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