“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.”
Mary Reese hunts for tile at the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Gresham.
Jacobson compares shopping for salvaged building materials to thrift or vintage shopping, and advises shopping early and often. “Stock changes from day to day and quantities can be limited,” he says. “The list of stores is growing and that makes it easier to find what you need, but the region’s supply chain for used building materials is still a work in progress” Also, he says, find a contractor willing to work with you, one who’s willing to deconstruct and salvage materials, as well as incorporate reused items into the new space.
The Reclamation Administration has made a lot of friends over the years.
We are proud to say that over a third of the speakers for Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo: Saving our Past, Building the Future are from our invitations. These presenters have all been featured on the Reclamation Administration going as far back as 2011!
Here is a list of Presenters brought to you by the Reclamation Administration. You can see them all in Portland, Oregon on September 24th – 27th at the Decon + Reuse ’17 Expo.
Compared to demolition, deconstruction is tough, hands-on, time-consuming work. But the city opted to require it for homes built before 1916, citing it as a more sustainable alternative that would allow for quality building materials to be salvaged and reused. Now, the city sees another benefit to its decision: job opportunities.
(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.
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.
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.
Everyone who frequently crosses the Ross Island Bridge has spotted the beeswax yellow Queen Anne Victorian-style mansion with a 50-foot-high turret. MLS#16396701. Photo provided by Premiere Property Group
The family earned its wealth through co-ownership of the Poulsen-Inman Lumber Co., then the largest lumber company in the state. Fellow timber baron Robert D. Inman erected a matching Queen Anne on the same east bluff overlooking the Willamette River. Inman, however, lived in his mansion. The properties, once safe in the Brooklyn neighborhood, were separated first by streaming traffic on the highway after the Ross Island Bridge was opened and later by bulldozers. In the 1950s, long after both men had died and their company sold to Georgia-Pacific, Inman’s house was torn down to make way for a parking lot, according to the Cafe Unknown history blog.
A fireplace in the curved wall of the central hub welcomes visitors at Moovel headquarters in Portland’s Old Town Chinatown on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Moovel, a tech subsidiary of Daimler, opened its headquarters in the restored Overland Warehouse. (John Rudoff/For The Oregonian/OregonLive)
Moovel’s arrival in the neighborhood is the latest example of how Portland’s booming tech scene is transforming the city’s core. Portland’s Urban Development Partners spent more than a year, and upwards of $3.5 million, rehabilitating the Overland. Urban Development Partners project manager Joren Bass said the investment reflects ongoing revitalization in Old Town Chinatown and the historic nature of the Overland itself. “You can’t create space like that in a new building. It’s just impossible,” Bass said. “You can’t find timber like that anymore.” Moovel chief operating officer Sadhana Shenoy said the goal was to build community among employees, drawing on the building’s unique history.
Preston Browning, owner of Salvage Works, with some deconstructed lumber. (Salvage Works)
“You see on really the earliest barns all hand-hewn beams, very rustic, very beautiful well-aged material,” Browning said. “We sell a lot to contractors and fabricators who are building the interiors of restaurants and bars, coffee shops, offices, that sort of thing.” Anyone who’s been in a recently remodeled or newly built bar or restaurant in Portland has likely seen the kind of wood that fills Salvage Works’ 25,000 square foot complex. The deconstruction ordinance — and plenty of deteriorating barns — will keep them and Salvage Works in old wood for years to come. “It provides jobs, it keeps material out of the landfill and really provides this amazing material that you just can’t find anymore,” Browning said of the ordinance.
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.
I love the wooded feeling the trees give while still being in an urban setting. The floor plan is functional with 1920’s touches. And the energy upgrade completely turned this from drafty and cold to comfortable and efficient.
Recently renovated, green and energy efficient upgrades. This 1920’s style ranch home in mature David Douglas area. Owner is a General Contractor and Passive House builder & Consultant that remodeled this home from top to bottom and inside to outside. The home features over 1000 square feet of living space, three bedrooms with a functional floor plan. Outside entry area for the unfinished basement that is perfect for storage or a workshop.
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.”
