• 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

Deconstruction contractors first remove reusable electrical and plumbing fixtures, along with cabinets, interior doors, and other non-structural items. Then they remove floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, usually salvaging wood floors and wall paneling for reuse if it’s practical. Sometimes previous owners have sanded floorboards too many times or used adhesives that make it impossible to reuse or recycle the flooring materials. Thanks to a pilot program sponsored by the city of Boulder’s Office of Environmental Affairs, Boulder residents can even recycle carpet.

At this point in the deconstruction process, deconstruction workers may bag the insulation. Next, they strip the outside layer of the building of its roofing and siding, and remove the windows and entry doors by cutting or prying the fasteners.

Asphalt shingles cannot be recycled locally, but successful programs in other parts of the country are encouraging. Masonry roof tiles are easily removed and reused, although the process requires equipment to remove the pallets of tiles from the roof. Cedar shake shingles are also easily recyclable, as long as they are not contaminated with felt paper.

Wood siding is more difficult to recover for reuse, although redwood or cedar lap siding is often worth the extra effort. Even if it’s painted or stained on one side, the backside is often undamaged and beautiful. Aluminum siding is certainly worth recycling, although vinyl is currently not. Asbestos siding, along with anything else containing asbestos, needs to be removed by professional hazardous waste handlers, because it is a known carcinogen and can cause severe respiratory problems if workers inhale the airborne particles. Cement siding hasn’t been on the market long enough to be a noticeable part of the C&D waste stream, but will hopefully have places to go other than a landfill when it becomes more of an issue.

Workers then remove roof and wall sheathing, all of which should be reusable or recyclable. Once the building has been taken down to the framing, the deconstruction crew removes the mechanical systems and conduits for reuse or—more often—recycling. At this point, all that remains is the wooden structure.

The crew then removes partition walls and other non-load-bearing components before taking down rafters or trusses. At this point, they can cut exterior walls free and drop them onto the floor for relatively easy disassembly by knocking off top and bottom plates with a sledgehammer and picking up the studs like firewood. Subfloor removal is more difficult if it’s been glued to the floor joists, although new tools and techniques are making this process easier.

view counter