Tuesday March 30, 2010 | “Deconstruction” Building

March 29, 2010 at 11:15 am | Posted in Coming Up | 9 Comments

Across the country and here in the Charlotte region, construction companies are employing the practice of the ultimate in reusing: taking ceiling tiles, lights, carpets and more from old buildings and putting them back into use in the community. We’ll talk about construction and demolition recycling, the practice of deconstruction and how construction companies, developers and non-profits are benefiting from not wasting useable materials.
Guests
Susan Stabley
– Journalist, the Charlotte Business Journal
Linda Holden – Founder and President of Linda Construction, Inc.
Michael Talbert – Senior Environmental Specialist of construction/demolition programs for Mecklenburg County Waste Management

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  1. I work for the Habitat ReStore. We do Deconstruction at no charge. The Habitat ReStore did over 250 jobs last year alone. The materials go to the Habitat ReStore for ReSale, the customer gets a Tax write off and thousands of pounds of C and D materials stay out of the landfill. Customers and contractors can call to schedule a deconstruction at 704-392-4495.

    The Linda Costruction company has been great partners of ours. They have brought us thousands of dollars of gently used materials that we were able to sell at the ReStore to help raise money to build Habitat For Humanity Homes.

  2. I fully support this process of ‘deconstruction.’

    With all of these old homes, factories, mills, and other unused and rusty structures we need to just TEAR IT ALL DOWN and return it to Nature…(re)plant trees where they used to be, build parks, make community gardens, dig a pond or lake in its place, turn it in to a baseball or soccer field, etc.

    This would create millions of jobs – people could be paid to dismantle all of these old buildings and properties and also to recycle or reuse all of the old building materials as much as possible (as your guests do).

    If the area or space is useful, just tear down the old building(s) and put new ones in its places using the latest and best planning methods or else return it to Nature.

    I propose that we engage in a long-term phase of ‘constructive destruction‘ wherein we tear down very many of the old, useless, and decrepit buildings, shuttered factories, decaying neighborhoods, and so on and put better things in their place or even return those areas to natural greenspace. Luckily this is occurring in some areas of the USA, but not at nearly a quick enough pace. This will serve to create many jobs, since it would take literally decades to remove, rebuild, and/or retrofit many of the old buildings and areas which were rashly built in the last 100+ years of mass-industrial fervor.

    For instance, if we take an old factory which has been closed down for decades, a building (or buildings) which is nothing but an ugly scar on the landscape that attracts crime and creates pollution: we could employ dozens if not hundreds of people to descend upon the site and tear the old factory down, being very careful to fully recycle any potentially reusable materials. After the process of destroying/dismantling the site is finished, local/community planners could be employed to find various ways to re-utilize the newly opened up space. If there is no need for new industry or jobs in the area, the site could simply be turned in to ‘ecodense’ housing (if it is needed), or a public park, or it could be reforested, or a school could be built, or a local lake/reservoir could be dug there, or even large public garden(s) or orchards could be created, and so on and so forth. The possibilities are literally wide open, because obviously anything is better put in the place of ugly, blighted, and abandoned buildings or old factories.

  3. Some people have actually started to do this in some areas of the USA — in Michigan and other post-industrial areas:

    “The US government is looking at expanding a pioneering scheme in Flint, one of the poorest US cities, which involves razing entire districts and returning the land to nature” – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5516536/US-cities-may-have-to-be-bulldozed-in-order-to-survive.html

  4. I’m in the middle of renovation and trying to find a place to recycle sheet rock. However, National Gypsum, the Charlotte company mentioned, does not have recycling information on their web site. Can anyone give me any information on recycling sheet rock locally?

  5. Mike,

    I’ve got an attic full of empty paint cans from Lowes. I’ve asked them where I can recycle these cans, but am always told, oh just throw those out. Do your guests know where these can be recycled? Do they need to be scraped free of dry paint? Also, where can CFL’s be recycled?

    Love the show,

    Derek

  6. Derek,

    If the cans are empty and dry with the lid off, and if they are water-based (latex) paint, they can be thrown in the trash, I understand. Home Depot/Lowes also sell an additive to stir into paint to solidify it. But we’ve always taken them to the controlled dump site by the airport (I think I found it on the charmeck.org page), where they allow homeowners to dump things like paint, batteries, etc.

    Lisa

  7. I worked for a company years ago that tried to introduce the waste-to-energy technology that the caller just mentioned to the US. It had been being used in Europe for years, and the energy produced powers whole communities with the added benefits of steam (a byproduct) heating large greenhouses to provide year-round fresh vegetables, as well as indoor sports facilities such as pools and tennis courts. In these countries that provided huge benefits, since their winters are harsh and long. They also do not have excess land for trash disposal. However, “environmentalists” fought the introduction of this technology through lawsuits and scare tactics, until our company and the county government involved could no longer afford to fight it. The sad thing was that the facility was to replace a very old, polluting coal-fired power plant right in town. I drove near it, and the air was so sooty and choking during the summer, especially, that you could hardly breathe. The area would have been so much better off to have had the new plant. Things that could be recycled were removed before incineration; organic matter was used for recycling and provided compost for the greenhouses; and scrubbers removed almost all toxic metals in air emissions — matching or beating federal requirements. Water used in the process was filtered and reused.

  8. On the show, they dismissed the idea of homeowners recycling during construction/renovation because of the issue of the dumpsters being contaminated by outside trash. Linda then said that they do sort mixed trash, but I think they only service commercial sites. Here is a company that sorts residential construction waste — all in 1 dumpster:

    Bob Weeks
    Russo Construction Dumpster Service
    704-791-4624
    concretebyrusso@aol.com
    http://www.russodumpsterserviceinc.com/

    We make far more waste in the residential construction market than they do in commercial. Surprising that more companies have not tapped into all of this material that can be resold/reused/recycled!

  9. I REALLY ENJOYED THIS PROGRAM !!! I SEE SO MUCH WASTE. IT IS DISGUSTING. I WAS AMAZED TO HEAR ABOUT SOME OF THE WAYS THAT BUILDING / HOUSING MATERIALS COULD BE REUSED, LIKE THE UNPAINTED DRYWALL BEING CRUSHED AND SOLD TO PEANUT FARMERS. I AM IN MY MID FORTYS AND HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I WANT TO DO FOR MY CAREER. WHILE LISTENING TO THIS PROGRAM I THOUGHT TO MYSELF….” THAT IS SOMETHING I WOULD REALLY ENJOY DOING,SOMETHING I COULD FEEL GOOD ABOUT”. NOW I JUST HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO PERSUE IT. I LISTEN TO YOUR STATION EVERY DAY WHILE I WORK AND LOVE IT !!! THANKS FOR HAVING THAT DISCUSSION !


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