For example, in the summer of 2012, Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts) deconstructed two small wood-frame buildings and, in the process, recycled 92 percent, by weight, of the total material removed from the project site. The Williams small building deconstruction resulted in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 14 cars from the roads for a full year (66 metric tonnes).
“The reuse industry needs to continue building more circular economy partnerships to repurpose reclaimed materials on a larger scale, “ Goodman says.
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.”
Ben’s Barn was constructed with a mix of reclaimed materials sourced not only from the former farmhouse and barn that had stood on another portion of the site, but also from a midcentury modern teardown in Weston, Massachusetts.
Duplexes at 2075 N. Cambridge Ave. were set for deconstruction last summer. (Photo: Stephanie Morse/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Of nearly 500 city-owned houses slated for demolition, only five were deconstructed in 2018, according to the Department of Neighborhood Services. The department struggled to get reasonable bids from contractors, said Tom Mishefske, neighborhood services commissioner.
This North Vancouver home, at 5,000 square feet, is one of the largest projects Unbuilders has taken on. After three weeks, they have completed the front-end salvage and the strip-out of the four units. The entire project, from start to finish, is estimated to take six weeks. Photo by Michelle Gamage.
And now, as some 3,000 homes are being torn down in Metro Vancouver each year, the material is being sent to landfill or, in the case of the lumber, being burned for heat or energy. “It’s really not waste — it is wasted. This is all reusable material,” Corneil said, gesturing around the home.
Buildings as Material Banks (BAMB) brings together fifteen partners from seven European countries. Its goal is a systemic shift in sustainable building.
Unbuilders is quickly becoming Canada’s deconstruction industry leader.Over the past year, Unbuilders has saved over 100,000 board feet of lumber and 250 tonnes of garbage from being thrown in landfills.In the most recent unbuild, just 3% of materials from an entire house ended up in the landfill.
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.
Devna Bose / The Meridian Star
The old cotton press warehouse structure stretches along a portion of Front Street in downtown Meridian. Part of the building is being dismantled and the rest will be saved and repurposed. Material from the building is being reused in buildings across the street and around Mississippi.
“The pine, it’s being shipped and flooring is being made out of it, and its bricks are being used in buildings all over Mississippi,” Massey said.
OLD HARDWOOD is salvaged from the 78-year-old former Smithey’s warehouse building in North Wilkesboro as part of a joint venture between building owner Cam Finley and North Wilkesboro-based Revient Reclaimed Wood. Second Street is seen through a hole left by a tornado last fall.
The old Smithey’s warehouse had part of its roof torn off by a tornado that touched down in Wilkes in October 2017. “As soon as I saw what was inside it, I knew it was a great building for us to salvage,” said Shepherd.
“It is important to us to use local contractors but also people with experience in deconstruction to help us reach our goal. Since there is local interest, we will reopen the bid process.”
2075 N. Cambridge Ave. Photo by Dave Reid.
“I mean, I thought we were doing something great here. But it’s contingent on, as usual, the private sector, money, fear of hiring ex-offenders.” Bauman called this program a case study in the obstacles confronted by attempts to create jobs. “If every time you try to create jobs for the folks most in need and the folks you want to keep off the street and keep out of the criminal justice system, if there’s a million obstacles put up, we’re sunk. We’ll never solve the problem.”
Photo by Darrell Jackson
Pictured is the interior of the Glendale location where Stardust Building Supplies offers a large assortment for sale to the public.
“Our deconstruction service is free and we have a list of questions that we ask to determine if the job is something we can do,” Fulton said. “Due to Environmental Protection Agency rules, we cannot do houses that were built before 1978 due to rules about asbestos and lead paint. A job supervisor will also do site searches to make sure the job is something we can do.”
Treena Gowthorpe and Kate Otter-Lowe are setting out to prove that a house can be deconstructed and recycled for the same price as demolition.
“You take a house that isn’t wanted in the community and deconstruct it. You carefully harvest all the materials from the house and then you use those materials and reconstruct it into tiny builds,” she said.
2075 N. Cambridge Ave. Photo by Dave Reid.
There are a number of city-owned properties that have to be demolished. And using the requirements of its residents preference program, firms going after the deconstruction contracts will have to meet workforce goals and train unemployed or underemployed city residents in this new trade.