North Portland’s Rebuilding Center – KATU photo
“All of us are pro-urban density, we all understand the concept, but you can’t make these changes this fast and give nothing back to the communities who are there in the first place,” said Seward, “If Portland doesn’t pony up, it may already be too late.” Moretti hopes in the future, the city will consider including homes built in the 20’s and 30’s.
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
A very sweet rolling table for sale. Cast aluminum base, adjustable height (2 ft at the tallest), 16″ x 22″ top. This is a mix of glue-lam top with a 1960’s drafting chair bottom. The handle is the chair’s adjustment knob. $300. Contact reclamationnews @ gmail for more information.
Two years ago I worked as a welder fabricating the Rose Parade Floats for the City of Portland, Oregon. This chandelier is made from a support armature that was eventually cut out of the float structure. It makes a perfect modern hanging light. Own a piece of Portland reclaimed history!
Reclaimed steel armature from the City of Portland’s Rose Parade float. Edison bulb, cloth covered wire, dimmer switch. $225. Contact reclamationnews @ gmail for purchase information.
“When a property owner requests any property be removed, we will not give a demolition permit until 120 days after that request,” Carson said. Fred Leeson, president of the Architectural Heritage Center said the delay is meaningless if the developer doesn’t want to come to the table to preserve, move or salvage the structure.
(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.
The Ocobock Mansion in Northeast Portland was built in 1913. (KATU Photo)
Other neighbors are concerned with how fast a home could be bought and almost torn down with little community input. “This house is indicative of so much of what’s happening here in Portland right now,” said Matthew Breeze, “How do we keep our communities livable and have a public process. I’m happy to have infill, but it should happen in a way that’s transparent.”
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.
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.”
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.
“It’s possible to have a neighborhood under this section of code with very few financial resources, and then we have a case here where there’s a neighborhood with a significant amount of resources and we get an entirely different result,” he said. “From a diversity, from a fairness, from a just general perception of government I think, that raises the possibility of having different decisions based solely on economics.”
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.
Crews began demolishing this home at 9134 N. Edison in Portland on Monday. (KATU Photo)
“They built this house, but this house was down on the river,” said Tanya March, who claims to know the home’s history. “We know it was moved up the hill in 1904.” The home had been added to over the years, perhaps hiding any historical uniqueness.
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
This month marks 25 years since the nonprofit began giving back to the community. Since it started, the group has repaired more than 1,200 homes, putting an estimated $20 million in market value back into the Portland metro area.
Malone said his organization has noticed a big increase in need over the last couple years, as Portland faces an affordable housing crisis. “The need is not going down by any means. If these people moved out, they couldn’t afford another house. Young families can’t afford to buy a house, let alone an elderly person. We are dealing with a lot of multiple family units living in one home, because the kids can’t even afford an apartment,” said Malone.
These lamps are Hobart industrial dough hooks and a paddle. Edison bulbs on a dimmer, stand 2′ tall & are brushed aluminum. They are heavy in case you are wondering about shipping. $250 a piece plus shipping – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Built in 1978, the 2,400-square-foot house was the brainchild of Francisco Reynders, a Dutch artist, set designer, and mime who trained under the legendary French mime Marcel Marceau. According to Oregon Live, Reynders was inspired to build the home after finding discarded gun turret shrouds of an WWII aircraft carrier at a junkyard on the Willamette River. Reynders, no fan of regular boxy houses with sharp angles, set out to the create his “organically sensuous” dome home, and the shrouds ended up becoming the two smaller bedrooms and bathrooms—the holes for the warship’s cannons became the skylights.
Last year, city officials signed off on more money: an $8.6 million contract to demolish most of the old buildings on the property, pushing costs to nearly $22 million. Now, officials hope to recoup some of that. Soon, they’ll hire a broker to list one acre of land, which includes a 45,000-square-foot flour mill. Officials plan to require full restoration of the seven-story flour mill, and they’ll give developers an option to renovate a 21,500-squre-foot feed mill on site.
