet is comprised of an assembly of parts – the face fiber and backing system – each of which plays a role in the performance of the carpet.The face fibers are considered to be the most valuable part of the carpet for recycling. However, identifying and separating the type of face fibers is a tedious process, considering each face fiber has different properties, so they must be separated. What’s more, the backing systems most often include latex and polyvinylchloride (PVC) backing systems, both of which require different procedures in properly recycling these carpet components.
The big unsaid: What I mean here is the carbon emissions involved in making, renovating and then eventually dismantling the building. This includes everything from mining the materials for the cement to chopping down the trees for the floorboards to transporting everything to the building site to digging the foundations; and then later from knocking the building down to disposing of its constituent parts. We sometimes refer to the emissions while a building is functioning as the operational carbon, and all the other emissions across its life cycle as the embodied carbon.
Focusing on one and not the other is puzzling to say the least – we’re effectively trying to take the carbon out of our energy bills while paying no attention to the carbon in the buildings themselves.
I am excited about leading the BMRA into its next stage because I believe that it is only together as an industry that we can address the issues facing us. Across the country there are countless building material reuse companies and organizations operating to save our resources. Yet way too often we operate alone, or in organizational silos. My vision is that we can all embrace the same goals, and support each other to the same ends.
Behind Shannon Park School stands one of many military housing units to be demolished. Parents have raised concerns over the demolition and air quality risks that may result during the project. (CONTRIBUTED)
She added that air-quality samples are taken on a regular basis, and that Canada Lands will be sharing the results with the principal. The demolition is now half complete, according to Millier, with an expected wrap-up date in mid-April. The deconstructed materials, besides coming down, need to be removed from the site as well. The demolition has been slowed as contractors dispose of asbestos, lead-based paint and mould found in the roughly 40 buildings on the property.
Construction waste dumped at a vacant space near Huda City Centre.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
“There’s been a haze over the city, brought on by dangerous levels of dust and debris in the air, over the past couple of weeks. We don’t go out in the mornings and evenings, unless necessary, fearing health hazards. Even in summer, there’s dust in the air. Unchecked construction activities are to blame for the worsening air quality in our city. We’re struggling to breathe fresh air. Many are suffering from asthma,” Vikas Gupta, of Vatika City on Sohna Road, said.
Doctors said the rising air pollution levels poses a grave risk to the health of infants. “Infants are the most vulnerable to air pollution. The increasing levels of the hazardous PM 2.5 and suspended air particles have emerged as major health worries for children and are resulting in such respiratory diseases as asthma and bronchitis among children and elders,” Himanshu Batra, consultant paediatrician at Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon, said.
Phil plumbed the house for gas, electricity not arriving until about 1913. Phil and Dora married Nov. 8, 1903, moved into the house, and started their family. To complement the landscape Phil planted an orchard and four Giant Sequoia trees from Broetje’s Nursey on Oatfield and Courtney Rds. – now Clackamas County Heritage Trees.
The purpose of both Oregon’s Historic Preservation Office and Clackamas County’s Historic Preservation Ordinance is to protect and preserve our historic and cultural resources. Unfortunately without the stewardship of a caring owner this process can be circumvented and financial realities can intervene. The legacy of the Oatfield family is quickly disappearing, and unless a philanthropic individual steps forward to move this house to a new location this historic community icon will be lost forever.
Isabel Ordonez Pizarro, an expert on how yo reuse materials from trash. Credit: Chalmers University of Technology
“In general, I think that people who are interested in circular economy or material recirculation will find my work useful. But I still think that it’s much work left to do. I would like to establish material recirculation hubs in urban areas, where local producers, secondary material providers, waste managers and makers can meet and create new ways of collaborating to enable material recovery. I also find it interesting to develop more efficient, decentralized waste management solutions and I believe that it would help users to sort their waste better,” Isabel says.