“It’s much more oriented toward local governments and economic development practitioners,” who are looking at the steps community leaders can take to encourage greater deconstruction, Pytel said. “Waste is typically a consequence of a bunch of other decisions. We’re going up a few levels to get at the decisions that end up creating waste, as opposed to looking at things as waste to begin with.”
Four workers survey how to pull plaster off one of the walls. Baihly Warfield/WDIO
Better Futures Minnesota is managing the projects, Miigwech Aki is providing labor, and the Natural Resources Research Institute is adding in their expertise. They each believe the extra time involved with deconstructing a building instead of demolishing it is worth it.
“Oftentimes, when people compare demolition and deconstruction, they compare just the cash outlay right at the beginning. But we don’t believe that’s a fair comparison,” he said. Adams pointed to the legacy of overflowing landfills and the health risks they present. He also noted the increase in jobs and taxes generated by dismantling a building.
Thomas Adams, president and CEO of Better Futures Minnesota
Pete Brands (left) and Travis Blomberg (right) with WasteCap Resource Solutions
The four departments we plan to offer in the next six months are deconstruction, salvage services, the retail store and Do It Yourself, in which WasteCap partners with Fox 6 News to provide upcycling and reuse tutorials using materials in the warehouse.
A guide for the perplexed inside Philly Reclaim. As the books and paintings behind the sign indicate, there’s more on offer here than building materials.
And Philly Reclaim will sell just about anything that anyone brings to it. When I visited the store last fall, the available items included organ pipes that a donor had dropped off, deer skins, a phone booth, a pool table, and even old turntables and vintage vinyl LPs to play on them. There was wood reclaimed from a bowling alley, chalkboards from the old West Philadelphia High School, and a wooden bathtub filled with clawfoot feet for those needing them for their own historic restorations.
The introduction of new sections and criteria such as: A section dedicated to Site and Building Resilience. A section on Resource Conservation addresses minimized use of raw materials and encourages designing for deconstruction.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple TNP worker Racheal Miller, 22, of Newton Falls, boards up a window on a house on Prospect St. in Niles.
The employees are trained to salvage materials from properties scheduled to be demolished as well as doing landscaping and maintenance at properties that already have been demolished.
According to Vancouver bylaws, at least 75 per cent of the material in homes built before 1940 must be recycled. In the case of heritage or character homes, that number is 90 per cent.
Lester Public Library (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Reclaimed wood is stacked outside the Hamilton building in Two Rivers.
Reclaimed wood plays a growing role in Wisconsin economy. For example, one Rhinelander-based company, Enterprise Wood Products, has worked with reclaimed wood since 2010. The company began using reclaimed wood from the deconstruction of a grain elevator in Superior, and now remanufactures recycled wood into flooring, paneling, stair parts, timbers and more. Much of their current reclaimed wood supply comes from the deconstruction of the Hamilton building in Two Rivers, and reclaimed wood represents up to ha
Dan Speicher – Tribune Review
The American Architectural Salvage Shop, in Mt. Pleasant.
Czerpak said he will work closely with the demolition manager to evaluate potential projects based on store inventory needs or popular items. Waltenbaugh said 75 percent of people hired for the team will be female heads of household, those struggling with addiction and others who might have difficulty finding jobs. The employees will be trained.“We’re excited to get that up and running,” he said.
The grant program was instituted by state legislation to help rural communities with populations of 5,000 or less to deconstruct or renovate abandoned commercial and public structures.
The program emphasizes reuse and recycling of building items, helps improve street appearance and commercial development, and alleviates the environmental concern these buildings can pose. Financial assistance includes asbestos removal, building deconstruction and renovation, and other environmental services.
The South Kent Landfill, image courtesy Kent County.
“There are a lot of building materials and resources that are winding up in landfills,” Wieland says. “People are actually talking about deconstructing things instead of just demolishing them. We’re looking at all the waste materials that come out of the building industry and reusing them is one of the ways to reduce that waste.”
The historic Regional Treatment Center tower, close to the county government services center in northwest Fergus Falls, will be preserved while other sections of the RTC complex will be part of deconstruction. Tom Hintgen/Otter Tail County Correspondent.
The city of Fergus Falls is seeking $8.9 million from the state legislature to complete deconstruction on remaining sections of the RTC campus which includes 550,000 square feet of space on the northside of Fergus Falls. The Regional Treatment Center was originally built in 1890 by the state of Minnesota to house 3,500 patients with mental illness. During the 1950s and 1960s that number was reduced to close to 2,000 residents, cared for by 500 state employees.