Plans for Centennial Mills are unclear after city officials said a proposal from Harsch Investment Properties isn’t financially viable. Crews began demolishing part of the property earlier this year. Brad Schmidt/The Oregonian
Photo credit: Portland Chronicle contributor
On Feb. 22 the Bureau of Development Services received an application for demolition of the 1937 home. The owners were listed as John and Terrie Marshall, the applicant was Kevin Partain of Urban Visions and the contractor was Renaissance Custom Homes LLC. Renaissance Custom Homes LLC is registered in Lake Oswego to Randy Sebastian. There are a number of trees on the site. A demolition plan is not yet available in the public record, so their fate is unconfirmed.
Though many of the smaller lumber boards at Centennial Mills are not being salvaged.
Orpin said his firm originally hoped to salvage about 800,000 board feet of timber from the Centennial Mills site. However, due to “rot and the difficult cost benefits of saving all the smaller pieces,” he now expects that Pioneer will be able to salvage about 400,000 board feet.
We sell reclaimed lumber from deconstructed houses and barns, and build beautiful furniture and fixtures for homes, restaurants and retail spaces.
On a standard-sized lot in Portland, Oregon, self-taught builders Jeff and Brad built two tiny cottages using mostly salvaged materials. Each home is 364 square feet and with gabled roofs and front porches match the Victorian and Craftsman homes of the neighborhood, until you look closely.
Business Evaluations is the fourth of in a series of five articles about partnership optimization for the building material reuse community. Starting with Reuse Contests , Curriculum Design & House as Showcase.
Reuse Centers: Ways to Optimize Partnerships Series
One of the benefits of starting the Reclamation Administration is that I get to see how reuse centers optimize partnerships within the community. Business Evaluations is really about partnering with educational institutions within the community.
Partnering with educational institutions can go beyond the medium of reuse. Colleges and Universities frequently have business schools within them. The genius of students are that they are constantly problem solving as it is the educational environment. Teachers and professors are often on the look-out for projects that enrich their curriculum with real businesses that are facing actual issues. Reuse centers, nonprofit or private, offer a unique case study opportunity. The fluctuating markets of reclaimed material, selling unusual and often unique products, and the volume of goods that are incomplete in some way, are amazing problems to solve. An executive director’s nightmare, can be a business class’s educational goldmine. The return for opening up your business to a student evaluation, is a plethora of sharpened minds let loose to collect information, review data, debate, postulate, and innovate. It is their job to provide information and ideas that typically a business would never have time or money to do.
These types of projects are most effective if the reuse center is open and helpful in providing data. For example in Ohio the Tristate Habitat for Humanity opened its doors to business students from Miami University. The Strategy Works teams shared statistical data about ReStore buyers, donors, and potential corporate partners. Each team provided researched suggestions on how to more effectively market the ReStore.
All partnerships with schools and students benefit from the perspective that they aren’t cheap labor, but professionals in pre-recruitment stage. If utilizing undergraduate students does not appeal, then consider contacting graduate programs. However, living in Portland, Oregon and constantly working with students, my experience is that creative gold comes from minds unfettered by established practices or “the norm”. If open to it, learn from what companies like Widen & Kennedy and Nike already know, that when supported there is no limit to what young creatives can do for a business. Reuse centers can use educational partnerships in other ways like marketing, organizational development, strategic planning, and board recruitment for starters. The benefits of collaborating with local educational institutions are limitless, and the stewardship of young minds is good business.
Next Up: Artist Residencies
The Reclamation Administration is a great databank for reuse centers collaborative partnerships. There are a few that stand out as particularly successful models. Partnerships are an excellent way to get exposure, marketing, materials, and revenue, while supporting the local community.
Stay tuned for the next article in the series on partnering with artists to realize the amazing potential of reuse.
Rachel Meyer, left, and Misty Sedotal, both pre-apprentices with Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., deconstruct a former strip club in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland. (Sam Tenney/DJC)
“We know what was going on behind these walls,” Neel said. “So yeah, this feels good. There’s something poetic about it – I mean, this building was used to disempower women for years. There was prostitution, all kinds of stuff. Now to have a project that will benefit the community and give women an opportunity to learn a trade and be able to earn a good living – there’s nothing more empowering than that.”
Students said they enjoy working around and being taught by other women. They expect the experience to help them make the jump to a field long dominated by men.