Renewal Workshop HQ: a stone’s throw from Bridge of the Gods in the beautiful Columbia Gorge. IMAGE: RENEWAL WORKSHOP
So what does the Renewal Workshop sell? Unique, restored activewear diverted from landfills and offered at significantly discounted prices. From its Cascade Locks repair facility, the Workshop intercepts articles of clothing from some of the biggest West Coast names in the outdoor clothing industry (think Prana, Ibex, and Mountain Khakis) that—due to small tears, sewing malfunctions, discolorations, and the like—have been deemed unfit for regular retail and normally would be on their way to landfills. Instead, the Renewal Workshop founders have worked out a unique arrangement with these companies: rather than trash these items, they’re gifted, and shipped, to Cascade Locks, to be washed and mended back to retail quality.
Google, Whole Foods and Toms Shoes are among the companies using Ecor — Whole Food has used Ecor for signage, Google used Ecor for wavy interior panels and Toms’ for shoe hangers. The company says it will soon announce a new customer, “a leading global brewer,” that will convert its spent brewers grains, paper and cardboard waste into a range of Ecor materials, which will then be used by the brewer and its vendors to produce their retail graphics, point of purchase displays, commercial packaging and perhaps even the 6 beer bottle boxes.
GM has partnered with Herman Miller and Green Standards to manage tens of thousands of office surplus furniture and equipment resulting from renovations at Warren Technical Center, Milford Proving Ground, and Global Headquarters. (Courtesy of Herman Miller)
The Toronto-based environmental firm Green Standards, which will clean up the mostly used Herman Miller furniture and donate them to a 100 non-profit organizations. The project is expected to take two years.
“We view waste as just a resource out of place,” said David Tulauskas, GM’s sustainability director, in a statement. “This reuse program enables us to reduce our environmental footprint while making a positive contribution to our community.”
So far, GM has diverted 550 tons of office materials from the landfill through the rePurpose program, equal to growing nearly 46,000 tree seedlings for 10 years or offsetting electricity use from nearly 250 homes for one year.
Architecture that was at its prime in the 1970s has slowly fallen into decline and often ruin thanks to decades of neglect, especially in America’s poorest and most racially segregated communities, including Gary, Detroit, Camden and Harlem.
At the same time, roughly one billion square feet of buildings are demolished and replaced every year in the United States. According to an analysis by the Brookings Institution, the country is in the midst of demolishing and replacing 82 billion square feet of existing space — nearly a quarter of the existing building stock — by 2030.
That is an astonishing amount of waste. In fact, the energy used to demolish and rebuild that much space could power the entire state of California for a decade! According to a formula produced for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, about 80 billion British thermal units (Btus) of energy are embodied in a typical 50,000-square-foot commercial building.
The Corkman Irish pub in Carlton, which was demolished illegally. Photo: Eddie Jim
The developers have been slammed for destroying the 159-year-old pub, formerly known as the Carlton Inn, and are now under investigation from the Victorian Building Authority, the City of Melbourne, the EPA, WorkCover and Heritage Victoria.
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.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS TRAUGOTT COULTER An image of the aftermath of the fire at the German Fire Insurance Company, 115 N. Jefferson, which was destroyed on February, 28, 1915. The image is one of many found in the attic of 807 Spring Street.
The negatives, along with doors, door hardware, stair parts, and a fireplace mantel were hauled back to the Whiskey City Architectural Salvage shop where they were priced and put on display.
Soon after Chris Traugott Coulter visited the shop. He was very excited when he saw the negatives. “I was ecstatic,” he said recently while sitting at his computer in the Peoria Historical Society’s offices. “You don’t normally find that many glass plates. You usually find only two or three.”
Adam Watson of Roy-Mar Demolition uses an excavator to remove part of the Branningha Grove property on Owen Sound’s east side on Monday. The demolition of the property is expected to last until the end of next week. (Rob Gowan The Sun Times)
The move to demolish the building has been a contentious one at times with some in the community calling on the building to be saved and designated under the Ontario Heritage Act due to historical and cultural significance. Built in 1881 by Walter and Mary Holmes, the High Victorian-style home was modelled after the original owners’ house in England.
