Ruthie Mundell stands among new and vintage chandeliers—all salvaged and ready to find a new home. (Teresa Carey)
“You have a grassroots momentum for something like deconstruction, and you have a massive industry against it,” says Sara Badiali.
The building material reuse consultant thinks regulations are an effective way to make a change. Yet, she has searched the world and “can’t find any place that actually has the words ‘building deconstruction’ in legislation.”
Badiali worked with the city of Portland, Oregon, to create the nation’s first reuse ordinance. Now, Portland homes built before 1916 must be evaluated for deconstruction. Other cities like San Francisco and Milwaukee are drafting their own ordinances.
Source: How Women Are Leading the Charge to Recycle Whole Houses | Innovation | Smithsonian
“We thank everyone for their hard work. We can breathe a sigh of relief that we no longer have to worry about the rickhouse coming down on its own. Now we can concentrate efforts on our barrel recovery.”
Source: Efforts switch to barrel recovery as rickhouse deconstruction nearly complete – The Owensboro Times
Gary Ringer. Photo by Stephen Koss.
In 2013, he founded a company called Eco-Environmental Solutions as a grassroots way to address blight in the Detroit area. The company specializes in deconstruction, the process of taking apart old buildings and salvaging parts of them for reuse. In doing this work, Ringer draws on an understanding of structures he’s gleaned from his time as a firefighter as well as prior job experiences building massive homes in the suburbs of southeast Michigan.
Source: Detroit firefighter takes on blight with deconstruction business
COURTESY OF JUDY COLBERT
One benefit of shopping salvage: the pleasure of having part of your home remind you of your childhood home, perhaps helping your grandmother make cookies or sitting by a fireside on a brisk evening.
Source: Using Salvage Stores To Improve Your Home On The Cheap
Deconstructing history isn’t easy. Turney puts hours of sweat into the process, prying out rusty nails that haven’t budged in more than 50 years.This is the second Quonset hut he’s helped reclaim in the past couple years. The patinaed metal will be a huge hit in his Palmer store.“Some people use it as wainscoting or on the trim of a bar,” he said.
Source: Deconstructing history: Alaska Picker salvages, upcycles WWII-er – KTVA 11 – The Voice of Alaska
The project wants to build a regional economy network around wood and land restoration, with a specific focus on reclaiming wood, lives and neighborhoods in the urban and rural areas.
Source: Can the Wood Project save Baltimore? – Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner
“I don’t think (the fee increase) goes far enough,” he said, adding that “there should be a law that you either move the house or use portions of it to build a new house or disassemble it board by board so it can be used.”
Source: Richmond council pushes for more salvage, including wood waste | Burnaby Now
As an alternative to demolition, you may find a deconstruction company in your area that can take apart buildings and divert up to 90 percent of materials from landfills to reuse. You may also save money by selling or receiving a tax deduction from donating the used building materials. Endeavor to use treatment technologies that are designed to keep waste generation down.
Source: Tips to Reduce Environmental Footprint of Your Cleanup
Re-use Hawaii founder Quinn Vittum talks about the salvaging operation at Kona Village Resort at their yard below the Kaloko Light Industrial Area. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
One company on Hawaii Island has assumed a more macro view of recycling and in only a year has filled an entire baseyard with salvaged material from demolished structures. Re-use Hawaii is a nonprofit deconstruction business, and the only one of its kind, focused on reducing the single largest landfill waste stream in the state.
Source: Waste not: Company takes environmental approach to deconstruction in West Hawaii – West Hawaii Today
Rather than demolishing blighted buildings, the city is helping fund nonprofits that take the buildings apart piece by piece—then resell the parts, which still have significant value in construction.
Source: How Baltimore Is Deconstructing Itself—With Local Nonprofit Help: Associations Now
In addition to that, make sure you’re deconstructing your home during a renovation instead of demolishing it. This ensures that some materials in your home can be repurposed instead of being thrown out as waste. You can sell or donate your deconstructed items and help another person make a sustainable choice by upcycling them.
Source: Sustainable Trends In Home Renovation & Design
Hydraulic shears takes down part of the old ACRA building for the new Aspen city offices on March 6.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times
“We had a goal of 65 percent for diversion and we are at 74 percent,” said Brain Thomas, the project manager for Shaw Construction. “We are happy with Aspen Deconstruction. They knocked it out of the park.”
Source: Construction debris to make way for Aspen government office mostly avoids landfill | AspenTimes.com
UNBUILDERS — Adam Corneil, who operates Unbuilders, says he aims to collaborate, rather than compete, with traditional demolition contractors, letting them take down a building to the wood frame.
“Tens of millions of dollars of lumber are purchased every day in this country,” he explains. “The fact we’re just shredding it (old wood structures) up and burning it is completely irrational in my mind.”
Source: Unbuilders Deconstruction takes a new approach to demolition – constructconnect.com
MinnPost file photo by Bill Kelley
Burying construction debris can dredge up naturally-occurring chemicals in the soil like arsenic and manganese that leach into groundwater after precipitation.