Oregon Tradeswomen pre-apprentice Yolanda Sandoval removes a ceiling grid at a Northeast Portland building that is being redeveloped by a coalition of community groups into the Living Cully Plaza. (Sam Tenney/DJC)
Living in Demolished Portland, a silent film documentary of living in the demolition and construction of North Portland Oregon.
A photo blog documenting the growth of Portland, Oregon and the communities response.
Filmed May thru October 2015.
via CraneLife – YouTube.
I sold my beautiful 1904 home in North Portland in May. I was assured by the buyers that they planned to rent my home while they built a second or third structure in the backyard. I now find that they are planning (and probably always planned) to tear down the house. This house should not be a tear down. It is in beautiful condition with old growth fir floors, built in cabinets and many new upgrades to bath and kitchen. There should be a law that requires buyers to inform the sellers of their intentions in regard to the existing structures on the property. I had other offers that I would have taken if I had been informed of this buyer’s intentions. We are losing so much history with the destruction of these older homes. I am not opposed to new buildings, but not at the expense of what is still viable and oh so beautiful. There may not be time to save my house, but we can hopefully prevent more wanton destruction in the future.
Deconstruction (Photo courtesy City of Portland).
According to Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, “Our goal is to preserve neighborhood character and affordability by discouraging demolitions. But when buildings must come down, that work should still serve the public good. Taking apart buildings in a way that allows for salvaging valuable materials for reuse benefits our community, economy, and environment.”
The program looks to ensure more demolition materials are reused. WENDY CULVERWELL
The awards would give $2,500 to those fully removing houses or duplexes within Portland. The money would only back those projects that employ deconstruction and reuse.
The demolition of the 102-year-old Gas and Coke Building is proceeding despite a flurry of protests by community members late last week.
Photos taken by drone show the teardown has begun—with workers gutting the building’s decaying interior and tossing it into dumpsters.
In April 2015 the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) convened a Deconstruction Advisory Group (DAG) to advise BPS on the development of incentives and methods to increase deconstruction as an alternative to mechanical demolition. At a June 3, 2015 City Council hearing, BPS recommended establishing a deconstruction grant program as a first step. City Council unanimously supported the recommendation and asked BPS to return in January 2016 with a status report on the grant program and recommendations for next steps.
Finklea, 34, says the house should be saved. He would prefer to retain it on site, but thinks a house that old deserves to be moved and preserved rather than torn down. Finklea says Lowry doesn’t care about preserving the Eliot neighborhood’s integrity, and worries what the large apartment complex will do to the feel of the street he loves.
Others with the group say they’ve been forced out of their homes as well and that it’s just a matter of time before many other buildings and houses in Portland are demolished and replaced.
Karen Crichton, one of Stop Demolishing Portland’s organizers, says she can no longer afford to live in the city either.
“People literally have nowhere to go,” Crichton said. “It’s not just the loss of people’s safety and security and their neighborhood, their sense of community, we’re losing the character of Portland, too.”
(Image: Liz Telschow)
It soon became one of the most noticeable, iconic roadside landmarks after ‘landing’ in 1947. But now, the World War Two heavy bomber that long stood watch over Milwaukie, Oregon has been removed for restoration, unlikely ever to return to its rather odd occupation as a gas station awning.
The benefits are many; yet few developers consistently deconstruct. The city is planning to provide training, education and pilot projects to incentivize voluntary deconstruction before making it required. But no date is set for the mandate. Portland’s deconstruction industry has been operating for two decades. Deconstruction needs to be supported not incentivized.
Produced 2015 by Uncage the Soul Productions uncagethesoul.com
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID ASHTON: – Demolition of this Eastmoreland house was halted in June 2014 after asbetos was discovered in it. Most of the rest of it was later taken down by hand, a process called deconstruction.
Mayor Charlie Hales and the other council members indicated they want to make deconstruction mandatory and prohibit mechanical demolition once the marketplace can support the influx of salvaged materials.
“The community has shown a strong shared interest in moving in this direction, and the council share that urgency,” Hales said before voting in support of the resolution he introduced.