Muchea Land Fill foreman Troy Owen is concerned recycled material, which will potentially go into buildings, may contain asbestos. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper
“(Demolition rubble) can’t be 100 per cent asbestos free,” Mr Scott said. “If you demolish a building it doesn’t matter how careful you are, you are going to get asbestos.” “We have machines with throughput volumes of 5000 tonnes an hour. When you look at the volumes we play with, that’s a lot of asbestos we can put out,” he added.
“In many cases, the net value of recycling waste materials is more than the value of the energy generated from them,” he said. “Also, reducing the need for virgin materials is the most important, from a perspective of environmental protection. Based on this logic, among the practices in circular economy, reuse is usually the best solution. Recycling and composting are the second best options. If reuse, recycling, and composting are not feasible or don’t make economic and environmental sense, waste to energy should be a good solution.”
Building Research Establishment Trust is working on several research projects focused on mitigation and resilience to climate change
Another research project last year also looked at the impacts of deconstruction – or, essentially, demolishing buildings – on the circular economy, as “effectively dealing with buildings at the end of their life has the potential to unlock significant economic value”, according to the Trust. Construction and the built environment is the single biggest user of materials and generator of waste in the UK economy, but the value that can be extracted from deconstruction is very much dependent on how buildings have been designed and built.
Henderson said getting people to recycle more isn’t the issue. About three-quarters of all waste from construction and demolition are already being recycled. Rather, it’s the capacity limitations of the region’s 12 recycling facilities that’s now emerging as a concern.
It is all very odd. You wouldn’t build a kindergarten out of old shipping containers, since they are covered in the most toxic of paints designed to last years on the ocean. You wouldn’t take new shipping containers because any argument about environmental responsibility is out the window; there is far more steel in them than is actually needed.
The interactive, regularly updated map plots more than 9,500 demolitions since 2014 as blue dots, and about 700 scheduled jobs as orange dots. Click on them to reveal details like the date of leveling, the price of demolition, and the contractor that performed it.
Introduced more than30 years ago, window film today is engineered using advanced technology to deliver energy savings similar to low-e windows, yet at a fraction of what replacement windows cost. Just like new windows and doors, window film is rated by the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council), so homeowners and property managers can be sure of the benefits. For single-family homes, window film installation costs can range from $4 to $11 per square foot, depending on the location and type of window film installed, and the process can be completed in one or two days, without a major disruption in use of the rooms where the windows are located.
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.”
Architecture professor Susan Herringer says Vancouver’s dwindling Modernist stock of houses is considered exemplary of the style. (Evan Ho / Remax)
Ms. Oberlander, who is 94 years old and still working on major projects, says he spent $300,000 or more on painstaking upgrades that were sensitive to the Lassere design, including geothermal heat and high-end appliances in the kitchen that were customized with a colour to fit with the Modernist era. Dr. Friedman had tried to have the house preserved with a heritage designation, but it is in the University Endowment Lands jurisdiction, which is governed by the province. He was told a designation wasn’t available.
Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, 92, in New York. (Eric Thayer / For the Globe and Mail)
Meanwhile, the listing agent has received several offers on the house, which he’ll present April 27 to the board members. Vancouver will lose another piece of its history.
For Ms. Oberlander, her community is being dismantled. She shakes her head.
The Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) is excited to announce that Jonathan Orpin of the Timber Framers Guild will be featured as the keynote speaker for the Decon ’16 conference on February 29th, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Decon ’16 is the premier national conference for professionals in the building material deconstruction and reuse industries, and this forward-looking address will seed the future of a world without waste.
Rob Walker recently ceased his tumbler Unconsumption. Unconsumption was an amazing resource for reuse inspiration. Rob cataloged hundreds of artists and designs. Check out the archives. Thank you Rob, we will miss you!
I dreamed up the word “unconsumption” back in 2007, for a New York Times Magazine column, and later pursued and refined the idea in various ways, most notably in this group Tumblr – which grew way beyond what I imagined was possible. It’s been an amazing run, and an honor to work with a series of fantastic and inspiring collaborators along the way.
The embodied energy of the existing building, a term expressing the cost of resources in both human labour and materials consumed during the building’s construction and use, is squandered when the building is allowed to decay or be demolished.
