• strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/buildingsurplus/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 307.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/buildingsurplus/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 307.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/buildingsurplus/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 410.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/buildingsurplus/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 410.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/buildingsurplus/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 344.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/buildingsurplus/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 344.

Industry news

Bringing It All Back Home 2011/03/01

by Kurt Buss

Reprinted with permission of the BGBG

 

Today’s builders and consumers face a dizzying array of green products and services when they build or remodel a home. But if the project requires preparatory demolition for all or part of the building, there is really only one green option—deconstructing the structure and reclaiming the materials for reuse and recycling.

Nationwide, construction and demolition (C&D) debris constitutes anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of the material going into landfills. Because the volume is so huge, some jurisdictions are developing waste reduction plans that mandate the reuse and recycling of C&D materials. If these programs are effective, it will represent a big step toward diverting construction waste from landfills.

In Boulder, the city’s Waste Reduction Master Plan (WRMP) has goals of 60 to 85 percent diversion for the years 2007 through 2017. Other components of the WRMP include an initial examination report that assesses the current local market and recommends increased reuse and recycling of building materials through the Green Points program, a C&D bond, and a recycling facility for C&D waste—primarily wood, metal, and masonry.

Deconstruction is just beginning to get some traction in the building industry, although hand demolition of structures and material salvage goes back to the Stone Age. Even a Neanderthal knew it was better to keep the mastodon tusk that served as a building material than to get a new one when remodeling the cave.

When project specifications call for the removal of a structure, mechanical demolition has been the most prominent practice for the past half-century or so. Increasingly, however, building professionals view structures slated for demolition as sources of materials rather than simply something that needs to “go away” before the project begins.

UNBUILDING A BUILDING

The best way to define deconstruction is to describe the process of construction in reverse. Deconstruction is unbuilding a structure using many of the tools and techniques used to build it, with the intention of recovering all the reusable and recyclable materials that are cost- and time-effective to salvage. Generally, the last items to go into the building during construction are the first items to be removed during deconstruction.

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