Deconstruction and Reuse
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Throughout North America, hundreds of used building material stores sell materials for construction and renovation projects. Materials (such as used lumber and bricks) and other items (such as doors and windows) are salvaged mostly from remodeling projects, pre-demolition salvage, and the growing practice of deconstructionthe selective disassembly of buildings to reuse and recycle parts.
Deconstruction: Building Disassembly and Material Salvage (PDF) (2 pp, 1.1MB)
Produced by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center, this brochure provides an overview of the economic and environmental benefits of deconstruction.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has produced two reports on deconstruction:
- A Guide to Deconstruction provides an overview of deconstruction with a focus on community development opportunities including deconstruction project profiles and case studies.
- A Report on the Feasibility of Deconstruction provides a brief analysis of the feasibility of deconstruction. This report is based on a study of four urban communities and lessons from other local deconstruction initiatives.
EPA Region 9 C&D Waste Reduction and Recycling series fact sheets that focus on deconstruction:
- Deconstruction: New Opportunities for Salvage (PDF) (2 pp, 213K)
- Deconstruction on Commercial Renovation Projects: The Victoria Street Presbyterian Sanctuary (PDF) (2 pp, 56K)
Building Materials Reuse Calculator is intended for businesses, agencies, organizations and individuals interested in measuring the impact of reusing building materials on the environment. Developed by New York Wa$teMatch, this downloadable calculator measures the environmental benefits of reusing building materials in terms of ten avoided negative environmental impacts (global warming, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel depletion, water intake, criteria air pollutants, ecological toxicity, human health, ozone depletion, smog).
Habitat for Humanity ReStores accepts donations of new and used building materials and fixtures in 100 percent working condition and resells them at bargain prices.
The Building Deconstruction Consortium (BDC) is a group of building professionals dedicated to maximizing the reuse of building materials. EPA is working with the Armys Construction Engineering Research Lab, the USDA Forest Products Lab, the University of Floridas Center for Construction and Environment, and Habitat for Humanity to demonstrate, document, and disseminate best practices for the deconstructiondisassembly for reuse and recycling of the piecesof Army buildings.
The Deconstruction Institute provides educational materials, tools and techniques, networking, case studies, and articles about the environmental impacts of deconstruction.
The Reuse Development Organization (ReDO) is a nonprofit organization promoting reuse of numerous materials, including building products.
The Smart Growth Network is a coalition of organizations, including EPA, that promote sustainable community development. Among the many topics covered on this website are C&D materials management and other aspects of the environmental impact of buildings includingdeconstruction.
Building Material Reuse Association is a nonprofit, membership-based association that represents companies and organizations involved in the acquisition and/or redistribution of used building materials.
The Powell Center for Construction and the Environment of the University of Florida is conducting several projects on deconstruction.
The US Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Lab (CERL) has produced two publication on C&D materials management:
- Alternatives to Demolition for Facility Reduction
- Concepts for Reuse and Recycling of Construction and Demolition Waste
Deconstruction Building Disassembly and Material Salvage: The Riverdale Case Study (PDF) (61 pp, 285K)
Prepared by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center (NAHB RC) in June 1997, this document presents the key results from a case study of a 2,000 square foot, 4-unit, residential building in an urban area in Baltimore County, Maryland. The study address some of the issues involved in a comparison between deconstruction and straight demolition and proposes some recommendations for the deconstruction industry.
International and National Materials Exchanges direct users to markets for buying and selling reusable and recyclable commodities.