“It was just a natural thought process for us,” said Saad. “While this is a great repurpose of this furniture, it would give it a second life, and really give some people a fresh start with their new lives in Canada.”
The Historic Bell Tavern Building Michael Bupp – The Sentinal
“Whether intentional or by error in 1995, the Bell Tavern was not listed as an historic, protected building on the Township’s Cultural Features Map and Historic Buildings List referred to in our zoning ordinance. Based on that, the Township had to lift the stop-work order. Despite the lifting of the order, the developer has continued to suspend demolition, affording us the opportunity to engage in discussions about the preservation of the building.”
Time is drawing closer to the DECON ’16 conference and expo in Raleigh, North Carolina, February 29 – March 3. If you have not yet registered, make your plans and get started here. There will be speakers providing the latest research and hottest topics in building deconstruction, salvage and building materials reuse. This is an opportunity to network with others in this field that only comes every couple of years, so we urge you to take advantage of it. Register now!
An exciting class is planned for the days just after the main conference. Added Value: A Hands-on Guide to Setting up your Reclaimed Wood Shop. The BMRA has partnered with the Department of Forest Biomaterials at North Carolina State University to develop the ideal course to get your reclaimed woodshop up and running. This 1.5 day course will run on Thursday March 2nd (9-5) and Friday March 3rd (9-3), with plenty of time on Friday evening to catch your flight home.
After interning with the RA in the summer of 2014, Michaela Harms continued her studies in Civil Engineering on exchange in Lefkosia, Cyprus at Frederick University. Her focus in the program was on structural design and renewable energies, both vital aspects of sustainable construction innovations. Now in her final year of studies, she has returned to Helsinki to work and complete her thesis on estimating decentralized renewable energy potentiality with Bionova, a Helsinki-based sustainability consulting company and LCA innovator.
Upon completing her BSc, Michaela plans to return stateside. She hopes to gain further expertise in research and design through work with an innovative sustainable building or renewable energy company. Her heart still lies in grass roots sustainable solutions. She hopes to continue to her Masters in 2017 at the Iceland School of Energy.
Interested in interning for a cutting edge social media site dedicated to reducing waste with building material reuse and architectural salvage? Join the Reclamation Administration – we give good internships!
Demolition of a heritage home at 3330 West King Edward, Vancouver. (Caroline Adderson)
Heritage activist and antiques expert Robert McNutt was driving by when he saw it, so he pulled over to watch. He got chatting with a young woman with a stroller who was startled to see the house being smashed to smithereens. She was under the common misconception that the old character houses were being carefully dismantled, the old lumber and fixtures salvaged and repurposed.
“I told her, ‘No, this poor house will become wood pellets, and possibly turned into toilet paper or some other paper product,’” Mr. McNutt says. “That’s the way they do it now.”
Registration is open for the premier national/international conference on building deconstruction, salvage, and building materials reuse will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina February 29 to March 3,2016. Industry professionals, policymakers and researchers will gather at the Hilton Doubletree Brownstone hotel in Raleigh for presentations, interactive discussions and networking. Whether you are new to the issue of building materials reuse or a long-time pioneer in the field, this is a great opportunity to meet colleagues and learn about the state of the art.
Exciting new classes are being planned for the days just after the main conference. The first is Added Value: A Hands-on Guide to Setting up your Reclaimed Wood Shop. Full details available here.
Planning for DECON ’16 includes efforts by working groups on a few topic areas of special interest. Participation is invited on these working groups, if you have energy and time to commit to the meetings and tasks.
1. The Appraisal Working Group will have its third meeting on Thursday December 17th at 1pm EST/ 12pm CST / 10am PST. Interested parties should contact the head of that group, Tom Napier email@example.com.
2. The Market Survey Working group will have its third meeting on Wednesday January 6th at 1pm EST/ 12 pm CST / 10 am PST, Interested parties should contact Anne Nicklin, firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the benefits of starting the Reclamation Administration is that I get to see how reuse centers optimize partnerships within the community. Like churches or pubs, reuse centers can be a pivotal gathering place. If done well, the physical detritus of the community flows through a reuse center. Neighbors stop and talk with each other over finds and projects, suggestions are made and advice is given. I’ve seen reuse centers inspire creativity that transcend individual projects and develop into community initiatives. Material with history motivates people to collaborate and build both projects and relationships.
