Much of Huffman house to be saved | |

Rather than bulldozing the Huffman home on a 22-acre farm in Fairfield, workers from the nonprofit Building Value will take the house apart from the roof down through the "deconstruction" process, which unlike traditional demolition, keeps most materials out of the landfill.

FAIRFIELD — The Bedford limestone fascia on the front of the Huffman home won’t go into a landfill when the home is torn down.

Neither will the oak floors, appliances, windows or doors on the 63-year-old John Gray Road farmhouse built by the late Harold Huffman for his wife, Anna.

There will be no bulldozers used to demolish the 1,600 square foot home on the 22-acre farm donated by the Huffman estate to Fairfield for use as a park.

Instead, workers from the non-profit Building Value will take the house apart from the roof down through the “deconstruction” process, which unlike traditional demolition, keeps most materials out of the landfill.

Earlier this month a crew came in and began removing items from the inside of the home: cabinets, windows, doors, panels, molding, appliances – even the door knocker engraved with the Huffman name.

Most of the materials are being taken to Building Value’s Spring Grove Avenue store for resale. Proceeds from the store are used to support the paid job training of those learning a trade in the construction, retail and customer service areas.

Other materials – like the limestone – will be reused at the park. The limestone could be used as the base for signs or picnic tables, said Erin Donovan, Fairfield’s planning manager.

Concrete is being taken to ACT – A Cleaner Tomorrow – Recycling. Metal will go to the Rumpke Recycling Center.

“The family heirs asked that if we (didn’t) use the house, they wanted us to reuse or recycle as much as we could,” Donovan said.

Through the deconstruction process 83-85 percent of the house will be reused or recycled, said David Hunt, Building Value’s deconstruction manager.

Reminders of the process are scribbled on the plaster walls throughout the house. “Save oak flooring,’’ reads one message. “Save spindles and rail – last thing,’’ reads another.

“This is a perfect project for deconstruction because of the way it was built,” Hunt said. “You have quality materials from the 1940s that are still good now.”

Now that most of the usable items have been removed from the house, crews will spend the rest of this week and most of next week dismantling the house beginning with the roof, then first story, followed by the walls on the main floor and then the oak floors will be removed.

Besides keeping material out of the landfill, Building Value – part of the Easter Seals’ Work Resource Center – provides on-the-job, paid training.

“I don’t take every job,’’ Hunt said. “I have to look at several factors – whether materials are in good shape, the quality of the training opportunity and whether we can make money by selling what we take out in the store.”

This job, Hunt said, will provide training on removing oak floors, which some crew members have never done before.

Worker Delance Allen, a laid off carpentry journeyman, said he welcomes the experience he is getting from this project.

“You learn a lot from a tear down,’’ Allen said. “Once you take something (apart) it’s easier to put up something because you know all the components and where they go.”

via Much of Huffman house to be saved | |