Friday, December 19, 2008

An Extra Day At Go Green Expo

Good News! We have been given an extra day at the Go Green Expo. Our booth will be up and running on January 23rd. Come by and check us out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Go Green Expo Confirmed

Good News! We are confirmed as an exhibitor at the Go Green Expo on January 24 & 25th at the LA Convention Center. We're very excited about participating in the show. Green services and products are growing and changing every day. We can't wait to see what new things are out there. We hope you;re as excited as we are and join us at the show. For more information about the expo, please go to

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Calling all California Building Professionals

We just launched our new Deconstruction & ReUse Network website and would love to include you in our network of Deconstruction Specialists.

If you are interested in working with us to create solutions to eliminate demolition in California and sustain our resources, please email me.

Find out more about us here.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, December 8, 2008

Beverly Hills Home Yields over 9 Tons of Reclaimed Lumber

Most people are shocked to find out how many parts of a home can be reused....take this home in Beverly Hills (which I blogged about a few weeks back) - check out the lumber we were able to remove:
All this reclaimed lumber - OVER 9 TONS - is heading down to Baja, Mexico where Corazon Ministries will use it to build safe, affordable housing.

This homeowner's decision to deconstruct rather than demolish will impact the lives of many families in many communities. Way to Think Outside the Roll-Off!

Bookmark and Share

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Ride on the ReUse Network

Today the folks at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles chipped in some dollars and loading time toward customs and trucking costs (instead of disposal costs) to send a bunch of good new doors for a ride on the ReUse Network down to Corazon’s facilities in Tijuana, where it the doors will find some good homes through the Corazon Community, instead of being wasted via disposal.

This is an excellent example of the collaboration that can happen through complimentary and cooperative non-profits.

Bookmark and Share

Friday, November 21, 2008

Manhattan Beach Home 80% Recycled

Recently we began deconstruction on a property in the Manhattan Beach area of Los Angeles. The lot includes a main home and guest home which total around 3,000 squre feet.
We were able to remove a great selection of doors, cabinetry, built-in desks, entertainment centers and vanities with gorgeous, modern sinks and hardware. All of which have been donated to Habitat for Humanity's Home Improvement Store in Gardena.
All in all, we were able to reuse at least 80% of this property. Check out this beautiful spiral staircase:

The next step is to carefully recover the homes' raw building materials, including subfloors and lumber, which will be donated to Corazon. Thanks to the homeowners for making the decision to deconstruct...and for Thinking Outside the Roll-off!

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Treasures from Several Eras Will Get New Life from 1930s Beverly Hills Home Deconstruction

This week we began deconstructing a 2,000 square foot home in Beverly Hills with Tim Greenleaf of TGE. The Spanish-style home was built in the 1930's and has received a few upgrades throughout the years. A vintage home, like this one, offers us a multitude of reuseable materials from the quality lumber to upgraded cabinetry and vinyl windows.

Tim Greenleaf's team is doing a great job deconstructing this home. The work is going quickly and they are extremely organized. For the past week, a crew of six has been peeling away the layers salvaging materials from every era. We anticipate that 80% of the home will be recycled and materials will include everything from the home's original framing lumber and clay roof tiles, to modern vanities with granite countertops, to a perfectly removed front door that is ready to be reinstalled into another home. As always, we will donate the finished materials to Habitat for Humanity's Home Improvment Store in Gardena & all the raw building materials to Corazon.

Before the finished materials head to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. Home Improvement Store, they will be appraised so that the homeowners can receive a federal tax deduction based on the value of their donations. We have been able to reclaim so many great items from this house, and we are so thankful the homeowners chose deconstruction over demolition. Their choice will help other families and together we were able to divert tons of materials from our local landfills.
If you're ready to THINK OUTSIDE THE ROLL-OFF & Recycle Your House please contact me today!

Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 20, 2008


I'll be discussing Deconstruction solutions on Blend Radio's "Nature Connection" Radio Show this Friday, October 24 11 am - 1 pm PDT. I hope you can tune in live but if not I'll post the archive when it's been posted.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Despite Economy, We All Keep Moving Forward

A couple weeks ago my team exhibited at the largest green home show in California, West Coast Green in San Jose. It was a great show with around 400 exhibitors who represent environmental innovation. Despite what was happening simultaneously on Wall Street, it was really nice to see so many people and organizations committed to creating a better environment. From homeowners interested in learning how to green their homes to industry professionals who want to lead the way in environmental building innovations, it was a really positive turnout.

I enjoy meeting homeowners and professionals who want to know more about deconstruction because many are surprised to find out that there are comprehensive, user friendly solutions available now that benefit homeowners and charitable non-profits. We are thrilled by the response we get at these shows. People really do care about the environment and they want to do their part to make a difference.

I think the most positive thing I took away from the show was the fact that people are moving forward despite the economic challenges we face. It’s nice to see that our commitment to the environment is for real. If we stay the course, I believe the government will create more incentives for green industries and together we can really make a difference.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recyled Rolling Hills Home Will Help Build Nearly Six Affordable Homes

Deconstruction & ReUse Network recently completed a deconstruction project in Rolling Hills, CA - a private community just south of Los Angeles.
The process took just over 2 weeks to complete and as you can see this 2,500 square foot home produced a lot of reusable materials!

What is most impressive when you think about it, is that the lumber we recycled (33,600 feet in all) will help our partner Corazon frame 4 to 6 affordable homes in Baja, Mexico. Corazon homes are 320 square feet (16' x 20'.)

In total, we saved over 15 tons of this Rolling Hills home's rough framing lumber, in addition to the other finished materials (sinks, cabinets, etc.) which were donated to Habitat for Humanity's Home Improvement Store in Gardena.
If you have questions about your home's recycling value - please take our FREE Easy Assesment at our website or email us.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Santa Monica Homeowners Deconstruct & Get Noticed

Check out some recent media coverage we received thanks to some great homeowners in Santa Monica and their builder:

Santa Monica Daily Press - Page 3:

Los Angeles Chronicle

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kelly Wood - An Inspiration To Our Team

Kelly Wood is a student at Stanford University and a valuable asset to the Deconstruction and ReUse Network. Kelly works in the Northern California region and we have all been inspired by her endless commitment to helping others.

Currently Kelly is on a cross-country bike ride to benefit Habitat for Humanity called Bike & Build. She is riding from Florida to California to raise money and awareness and she's building homes along the way. We support her, we miss her and we know she is changing lives with every mile.

You can read her bio here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

YOUR HOUSE, YOUR RULES! Ten Ways To Ensure Your Home Is Properly Recycled & Your Construction Project Doesn’t Generate Needless Waste

Last week I posted 10 tips for building professionals to reuse and recycle materials. This week I have tips for homeowners who are looking to remodel and reduce waste.
  1. Plan ahead to save (ReUse and Recycle). Failure to plan could needlessly cost you.
  2. Do the Research & Take the Lead Yourself: don’t rely on the professionals to find out what can and cannot be recycled and reused – Industry professionals are ultimately their to service your needs.
  3. As part of your hiring criteria, interview and hire general contractors you know to have a permanent and well developed waste management plan for all their project sites.
  4. Be Assertive. State your preference clearly where diversion practices are concerned.
  5. Check contractor references: Ask about his/her “service” in addition to time and cost of work performed; how orderly did the contractor keep their project site? Does the reference or did the referral witness or otherwise have familiarity with this aspect of the contractor’s service?
  6. Have recycle bins available for your contractor. Keep in mind that you will have extra bodies eating and drinking daily for a long period of time. Can your bins handle it? If not, take steps to prepare and insist they be utilized, such as posting simple signs saying what waste goes where and get the commitment of your contractor to take up the lead and follow through with the plan.\
  7. Consider a Deconstruction Solution for your project. It’s not appropriate for every project – just the majority. A Deconstruction Solution could be your single biggest opportunity to save financial assets for your project and physical assets for others.
  8. Take advantage of tax breaks available to those that donate to organizations such as Deconstruction & Reuse Network, and/or Habitat for Humanity.
  9. Stay involved. This doesn’t mean micro managing your contractor. But remember – its your project and therefore your rules.
  10. Be A Community Leader – tell your friends about your recycling initiatives and encourage the same – Help your neighbors to Think Outside the Roll-Off!

