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.
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.
Christina Radvak leads Habitat for Humanity’s deconstruction team which removes useable materials from homes slated for demolition. The materials, construction materials, hardware and other useable goods, are sold through the non-profit society’s ReStores, which are located throughout B.C. ReStores are a popular shopping outlet for do-it-yourselfers and smaller contractors.
Badelt, a Buildex Vancouver panel member at session W33: Deconstruction and the Green Demolition Bylaw on Feb. 15-16, said the city brought the bylaw, which is similar to those in the U.S., into effect for two reasons. Cities want to reduce landfill materials, but many of these earlier homes contain quality wood and craftsmanship.
“These buildings have old-growth wood and we want to save those materials as well as the architectural details such as the old style windows. We saw a lot of material that could be salvaged and recycled,” he said. The bylaw also aligns itself with heritage conservation values in the city.
Salvage Works, North Portland, Tracy Barry, KGW
Browning is part artist, part builder, so It’s not surprising that he is drawn to the inner beauty of the reclaimed lumber. And lucky for him, so are many others, just as eager to search for the stories hidden in every grain and to embrace the promise of reinvention.
Heather Eidson The Times
Abandoned and burnt homes stand vacant in this now-barren Gary neighborhood in 2010. Steel City Salvage is training contractors on how to salvage materials from abandoned homes.
The group estimates there’s a $12.8 million market value to salvageable materials sitting untouched in abandoned Gary homes. “Demolition contractors are critically important to supply the marketplace,” Delta Institute Director Eye Pytel said. “While there is a learning curve, training gives contractors the capacity to safely and effectively get the most valuable building materials out of homes.”
Originally slated for a remodel, a condemned house at the DePauw Campus Farm is instead serving as a winter term project, with students (below) figuring out how to tear down the home with the smallest environmental impact. Courtesy photos/DEPAUW UNIVERSITY
But even that knowledge is useful, Everett argues, whether for an architect planning for the entire lifecycle of a building, or a college student learning the bigger picture of what it means to build a home.
“For us, even if the financial opportunities of deconstruction are few, the educational opportunities are extremely plentiful,” Everett said. In addition to the deconstruction aspect of the course, students are also being exposed to outside perspectives on the life of materials, with guest lectures from arts and humanities professors as well as recycling and building deconstruction professionals.
“The thing I most want students to take away from this course is an embodied understanding that they have the power to make real change in the world, right now,” Everett said. “Nothing stands between them and the work of making the world a better, more sensible, more caring, more mindful place – starting here, at DePauw, with this house.”
Philadelphia Community Corps executive director Greg Trainor inside a worksite in Fairmount. (Credit: Tom Rickert)
The job training nonprofit he [Greg Trainor] started in 2014 has graduated 18 students into OSHA-certified deconstruction technicians in the past year. He’s opened a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Kensington with classrooms and space for construction projects. And Greg and his job trainees have salvaged more than 50 tons of wood, metal, and building material from the bones of Philadelphia’s abandoned buildings.
ReFab Founder Eric Scharz. Photo by J.B. Forbes.
Schwarz’s experience had taught him that in an increasingly imitative world, some people hungered for an authenticity conceived in the marriage of age and use.
He founded Refab, a salvage yard in south St. Louis, in a condemned building four years ago. At the time, he had about $3,000 in his pocket and an idea for salvaging discarded building materials and turning around the lives of veterans. Today, Schwarz leases a 40,000-square-foot warehouse off Gravois Avenue and employs 14 people. His budget for 2017 is $1.2 million. That growth is partly attributable to a backlash against the uniformity produced by globalization.
The customers who frequent this two story red-brick repository of rescued material are weary of seeing the same furniture, the same sinks and the same light fixtures — all of it mass-produced on the other side of the planet. “You go into a lot of houses — and I don’t know if we coined the phrase — but they are all ‘Lowes’d up,’” said Randy Miller, who was looking for material for his coffee shop in Southern Illinois. “This is a like a candy store.”
This is expected to divert about 8 million pounds of material from landfills per year and affect about 30% of homes that would be demolished. A study from the Northwest Economic Research Center estimates the policy could create 30-50 jobs and up to $1.5 million in local economic activity.
Bill Howard moves a piece of lumber across the table on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, at the Hill House in Rockford. Howard hopes to repurpose all the lumber in the North Main Street mansion through a process known as “historic deconstruction.” KAYLI PLOTNER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/RRSTAR.COM
Marks and the other men in this house can’t easily find steady work because of their criminal history. They’ve been brought here and hired by Bill Howard, a city-licensed demolition contractor who used to design landfills and now spends his days trying not to fill them up.
Howard, 72, is an evangelist of “historic deconstruction,” the process of carefully stripping historically salvageable material from buildings and reusing it.