In order to catch up with demolition, Adams said he wants people who don’t deconstruct buildings to pay what he calls the “social costs” of carbon emissions to cities, which is the price of mitigating climate change. Reuse and recycle of construction waste cuts down on emissions in part because of the energy it takes to create new building materials. Adams pegged that carbon cost at roughly $9,000 for a typical house. He said cities should use that money to offer grants to homeowners who can’t pay for decon
Source: The problem, and politics, of throwing old houses in the garbage | MinnPost
I was reading about the scale of the abandoned housing problem – that there are 40-60,000 abandoned, vacant, or blighted houses in Philadelphia. The idea was to create an organization that could take on the abandoned housing blight block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Source: Q&A with Greg Trainor of the Philadelphia Community Corps – Shareable
The city’s economic development agency, St. Louis Development Corp., is testing an alternative process this year that deconstructs buildings piece by piece. The more expensive process is used to salvage materials as well as reduce health risks from dust and debris. City officials said it isn’t financially feasible to use “deconstruction” to remove all of St. Louis’ 12,000 vacant properties, but they hope to expand the 30-building pilot project in the future.
Source: Officials: St. Louis demolitions could reverse lead progress – Herald-Whig –
The City of St. Louis is ramping up demolition of vacant buildings on properties owned by the metro’s land bank, but some of them will undergo deconstruction instead. (Photo by Oscar Perry Abello)
As he gears up for the pilot project with the city, Schwarz says that Refab will tighten its hiring focus. “We’ll hire people from the neighborhoods where we do the deconstruction,” he says. “We’re going to take tax dollars and put them into the pockets of the residents who are affected by this activity in their neighborhood.”
Source: Can Deconstructing Some of St. Louis’ Past Help Build a Sustainable Future? – Next City
Refab crews will dismantle the historic building and preserve its handmade bricks and timbers.
CREDIT LAURA GINN | SLDC
As part of the contract, Refab will disassemble a three-story brick warehouse built in 1884 in the Vandeventer neighborhood.Schwarz said the building was an “excellent candidate” for deconstruction, in part because its brick and timber have survived more than 100 years without being painted.“We were just shocked when we got into it for the first time that it was so well preserved,” he said.
Source: Deconstruction projects aim to give new life to historic building materials | St. Louis Public Radio
In September, Habitat for Humanity volunteers “deconstructed” elements of Bradley Center suites.
“You know there’s salvage in every job. It’s up to us to determine what percentage. That’s what makes people competitive,” Hosier said.
Source: There’s A Growing Trend To Repurpose More, Landfill Less When Deconstructing Buildings | WUWM
Mark Raszewski rescues unclaimed materials from businesses when they close or renovate. Nearly all of the items he sells are from Dane County. PHOTO ERICA KRUG
When local businesses or facilities close or get renovated, Raszewski helps to take places apart (recently Mautz Paint, Marling Lumber, UW-Madison’s Agronomy research lab, and Oscar Mayer), salvaging many unclaimed materials.
Source: The salvage man – Isthmus | Madison, Wisconsin
In addition, deconstruction can potentially generate jobs around harvesting, processing and selling materials. Arlene Karidis | Sep 20, 2018
“The reuse economy is similar to the recycling industry in that it creates more jobs throughout the value chain than strictly disposing material in a landfill. As the reuse market continues to grow, more jobs will be created downstream, including warehouse operations, retail, value-added manufacturing and job training,” says Blomberg.
Source: Deconstruction Niche Attempts to Tackle C&D Waste
Photos by Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
Deconstruction is underway at the power plant on 15th Street in Jasper. The company deconstructing the plant anticipates that 90 percent of the building’s material will be reused or recycled.
“We have a tremendous response from farmers, architects, as well as collectors of old memorabilia for most of the items slated for repurposing,” a Green Earth spokeswoman said in an email. She said the company plans to salvage compressors, generators, 60 percent of the beams, electronic switches, metal grading, miscellaneous electronic equipment and the front façade of the building.
Source: Power plant parts may be shipped across world – Dubois County Herald
Mr. Guy is an associate professor of practice and director of the MS in Sustainable Design program, School of Architecture and Planning, The Catholic University of America (CUArch), Washington, DC. He is also the director of the Center for Building Stewardship, and director of the MS in Facilities Management program at CUArch. Mr. Guy’s teaching and research focus on sustainable and healthy materials and C&D waste, life cycle assessment, prefabrication and modular design, design to use reclaimed materials, design for deconstruction, and building deconstruction. In 2005, he co-founded the Building Materials Reuse Association, and he has conducted deconstruction projects throughout the US.
Source: Deconstruction vs. Demolition | Fairfax, VA
The goal of this event is therefore to bring together individuals and organizations active in related areas of heritage conservation, urban, architectural and construction history, critical heritage and discard studies, building deconstruction, sustainable materials and waste management, to address these gaps and possibilities for bridging between these areas as part of projects, policies, research or creative practices.
Source: symposium overview – WASTE HERITAGE deconstruction, salvage & re-use
Photo courtesy of J. Breneman/NRRI
Moving forward, Krause states that educating the public about deconstruction as an alternative to demolition is essential. “Every state has that looming ‘filling-up the-landfills’ problem. This project addresses it directly,” stated Krause.