“Heritage is one of our main economic drivers in the city. The deconstruction policy — if we had one — would address salvaging any materials in the case where demolition is absolutely necessary.”
Using time-lapse photography, the film shows the demolition of the famous Star Theatre. Judging from the various exposures, the work must have gone on for a period of approximately thirty days.
AN 11-PERSON TEAM from Americorps is in Mtn. View helping renovate House of Abigail. Team members Adrian Stephen and Rachel Silverman are carrying boards into the house for a floor the team is building.
Over the course of this six-week project, the AmeriCorps team will start by completing the deconstruction of the building’s interior. This will include removing the reaming walls, ceilings, floors, plumbing and other objects that cannot be reused after the renovation.
A barn built on school board property in the 1800s will be distmantled and moved in January. The barn was sold in November at a public auction.
ECO Deconstruction Owner Jeff Albert told Director of Programs Ed Robinson every piece from the old barn will be re-purposed, redesigned, and given new life. Much of the old barn wood he purchases is used for flooring.“It looks really good. It is in really good condition from what I can see. We will start at the top and work our way down. People really like to use the hand hewn timbers when building homes. And the stones have a good value too,” Albert said.
The port will remove the more-than-100-year-old Anacortes Junk Company building from Second Street. The site is the original location of Marine Supply & Hardware opened by Greek immigrant Efthemios “Mike” Demopoulos in 1910. Jacqueline Allison/Anacortes American
The port has been working with the museum to understand the historical significance of the stable before removing it, Executive Director Dan Worra said last month.
Founder of Community Forklift & Executive Manager of the Alliance for Regional Cooperation, Jim Schulman discusses his work on the Building Materials Reuse Association. His work in cooperation with the DC Sierra Club and others are pushing building code changes to help rescue building materials from the waste stream.
Demolition dumps materials into landfills, boosts carbon emissions and releases asbestos and other harmful matter into the air, says Ald. Bob Bauman.
The Common Council approved the new deconstruction ordinance – which was co-sponsored by Alds. Nik Kovac and Khalif Rainey – Tuesday, and the rule that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, requires deconstruction rather than demolition of most one- to four-family buildings built before 1930 that are scheduled to be razed.
“A long slow goodbye”…that’s how Lois Cortell, Senior Development Manager for the city, described the deconstruction of the Webber Building, also known as the Old Montgomery Theatre downtown.The deconstruction process has been ongoing for about a year now. Cortell says it’s not to be confused with demolition.”One of the conditions of the sale was to maximize the salvage of the materials and to do that really involved a slow deconstruction” she explained.
“Second Chance and the appraisal company had a mountain of information about the IRS’ hostile view of the benefits that the defendants were promoting,” said Ugo Colella, a partner with Duane Morris, the law firm representing the plaintiffs. “The representations they were making were at best incomplete, and at worst, they were hiding this information to ensure the donors keep coming. Either way, the defendants withheld critical information from Maryland consumers.”
The problem, the lawsuit contends, is that Second Chance and NoVaStar have known for many years that (1) the IRS audited consumers and did not allow tax refunds or deductions for house donations made to Second Chance, and (2) that NoVaStar’s appraisals were IRS non-compliant. According to the complaint, despite this knowledge, Second Chance and NoVaStar concealed that information from Maryland consumers, including Gogtay and Dixit.
City owned home at 2817-19 North 22nd Street. Photo from the City of Milwaukee.
The ordinance will kick in whenever the city is set to demolish a structure or a private contractor seeks a permit to demolish. And there are exceptions to the mandate to deconstruct if there are safety considerations or the salvageable materials have been damaged by something like a fire. While Bauman and Kovac are both historic preservation hawks in Milwaukee, because demolition and deconstruction jobs employ individuals from underserved communities in the city Bauman said “I do see this primarily as a job creation tool.”
“If we can save that amount of space in the landfills, that means that we’re not generating emissions from the decaying of those materials,” said expo organizer and re-use consultant, Sara Badiali. “The environmental impact is astounding.”
