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.
BMRA Interim Executive Director, Joe Connell
I am excited about leading the BMRA into its next stage because I believe that it is only together as an industry that we can address the issues facing us. Across the country there are countless building material reuse companies and organizations operating to save our resources. Yet way too often we operate alone, or in organizational silos. My vision is that we can all embrace the same goals, and support each other to the same ends.
Source: BMRA News, November 2017
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 Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) is excited to announce that Jonathan Orpin of the Timber Framers Guild will be featured as the keynote speaker for the Decon ’16 conference on February 29th, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Decon ’16 is the premier national conference for professionals in the building material deconstruction and reuse industries, and this forward-looking address will seed the future of a world without waste.
Source: “Everything is Possible: Stories of De-Constructable Buildings, Recycled Wood and Companies that can Thrive Doing So” at Decon ’16, Feb 29-March 4, 2016 in Raleigh, NC | Press Releases | ourmidland.com
DECON ’16 Update
Registration is open for the premier national/international conference on building deconstruction, salvage, and building materials reuse will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina February 29 to March 3,2016. Industry professionals, policymakers and researchers will gather at the Hilton Doubletree Brownstone hotel in Raleigh for presentations, interactive discussions and networking. Whether you are new to the issue of building materials reuse or a long-time pioneer in the field, this is a great opportunity to meet colleagues and learn about the state of the art.
The conference program is coming together, accepted speakers are being posted on a rolling basis.
Exciting new classes are being planned for the days just after the main conference. The first is Added Value: A Hands-on Guide to Setting up your Reclaimed Wood Shop. Full details available here.
Planning for DECON ’16 includes efforts by working groups on a few topic areas of special interest. Participation is invited on these working groups, if you have energy and time to commit to the meetings and tasks.
1. The Appraisal Working Group will have its third meeting on Thursday December 17th at 1pm EST/ 12pm CST / 10am PST. Interested parties should contact the head of that group, Tom Napier firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. The Market Survey Working group will have its third meeting on Wednesday January 6th at 1pm EST/ 12 pm CST / 10 am PST, Interested parties should contact Anne Nicklin, email@example.com
We need to measure the size and impact of the Building Materials Reuse Industry in an organized way.
The editorial this month was going to be on wood as an important material in the building salvage industry in the United States. Indeed, wood is one of the materials most recovered from buildings. Whole businesses are dedicated to reclaimed wood from large timbers used as structural elements in large old buildings. Most general building salvage operations have a significant amount of lumber, but they also carry a lot of other items that are made out of wood or wood products. Cabinets, doors, flooring, trim, paneling, even some higher end windows have a lot of wood, and usually the wood is in a form that cannot be recycled — which makes reuse the best option. But how much wood reuse is going on? How much of salvaged material is wood or a wood product such as MDF or particle board? How many businesses are actively salvaging wood or selling reusable building materials? How does the practice of salvage and reuse of wood and wood products vary from region to region?
Anne Nicklin, executive director at the Chicago-based Building Materials Reuse Association
What should the architecture community know about building-material salvage and reuse?
Architects are becoming more curious about how to design for reuse. We get a lot of questions about selection—for example, how to pick out doors and store them for a few years [until the project is complete]. I encourage people to think about the process the same way they think about stone. You can specify a stone finish and then, often, when you’re ready for it in construction you can pick out your piece from what’s available. I don’t think architects realize how much they can reuse on their own sites. On most sites there’s a building that came down and still has a lot of [functional] materials—plywood, joists, glulam, stud walls, commercial steel—that are incredibly expensive to buy but are undervalued in the reuse market.
via Q+A: Anne Nicklin, Executive Director of the Building Materials Reuse Association, on Material Salvage | Architect Magazine | Products, Salvaged Materials, Renewable Materials, Recycled Materials, Sustainable Materials.
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For an updated, comprehensive look at Demolition Health Hazards and Waste (including water) Read: Deconstruction vs. Demolition: Portland, Oregon’s Potential for Groundbreaking Health and Safety Studies in Building Demolition – By Sara Badiali
In 2008 while working in DeConstruction Services for The ReBuilidng Center in Portland, Oregon I researched water usage in demolition. I was biking to work and saw the Wonder Bread Headquarters building being demolished. The building was still full of furniture and I remember seeing papers flying out of the filing cabinets. Huge hoses propelled water into the air and soaked materials as they fell off the open floors. It wasn’t until later that I realized even though I talked to people every day about the benefits of deconstruction over demolition, I never said anything about water conservation.
Six years later I still do not see water conservation in the list of reasons why deconstruction is beneficial. Materials saved produce markets and economic benefits. Jobs are created and the list of environmental advantages including emissions reductions are facts that are well used. It is time to add water conservation and air quality to our curriculum.
In 2008 my research on water usage in demolition lead me to Trip Turner a Project Manager at Elder Demolition. He explained that the hoses they used to spray the water for dust suppression were one to two inches in diameter. That the water is typically stopped from going into the sewer systems by caps and then collected to be disposed of as hazardous materials. Why hazardous material? Trip explained that the water picks up benzene, a chemical in natural gas along with other particulates. He told me that to demolish a 5,000 square foot building they typically use 6,000 gallons of water. That comes out to roughly 1.2 gallons of water per square foot of building.
That is over a gallon of clean water for every square foot of building that is being demolished to keep air quality on a demolition site legally safe.