Rebuilding Center Photo
Dismantling a home carefully enough that its components can be reused is a more intricate process than demolition. It takes longer and requires more labor in place of machinery. At first glance, the labor costs make deconstruction more expensive than demolition. In most cases, though, the tax benefits more than pay for deconstruction—the value of salvaged materials, which can be donated for tax credit or saved for reuse in later projects, is typically thousands of dollars greater than the cost difference between deconstruction and demolition. “When you don’t have to use energy to create a project, you’re just harvesting, it’s almost like free money,” Badiali says. “By simply dismantling something, you’re creating a product. You’re adding value.”
Workers take part in a “deconstruction” of an old motel on U.S. Highway 2 in Cass Lake.
Fisher is part of a social enterprise called Miigwech Aki, or “Thank you, Earth” led by Christopher Bedeau. The goal is to provide jobs and training in northern Minnesota, partnering with tribes and the local communities, while honoring Mother Earth by diverting resources from landfills.
Reba VanAcker and her son Christopher Green. By Gerry O’Brien H&N Editor
When Green put the word out on the Internet that DoubleHead had well-preserved timber from the 1930s to the 1960s, a group of Japanese buyers jumped on it. “They flew out here and were overwhelmed at what we had,” Green said. As it turns out, Japanese love all things from the West. The Japanese reproduce vintage-style door handles, lamps, clothing, etc. They use our lumber for flooring, wall coverings, doors and furniture.” “It was like watching kids in a candy store. They were literally running from place to place. We sold them four container loads of flooring,” Green said, mainly two- by 12-foot slats.
Portland gains a lot by deconstructing rather than demolishing. It gains jobs—deconstruction employs, on average, six people to every one that demolition requires. It gains quality materials—the tight grain of old growth timber in older homes is strong enough to fold a nail. It gains a healthier planet when we divert waste from landfills—according to the city, about 20 percent of landfill waste comes from construction and demolition. It also avoids the toxins from lead and asbestos that are released into the air when homes are demolished.
Source: Deconstructing Portland – Curbed
Renaissance Book Shop. Photo by Michael Horne
Thoman and her firm are on a mission to “facilitate and educate the world on how to give back to the environment, by thinking past the dumpster.” She is adamantly opposed to what she sees as the waste generated by conventional demolition.
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.
TRI-COUNTY TIMES | TIM JAGIELO
While the landscaping is still well tended, the house on Shiawassee Avenue, as of Friday, Sept. 9, was nearly gone.
“We’ve been building homes for years, and have demolished a lot,” said Bloomingdale. “I always felt bad about disposing of material that we’re never going to find again. Slow-growth lumber doesn’t exist anymore and here we are throwing it away.” That’s why Bloomingdale decided to get himself a warehouse and start dismantling and reusing materials out of these homes.
(Credit: Lovett Deconstruction)
“We’re providing money to these projects but we’re getting something back,” says Wood. “We’re getting hard data but then also some softer stuff like lessons learned.” That feedback helped inform the deconstruction ordinance. Grant recipients were required to place a sign on the site of an active deconstruction, for example, to educate the public and promote the method. The ordinance requires signage too. The grants will continue; they’ve recently been increased to $3,000.
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.
John Steinbeck and Dusty VanRenan Green Rivers Recycling LLC.
“Old-growth lumber is lumber that is so old that the trees that were here when the settlers first came or what they used or milled for building materials. It’s a very dense wood, impervious to termites and it’s highly sought after by a lot of builders throughout the country,” he said. “You’re also preserving these old buildings, which is really important to some of the farmers and owners around here. The building obviously can’t stay, but at least the materials that their forefathers used to erect these structures can still prove to be preserved and not just wasted by going through a landfill and being burned.”
Deconstruction vs. Demolition: Portland, Oregon’s Potential for Groundbreaking Health and Safety Studies in Building Demolition – By Sara Badiali
Demolition: deliberate destruction of a building or other structure.
Deconstruction: the systematic dismantling of a building in order to recover the maximum amount of materials for reuse and recycling.
The City of Portland is poised to contribute to the study of health and safety in building removal. The Deconstruction Ordinance will take effect starting October 2016. The ordinance outlines single family homes built before 1916 must be deconstructed for material reuse. Deconstructing buildings will greatly lower greenhouse gas emissions and material disposal in landfills over traditional demolition. Deconstruction not only provides access to unique materials but also viable building materials that would otherwise go to waste. The Deconstruction Ordinance will provide the first ever opportunity for side by side comparisons of demolition verses building deconstruction for environmental health and safety measures.
Portland presents an environment of blistering-fast paced development, houses upwards of one-hundred years old, and established demolition and deconstruction companies. Residential interest in environmental health and safety is at an all-time high due to incidents pertaining to lead and radon, and unprecedented housing demolition. Portland is also home to multiple academic organizations specializing in environmental health issues, health sciences, urban planning, and architecture.