We need to measure the size and impact of the Building Materials Reuse Industry in an organized way.
The editorial this month was going to be on wood as an important material in the building salvage industry in the United States. Indeed, wood is one of the materials most recovered from buildings. Whole businesses are dedicated to reclaimed wood from large timbers used as structural elements in large old buildings. Most general building salvage operations have a significant amount of lumber, but they also carry a lot of other items that are made out of wood or wood products. Cabinets, doors, flooring, trim, paneling, even some higher end windows have a lot of wood, and usually the wood is in a form that cannot be recycled — which makes reuse the best option. But how much wood reuse is going on? How much of salvaged material is wood or a wood product such as MDF or particle board? How many businesses are actively salvaging wood or selling reusable building materials? How does the practice of salvage and reuse of wood and wood products vary from region to region?
Dew said the project’s price tag was too high, and that with little money available to cover the cost, the only option was “deconstructing” them. She said historic materials were salvaged from the buildings and are being stored for future use.
While Levine agreed that the restoration cost was high, he said that the town was bound by the easement to do it. He expressed frustration at the refusal of town officials to discuss the matter in any detail.
The Gurski Farm homestead with the adjacent barn in the background. State officials are questioning why some buildings on the town-owned property were taken down.
“It wasn’t like the buildings were falling down,” said Bankston, who noted that demolition needs to be done carefully to avoid creating risks of collapse, such as by overloading floors with heavy debris.
He said his company left the project about a month ago amid a financial disagreement with the general contractor.
At least 60 firefighters responded to the collapse.
Anne Nicklin, executive director at the Chicago-based Building Materials Reuse Association
What should the architecture community know about building-material salvage and reuse?
Architects are becoming more curious about how to design for reuse. We get a lot of questions about selection—for example, how to pick out doors and store them for a few years [until the project is complete]. I encourage people to think about the process the same way they think about stone. You can specify a stone finish and then, often, when you’re ready for it in construction you can pick out your piece from what’s available. I don’t think architects realize how much they can reuse on their own sites. On most sites there’s a building that came down and still has a lot of [functional] materials—plywood, joists, glulam, stud walls, commercial steel—that are incredibly expensive to buy but are undervalued in the reuse market.
Campbell, 51, had been hired to raze three attached buildings with a cut-rate bid of $112,000, about a third of the next lowest bid. He could also keep whatever he could salvage. Campbell therefore “cannibalized” the building from the inside, removing the floors and support beams that stabilized the four-story walls, prosecutors said.
By the morning of June 5, 2013, all that remained of the former Hoagie City building was an unstable, 30-foot high brick wall attached to the one-story Salvation Army building.
“When that wall collapsed, it totally crushed that Salvation Army, and everyone inside,” Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Selber, the homicide chief, said in her opening statement.
The victims included two young artist friends dropping off donations, a mother of nine buying clothes to send to her native Sierra Leone and a newly engaged woman working her first day at the store. One survivor lost both legs after being trapped for 13 hours.
“The demand for reclaimed wood products has been steadily increasing as consumers recognize and value the look, feel, functionality and cost of reused wood in products such as flooring, furniture, structural timbers and more. The North American Wood Reuse and Recycling Directory will connect demand and supply to ensure the continued growth of this reclaimed wood market, while simultaneously keeping thousands of tons of wood out of landfills,” said BMRA Executive Director Anne Nicklin.
Construction waste management allows reuse and recycling of waste materials such as concrete, wood, plastic, and glass and can. This resolves supply shortages at construction sites as recycled construction waste can be reused as building material. Developed countries such as the US, the UK, and Germany and developing countries such as China, India, and Brazil are the major construction waste generators.
Further, the report states that illegal dumping of waste is a major factor hindering construction waste management market growth.
The analysts forecast global construction waste management market to grow at a CAGR of 9.67% by revenue over the period 2014-2019.