The eight to 10 participants then we will go to a “cracker shack” and pull it apart, with hands-on training and oversight “because most of salvage is understanding the ‘feel’ of the wood and how to remove items based on pressure points, leverage, and listening to the cues that the wood gives you.”This $100 per person course — $75 for a second person from the same family or organization — will be fun but hard work. There are risks involved with deconstruction and anyone entering the jobsite must acknowledge and sign a waiver, the company said.
J. DICKEY Conference table made from the boards of Seaport shipwreck.
On Aug. 11, Dickey will display furniture he made using wood from the historic ship during an event at District Hall, a Seaport venue on Northern Avenue not far from where the vessel’s remains were uncovered. He’ll also share with the public pieces of the ship that weren’t transformed into furniture, offering history buffs and boat enthusiasts a chance to get up close and inspect the leftovers. “All the pieces of the ship will be represented,” he said. “Any person with knowledge in ship-building and sailing will get to see how they originally put this ship together.”
Details, an organization in Baltimore, is one of dozens of similar groups around the country helping to remake cities through deconstruction. USA TODAY
Advocates hail deconstruction as a win-win that is more economical and environmentally friendly than demolition. They say it creates needed jobs and can help depressed cities turn things around. “The systematic deconstruction and dismantling of buildings has a profound role in transforming communities,” said Anne Nicklin, executive director of the Building Materials Reuse Association, based in Chicago. Deconstruction seems to be on the rise, Nicklin said, citing programs not only in Baltimore, but also in Chicago, Detroit, Portland, Buffalo, Cleveland and other places.
United Workers, an advocacy group, founded the Baltimore Housing Roundtable in 2013, by bringing 25 different organizations together to confront affordable-housing issues in the city. The group advocates the city to set up a land bank to expedite the conversion of vacant houses and properties to affordable housing and grant priority to ex-offenders for employment and training to work on such projects. It recommended “deconstruction” a process that will allow for more job opportunities and recycling of building materials.
Preserving part of the the Rivoli Theater in St. Louis Courtesy National Building Arts Center
“I just love old buildings,” Giles said. “It’s a big collection, without a doubt, the largest that I’m aware of, and the idea was to develop it as a comprehensive study collection. The idea has grown into a collection of pieces from all over the country. The history here is a national history.”
A deconstruction crew, including a man with a chainsaw atop a crane bucket, slowly saws down a grain elevator that’s stood as a landmark of sort on the south side of St. Anthony for more than 100 years. Joyce Edlefsen
Trost’s Feed and Seed started life in 1901 or 1902 as Miller Brothers. It burned down almost as soon as it was completed, but the brothers rebuilt it the next year. According to a sign painted on the Miller elevator, it dealt in grain, flour, produce, eggs, feed stuff, salt and coal.The Black Elevator, nicknamed for its dark, oxidized wood color, apparently was used at about the same time, and seemed to have been owned by the same people as the other elevators in town.
(Photo: Nina Mehlhaf)
That rule means a lot more certified deconstruction experts are needed. Tuesday, the city let us into a hands-on workshop at a home on Northwest 23rd Avenue, where 15 men and women were learning the trade.
Devon Campbell-Willliams is one of those trainees. He worked as a construction flagger before, and wanted to learn deconstruction technique hands on.
“You don’t want to go to straight in and straight up to pry up floorboards, if you do that you could crack the wood and it wouldn’t be reusable,” he said.
Plans also call for an 8,100 SF warehouse for salvaged lumber/wood, and a 600 SF pavilion. 79 parking spaces are included in the project. For those unfamiliar, Finger Lakes ReUse (FLR) is a local non-profit focusing on materials recycling and sustainability. The organization has “deconstruction crews” who take apart buildings by hand, salvaging reusable building materials (which can be up to 70% of a building) for sale at FLR’s stores on Old Elmira Road, and at the Triphammer Mall in Lansing.
Deconstruction of an 1884 House in Portland. | Credit: Scott A. Tice
It is important to note, too, that Portland city leaders also considered deconstruction as a job engine. Although rehabilitation of an older building—one that is neither demolished nor deconstructed—is likely to generate more jobs than deconstruction, supporters of the ordinance noted that deconstruction will provide six to eight jobs for every one job associated with traditional mechanized demolition. Furthermore, although it doesn’t compare to the reuse of an entire building, deconstruction will provide carbon-reduction benefits by preserving the embodied energy of at least some existing building materials and by cutting the greenhouse gasses associated with sending waste to landfills.