Deconstructing Building Deconstruction
"Demolish" an old restaurant for $50-70,000, and all you're left with is a bunch of junk that's headed to the landfill.
"Deconstruct" the same old restaurant for the same price tag, and the result is a bunch of useful materials that can be used to construct a new business--in this case, a new Salvation Army in South Burlington, Vermont.
Building deconstruction is a growing trend in the building industry, as it becomes easier to reuse the many useful parts of an old structure (from wiring to tiling). You can even get a tax write-off.
- Read about one family's experience with home deconstruction.
- Some states, like New York State, have green building initiatives that make it easy to route old materials or find supplies for your own building project.
- See these tips if you're considering deconstructing your home.
- The Habitat for Humanity ReStore accepts used building materials.
- Gifts in Kind International has a disaster-relief effort that accepts in-kind donations of building materials.
- Read about the economics of deconstruction
If you only have a small amount of lumber or have extra paint in opened containers, consider setting up a neighborhood building materials pool. Having a place to go for scrap wood in a pinch can be a real help, and might rescue otherwise useful materials from the landfill.