Source: Taking it apart rather than breaking it | BusinessNorth Exclusives | businessnorth.com
It takes more workers to pry apart a building than to operate a wrecking ball. Although that makes deconstruction more expensive, creating additional jobs is appealing in a city where 23 percent of residents live in poverty.
Source: Cities Look to Create Jobs With Deconstruction Projects
Debris remains where a demolished rowhouse once stood on one of many blocks slated for demolition in Baltimore. When possible, city officials want to dismantle and salvage materials from buildings rather than demolishing them.
Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press
The two Baltimore enterprises address multiple problems at once. Details Deconstruction takes apart blighted buildings and salvages or recycles materials that are still valuable — a process called deconstruction. Brick and Board processes and sells reclaimed materials, saving them from the landfill. And both hire people with criminal records and prepare them for jobs in the construction industry.
Source: Instead of Razing Buildings, Some Cities Want to Reuse Their Bones | The Pew Charitable Trusts
An environmental collaborative aims to remove vacant properties, plans to salvage materials from 30 buildings in north St. Louis in 2019. Refab, a salvage yard in south St. Louis, is identifying buildings that qualify for deconstruction.
ELI CHEN | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO
“When you strategically disassemble a structure, there’s more opportunities to find and remediate environmental hazards,” Ginn said. “It would allow us to reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to landfills and you don’t have as much dust spreading through neighborhoods.”
Source: Environmental coalition plans to salvage materials from vacant north St. Louis buildings | KBIA
Though we tend to think of buildings as singular entities, in reality, they are complex structures made of thousands (if not millions) of smaller parts. And, even though a building may be at the end of its life cycle, the components that make it up aren’t.
Source: How Do You Recycle an Entire Building? – Earth911.com
The deconstruction is in preparation for the installation of the Keller Mill this Spring. The Keller Mill has been nonoperational for over 60 years, but was built in the same time period as the Butte Creek Mill. (Genevieve Grippo/KTVL)
The deconstruction is in preparation for the installation of the Keller Mill this Spring. The Keller Mill has been nonoperational for over 60 years, but was built in the same time period as Butte Creek. Using the donated parts of the Keller Mill will contribute to keeping the rebuild as authentic as possible.”The grinding wheel– all that stuff is going to be back as it was. So it’ll be grinding flour again,” said Hammonds.
Source: Deconstruction begins on old Butte Creek Mill site | KTVL
Topped by recycled fir baseboards from Jimi Hendrix’ childhood home, this guitar made by luthier Reuben Forsland also has nails and wiring from the home inlaid in all of its fret markers. The “story” guitar is a collaboration between Forsland and Kevin Hennig of Symphontree Music in Sandspit. (Kevin Hennig/Symphontree Music)
Handmade by Reuben Forsland, a Métis luthier in Comox, its soundboard is made from the fir baseboards of Hendrix’ bedroom. Inside the silver fret markers are wires and nails from the home. For the rosette, the decorative trim around the soundhole, Forsland inlaid bits of paint from the Hendrix home floor, encased in 150 pieces of ebony. “That’s what this guy does, all the time,” says Kevin Hennig, owner of SymphonTree Music, a specialized guitar shop based in Sandspit.
Source: Home-made Hendrix guitar lands in Sandspit – Haida Gwaii Observer
Photo by Ramona Campos December 16, 2016
The Allards got the name of Second Chance through an architect they had met. Once they realized the win-win situation that using Second Chance presented to them: making a tax deductible donation to deconstruct, paying less than demolishing would cost, doing something positive for young men who wanted to turn their lives around, and avoiding putting tons of materiel into a landfill: they were ready to sign on the dotted line. On top of that, the owner gets 15 points towards green home certification.
Source: Deconstruct vs. Demolish in Arlington
Construction crew (from left) Marcus Banks, Demetrik Williams and supervisor Steven Teasley listen while Mayor Tom Barrett holds a press conference in front of a home at 2700 block of N. 40th St. Angela Peterson
The city will train unemployed residents of the Sherman Park neighborhood for construction jobs by starting them on crews to disassemble vacant city-owned houses, Mayor Tom Barrett said Wednesday.
Dismantling an abandoned house with a goal of salvaging building materials for reuse and recycling can provide the training and work experience needed for someone to step into a job in the construction industry, he said.
Source: Residents learn to build by deconstruction
Before you demolish… should you deconstruct? Some residential buildings may be good candidates for full deconstruction (rather than demolition). Or before demolishing them, you could salvage materials with architectural value or reuse potential.
Source: Deconstruction Rapid Assessment Tool | Large-Scale Residential Demolition | US EPA
Native American workers for Miigwech Aki Deconstruction (Co.), based at Bemidji, recently completed deconstructing a commercial building in downtown Minneapolis and a large Twin Cities suburban home. They have also started deconstructing two abandoned properties in the Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota.
Source: The Circle | NEWS FROM A NATIVE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE – Deconstruction for Mother Earth