We were fortunate enough to meet with Marc Mandel of Crossroads Recycled Lumber which is a reclaimed lumber business located on part of the site. The primary source of wood is building deconstruction projects in California and other locations across the US. It was interesting to see the inventory of material and to see the amount of work that is needed to “reclaim” the wood. Nails are a big problem and need to be pulled out with hand tools. A metal detector is used to assist in this process as any residual metal would severely damage saw blades and other milling equipment.
Typically, lumber is processed to order and I now understand why it costs three times as much as regular lumber – it requires a lot of labor and the product is highly desirable. Markets for the reclaimed lumber are national and I was intrigued to hear that some has been used in the new Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences building at UC Berkeley. The Crossroads Recycled Lumber website has pictures and information for projects that lumber has been supplied to.