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Last FIVE tips for Improving your Recycling & Reuse Efforts:

6. As a builder, add signage to your job site as your permanent recycling strategy: What does and doesn’t go in the roll-off; cans go here, bottles here, scrap metal here, food waste here, etc.
7. As a general contractor, try integrating your waste management practices into selling your services. This shows attention to detail and will win you projects as you set yourself apart from other builders.
8. Assign one individual in the company and one individual on every job site that is responsible for implementing your waste management plan.
9. Offer a Deconstruction Solution whenever remotely possible. Forego traditional demolition at every opportunity. (NOTE: Just because the first client passes on deconstruction, don’t stop offering. Currently, one in three people who are given the lead time to consider a Deconstruction Solution, choose it.)
10. Think Outside the Roll-Off! Remember the savings and good things that can be achieved by donating to organization such as Deconstruction/ReUse Network, Habitat for Humanity, and Corazon.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Here of five of my Top 10 Tips for improving your recycling and reuse efforts now:

1. Become a ReUse Network Member Architect or Member Builder and we’ll keep you current on user-friendly solutions and frequent updates about industry practices, resources and legislation.
2. Question your current business habits and prejudices about what can and cannot be reused and what you can influence.
3. As a professional architect, builder, project manager, estimator, etc; ask yourself, whether you’re really taking the lead and going the extra mile in influencing diversion and environmental practices.
4. Design a permanent diversion management strategy (architects not excluded) for your operation. Employ it even if you’re not working in a jurisdiction that requires an official Waste Management Plan, like the City of Santa Monica does.
5. As an architect, know that you’re in a leading position to influence clients and job site practices. Refer clients to general contractors you know always employ solid waste diversion practices on their job sites and remind clients to interview builders about this aspect of their operation.

Coming tomorrow: Part II

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Deconstruction & ReUse Network Launches this week at Alt Build Expo in Santa Monica, Calif.

Here is our official press release:


Organization launches Deconstruction Program this week at “Alternative Building & Design Expo”

Los Angeles, CA – April 22, 2008: The Deconstruction & Building Materials ReUse Network, Inc. (Deconstruction/ReUse Network) will launch its deconstruction program this “earth” week at the 5th Annual Alternative Building & Design Expo in Santa Monica April 25 and 26. Deconstruction/ReUse Network is a non-profit organization committed to integrating practical, industry-friendly solutions for deconstruction, while building greater cooperation and collaboration with for-profit and non-profit business organizations to achieve reuse. All deconstruction is performed by licensed, for-profit professional contractors and all quality materials are reused. Finished materials are resold through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles and reclaimed rough lumber is donated to the Baja California home building ministry Corazon, for use in helping to build communities through their programs and repairing homes near their community centers in Tijuana and Tecate.

Lorenz Schilling, who worked to develop deconstruction solutions for six years, says he recognized a need to motivate homeowners and building industry professionals with more user-friendly and feel-good solutions. “We need to listen and respond to building industry professionals with practical solutions which at the same time offer tangible results in order for them to abandon demolition and adopt these practices on a broader basis. This just was not happening,” says Schilling. “I think it’s important to motivate people beyond their wallets and environmental concerns to respond on a social or humanitarian level as well.”

Deconstruction/ReUse Network brings together homeowners, contractors, architects, civic leaders, waste-diversion professionals, environmental advocates and for-profit and nonprofit organizations in a quest for common solutions to the staggering problem of C&D waste. Homeowners donate their home to The Deconstruction & Building Materials ReUse Network, who inventories the materials and coordinates with member contractors to facilitate the deconstruction process. Deconstruction/ReUseNetwork then donates and distributes the materials to non-profits that construct affordable housing, thereby completing the circle of reuse.

Visit Us at:
The Alternative Building & Design Expo
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
Friday, April 25 & Saturday, April 26
Booth #103 (next to our partner Habitat for Humanity in booth 104)

About Deconstruction and Building Materials ReUse Network:
The Deconstruction and Building Materials ReUse Network ( is an environmental public benefit corporation, 501(c)(3), promoting and empowering deconstruction practices and the reuse of quality building materials. The organization is headquartered in Orange County, California and offers deconstruction programs in Northern and Southern California. All work is performed by licensed for-profit professionals.