By hosting studies of building removals, new information will lead to a better understanding of hazardous material reductions and ultimately best practices. Consequently research in Portland could be the catalyst for laws regulating more than standards for lead dust fall, but also heavy metals, asbestos, and water contamination in demolition practices.
Hazardous Particulates in Buildings
When a building is demolished, the mechanical action of crushing creates particulates of dust from the building’s materials. These particulates enter the air and spread throughout the environment. Machines repeatedly driving over the worksite further circulate these particulates. Atmospheric conditions like wind can exacerbate the spread of dust.
There are currently no U.S. federal regulatory standards for lead dust fall, exterior settled dust, or dust-suppression methods in housing demolition. There are also very few demolition dust fall related studies, or inquiries into whether hand dismantling structures (deconstruction) reduces the spread of potentially hazardous air particulates.
Lead and asbestos are by far the most studied and discussed of hazardous materials attributed to buildings. Asbestos is proven to cause the fatal diseases asbestosis, pleural disease, and lung cancer. According to a 2011 survey by U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, over 37 million homes have lead based paint somewhere in the building.  The majority of hazardous lead is in homes built before 1978.
One study indicates that 37 billion square feet of building components are coated with deteriorated lead-based paint. A 2008 study of lead exposures in U.S. children found that “Exposure to lead can occur from many pathways and sources, but housing is the main pathway of exposure in the U.S., accounting for approximately 70% of childhood lead poisoning cases.”
There are other less well known potential health hazards in buildings. Arsenic and heavy metals like chromium, copper, iron, and manganese are harmful to humans. These heavy metals are thought to be from use of pressure treated wood manufactured before 2003. Mercury is a common toxic waste present in buildings, including gas pressure regulators, boiler heating systems, and thermostats. According to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority “The amount of mercury present in one mercury thermometer is enough to pollute 5 million gallons of water.” That is the capacity to contaminate a 20-acre lake with enough mercury to result in a fish consumption warning, says Wastecap of Massachusetts. Benzene, a chemical related to natural gas, is also found harmful to humans. Environmental dust is especially problematic for people who suffer from asthma.
“I myself am heartbroken that this observatory is being taken down. We did not realize that some people would be upset with us trying to help recycle some of the material instead of it just being disposed of. We only are allowed to use new material for our builds, we sell recycled material at our ReStores to help us build affordable housing. “To set the record straight we have been working on affordable housing with the city for over a year. Due to the concerns put forward we will withdraw our service of helping to recycle the material when it is disposed of.”
We could easily imagine a Revive Pontiac program graduate one day purchasing a condemned house, deconstructing it, turning the reclaimed material into a hot product, and then pitching their new business on “Shark Tank.”Deconstruction — demolition’s smarter cousin — is now alive and well in Oakland County and throughout the region, which is good for individuals, neighborhoods, property values, and our economic prosperity.
This Eastmoreland house was torn down last fall to make way for new construction. Mike Francis | The Oregonian/OregonLive
Already, though, some say the new rule isn’t enough. A group called United Neighborhoods for Reform wants the City Council to require deconstruction for all homes built before 1978 — when the government banned lead paint in consumer uses.
“When a house is demolished through mechanical demolition, lead is pulverized and sent up into the air and falls into neighbors’ yards as dust,” said Barbara Kerr, the group’s representative on the city’s Deconstruction Advisory Group. “If it’s deconstructed, it poses little danger.”
Brandon Shirlee of Pontiac works on the interior of a long-vacant building on West Huron near the former Pontiac Central High School. Shirlee is one of 10 workers who are learning job skills while harvesting wood, tile and more from aging buildings to sell in the vintage building materials market. Anne Runkle — The Oakland Press
“You can’t buy 100-year-old oak anymore,” said Ron Borngesser, OLHSA chief executive officer, as he explained the value of harvesting materials from the building, which dates to 1920. It has been vacant for about three decades and had recently been home to squatters, he said. OLHSA is working in cooperation with Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit, a nonprofit organization that promotes the environmental advantages of diverting reusable building materials from landfills, as well as the job training benefits.
Squatters protest the demolition of a home in Southeast Portland. Amelia Templeton/OPB
“This will allow residents to acquire quality used building materials such as old growth lumber and some of the pieces of Portland history that otherwise would have been discarded into the landfill,” said Zach Klonoski, a sustainability advisor to the mayor.
On October 31 of this year Portland plans to implement a policy requiring deconstruction on any demolition of a house or duplex which was built in 1916 or earlier. Pre-1917 houses currently account for approximately one-third of the 300+ demolitions taking place in the city each year.