# # #

Earth Day Post: Confessions of a Polluter

Hi, My name is Lorenz and I’m an addict.

I’m addicted to a big truck. I’ve been using a Chevy 2500 HD Crew Cab for 4 years now. I don’t have another back-up vehicle. I drive it all over Southern California. It gets 12 miles to the gallon - on good days. In 2006, I spent over $6,000 in gas.

Worse, I just started an environmental non-profit. What a hypocrite, right!

Sometimes I haul stuff in my truck as part of my work. I try to use this as part of my justification. I need the truck. I save stuff like doors and windows and try to do good things with them. I drive around promoting deconstruction.

For all the stuff I keep out of the landfill (my positive environmental contribution) I wonder whether I just cancel it all out with the truck I drive.

I wonder what my carbon footprint is compared to others. I feel like a sinner as I roar down the freeway in my big truck – especially when I pass somebody with a Prius. I can’t help but think what a better and smarter person they are than me.

If someone wants to donate a Prius to our little non-profit organization, I swear I’ll limit my truck use to just the times I’m really hauling material or towing something, or meeting with a demolition contractor I want to make feel comfortable. (Demo contractors are suspicious of guys driving little environmental cars, you know. I’ve been over it and over it in my head and I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with my own insecurities.)

But back to the Prius or Smart Car, or Ethanol powered vehicle that some generous company will surely donate to our little start up environmental organization…

…sorry, I have a tendency to fantasize. It’s just that as gas prices rise and rise, the pressure to change my gas guzzling ways gets more and more intense!

I hate this situation! I am so conflicted! Honestly, I really, really love my big truck. My roommate drives a brand new 2008 Lexus RX 350 and I would prefer to drive my 7 year old truck any day.

Three of my neighbors just bought brand new crew cab diesel trucks. Two Dodge’s and one Ford – all ¾ ton! We’re all crazy in this country! We’re addicted to big cars! But I’ve got something on those losers… I’m clearly a far better recycler than they are! You should see our recycling bin versus theirs. Let me tell you something, we’ve got it going on at our house!

That’s right. I might drive a big truck, but my massive guilt compels me to be the best trash recycler on my block, baby!

Thanks for letting me share. My name is Lorenz, and I’m an addict.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Reusable Building Materials can be Used to Build a New Home in One Day

If we were accounting for weeks on a Euro calendar, last week (ending on Sunday, April 13) would have been a very good week. Mid week Charles told me he had been putting out the “vibe” into the Los Angeles Basin and inquiries about deconstruction were on the rise for us.

Despite the positive “vibe” Charles had been generating, I still found room for a bit of doom and gloom. After talking to a couple of confidants late in the week, I think I managed to identify the source of my negativism and had begun to turn the tide on my “tude.” But for me, having an ebbing “tude” (which could be a double-negative and is unlike an ebb tide) probably only gets me to a place of slack.

Ok. I'll stop with the double talk and word-smithing. Slack, meaning I rarely allow myself the luxury of getting too pumped up or confident. So despite the vibe Charles was putting out and many other good things that were happening, I managed to reduce my expectations when going to the Corazon 30th Anniversary Picnic on Sunday in Irvine. I even told my new friend Erin (a Corazon "Blue Shirt" volunteer leader) when arriving at the picnic that I was probably going about my approach to Corazon leaders in the wrong way. Oh, the self doubt!
My wish since starting the ReUse Network about a year ago, was that working together with other complimentary non-profits (and for-profits) we could achieve more tangible results with the tons of rough lumber we would ultimately reclaim through the deconstruction process in Southern California.

Corazon builds homes in Mexico and runs six community centers between Tijuana and Tecate where they teach construction classes, along with computer, sewing, bike repair, welding and gardening classes. If they could incorporate some or all of the lumber from our deconstruction projects into their programs, whether it was in framing or used as blocking, or into home repair or room additions, or their construction training would be huge!