A number of BMRA members have been involved with the effort to develop, pass and implement a deconstruction ordinance in Portland. BMRA member Sara Badiali, of the Reclamation Administration and also a member of the City of Portland Deconstruction Advisory Group touts the pioneering aspect of this effort:
“The City of Portland, Oregon’s Deconstruction Ordinance is unique as the very first in the world to lawfully require dismantling buildings for reuse. Its historical precedence lays the foundation for other laws to be created to close the loop in our building material waste streams. I am honored to be on the team that created the Deconstruction Ordinance and I am thrilled for the future of the planet.”
Source: BMRA News June 2016
The Umatilla National Forest will begin accepting bids June 10 through June 30 for the removal of 10 single-family or duplex homes, one garage and one office outbuilding, according to a Forest Service press release.
These 12 buildings constitute Phase One of the process to sell or transfer the 25 buildings located at the Dale Administrative Site. This site once served as headquarters for the Dale Ranger District. In 1984, the Dale Ranger District combined with the Ukiah Ranger District to form the North Fork John Day Ranger District.
Additional information including pictures, building descriptions, bid forms, disclosure notices and removal instructions is available at any Umatilla National Forest Office or on the forest website at fs.usda.gov/umatilla.
David Kelvin and his fiancee Keshia Brushett are owners of Urban Designs, a company that uses old and unwanted wood to make custom-made furniture. (Samantha Lui/CBC )
“A lot of people are just interested in what we do and what we’re going to do with the wood,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who want their barns down and they don’t have the money or time to take care of it. For them, it’s a favour. We get something out of it and they get something out of it.”
A home in the 500 block of Euclid Avenue slated for demolition, located adjacent to the Akron Zoo, was one of Habitat for Humanity of Summit County’s recent deconstruction projects, shown above. Staff of the nonprofit removed and recycled aluminum siding, gutters and downspouts, with proceeds to be reinvested in the community.
The current program has Habitat going into houses and other buildings before another contractor demolishes them, so that cabinets, doors, vanities, countertops, light fixtures, windows and other items can be removed. Some items are then sold at the ReStore. Other materials such as furnaces, hot water tanks, aluminum siding, gutters, downspouts, aluminum windows, window frames and copper pipes are recycled for scrap, said Sibbio.
The city and the Delta Institute’s Steel City Salvage project just won a $385,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to deconstruct homes and recycle the building materials like lumber and architectural features. It was the largest individual grant out of the $5 million awarded in the Knight Cities Challenge, which had attracted more than 4,500 proposals from across the country.
“This is not simply about the demolition of vacant and abandoned buildings,” Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said. “But it promotes the deconstruction of vacant and abandoned buildings, as well as the repurposing and recycling of the material. One of the things we know about the city of Gary is there are beautiful homes here that have fallen into disrepair, that cannot be repurposed but the materials in those homes can certainly be reused for something else.”
Ben Baily & Chris Collin
“It’s the instruction manual,” Collin said. “That’s pretty hilarious … It’s amazing how excited we get over stuff we find in the old wood. This stuff is awesome.” The renovation work at the future Local Republic site, which involves gutting the building, is unveiling decades of his history that has been hidden in the building through years of various modifications. It’s not quite clear when a boarded-up yellow and green storefront in the middle of Perry Street on Lawrenceville Square was built, but Bailey and Collin know it’s old.
The blue porch ceiling and lattice work come down.
According to Eric Kruger of Deconstruction Works, everything that can be reused will be removed and recycled while only materials that can’t be reused will be sent to a landfill. “After 10 days of work,” Kruger said, “we’re still on our first dumpster of trash.” Kruger noted that the timber frame materials as well as older hemlock and spruce framing and sheathing would go to Vermont Restoration Materials for re-manufacturing while architectural details have been sold to Tillotson Trading of East Corinth.
Eric Kruger of Deconstruction Works in the attic of the Burbank house. All photos by Shawn Cunningham
This November 2015 photo shows a blighted house being demolished on Sanford Street in Muskegon Heights.
“(It is) looking at a large catchment area of the entire Great Lakes and utilizing the Port of Muskegon to bring in that material from other cities throughout the Great Lakes, repurpose it here in Muskegon, and then ship it back out through the Port of Muskegon,” said Kuhn. The study builds on the work Michigan State University researchers began more than a year ago when they looked at blighted homes and structures in Muskegon Heights. MSU worked in partnership with Muskegon County at the time.
Kelsy Kruzich PHOTO
“In the meantime, staff is researching demolition and feasibility of reclaiming any materials for use in future construction projects,” he said. The grain storage buildings, which likely date to the late 1940s or early 1950s, are located on 2.6 acres of city-owned property.
“You hope to see all this stuff up again somewhere and not just packed away in storage forever,” said Tom Ripberger, another lifelong member who helped on Tuesday. “Lots of members have been part of this church their whole lives. That’s a long time, and it’s hard to see it come down. It’s probably for the best, but I just hope we can build a new one.”