So yesterday was big for me and was a reminder that prayer works, and that I should pray and be thankful more often. But I had reduced my expectations before the picnic in order to protect myself, thinking of the many reasons the lumber would be a burden to Corazon's operation and they would not want it. Fortunantly, they didn't see things that way. Quite the opposite, actually; Tery Mackprang (Corazon President) was very entusiastic about all the things they could do with the lumber. Among other things, Terry said they could begin to catch up on some of the 50 or so room additions they were behind on. He said they have great access for tractor-trailers at at least on of their Tijuana facilities, and they also have ideal places to store the lumber in fenced and secured areas at several of their community centers and that they'd borrow or buy a forklift.

Needless to say I could not have been more pleased and more blown away by their enthusiasm.

So - it was a good day, and a good week.

Helping others. Just another great reason to keep thinking outside the roll-off!

(There are more pictures from Corazon build on March 29th posted on the Re-Use Network website, where you can see what the organization does nearly every weekend)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Manhattan Beach Home Recycling in Progress

If you've never seen deconstruction at work, we just posted some photos on our Reuse Network website that show the great resuable materials we've been able to donate to our partners at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles.

Beautiful doors, kitchen cabinets, lighting fixtures, sinks and toilets have been diverted from local landfills and better yet, will be sold at the Habitat for Humanity Home Improvement Store in Gardena to help build more affordable housing.

If you are remodelling and think you may have resuable materials, please contact me, it's never too late to recycle your house.

Remember, let's all keep thinking "outside the roll-off."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's All About Thinking "Outside the Roll-Off"

Ok, here goes! My first blog entry. I’ve made a rule for myself which I hope someone tell me the reasonableness or unreasonableness of – someone being another experienced blogger. The rule is that I’m only allowed to backspace to correct misspellings. You see, I don’t really free write well at all. I craft when I write and I don’t know that crafting is appropriate for blogging. The point is now simply that I’m writing…

My wonderful P.R. person Angela Moore, who protects me from myself and keeps me on message, has directed me to get going on the subject area I of course have a passion for and that’s deconstruction and building materials reuse.

I must admit this is not a natural passion for me but rather a learned passion. That means there’s hope for other people. If I can learn to have a passion for saving stuff (building materials, namely) that can still be reused, then other people smarter than me might be able to do it, maybe not with a passion, but because it makes sense to many deliberate and rational thinking people when introduced to the concept and its benefits.

The concept (I just backspaced through about five words. I’m a cheater already!) is that we have reusable value and basis in the building materials that comprise the dwellings we live in and that when we build a new house or remodel our existing residence – we can do good things with these materials instead of just tossing them in a landfill. We can put these materials to work for ourselves and/or others.

I used to marvel at my Grandfather’s ability to utilize the embodied energy in his old tools long after most people nowadays would have gone out and purchased a new rake or shovel. Not Fred! All that rake needed was a small brace and two bolts and it was good to go for another ten years!

Maybe Fred was an extreme dude, but why do we toss perfectly good lumber out? Why can’t we use used lumber as blocking in new homes? Ask the timber industry.

Just think if we required that all new home construction incorporated 10% of framing lumber from reuse sources. Maybe that’s an unrealistic percentage, but the point is we could reduce the need for cutting down trees by demanding we do more with the lumber from the trees that we cut down 30 or 90 years ago. And our landfills would be less burdened.

Why don’t we do this already? Well, there are certain things in this country we’re not very good at conserving. (I just backspaced through another whole sentence because I know I’m rambling).

Maybe the answer is simply that someone needs to come up with a better system for getting it done. Getting what done? - getting more reusable materials into the reuse stream and out of the solid waste stream.

Yes, we all know reuse happens sporadically and recycling happens more and more, but we still throw the vast majority of these materials under a trackloader and then into our landfills. We have a lot of room for improvement. Actually the area of demolition is probably the area on most construction sites where waste volumes can be most dramatically reduced.

Next time I’ll share how I got into the demolition and/or deconstruction and reuse industry or niche and where it and the Reuse Network are currently.

Until then, keep thinking outside the roll-off!
Deconstruction And Buildingmaterials Reuse Network Inc