Monday, June 28, 2010

Recycling Homes Should be a Matter of Conscience, Not Stimulus Money

USA Today recently reported that recycling homes is becoming a booming enterprise, citing a trend toward deconstruction rather than demolition. One of our competitors and my former colleague, Ted Reiff, goes on to mention that the heightened interest may be due to stimulus funding. 

Though at its core, Reiff’s perspective may seem highly cynical; I’m hoping he didn’t intend it as such. Taken without the benefit of the doubt, Reiff seems to suggest that interest in deconstruction has not increased because people and local governments think it’s simply better to reuse and recycle, and that communities are sincerely interested in better methods and building practices, rather, the suggestion is that he (and everyone else) is really just following and spending the public’s money, and that interest in deconstruction will wane after the money is spent.

Hopefully the real reason behind the heightened interest in deconstruction (and the subsequent Federal Stimulus monies being spent on Mr. Bennick’s and Mr. Reiff’s training programs) comes from the more honest desire of peoples and communities around the country to find out ways in which to waste less.

I’ll give Reiff and his motives for offering training the benefit of the doubt, but I’d also be curious what his and other training programs really entail, and who is defining “deconstruction?”

To Deconstruction & ReUse Network and TRP (Reiff’s org), deconstruction is removing all of the usable building materials, when possible, down to and including the rough lumber. To others, it’s removing some building materials for reuse. To us, the latter is called “selective salvage,” something that has been going on in the construction and demolition industry for decades and decades. Selective salvage will always have its appropriate place, but only real deconstruction takes time and investment and should be more strictly defined as a comprehensive dismantling endeavor.

Dave Bennick and Ted Reiff both train people to facilitate some form of deconstruction through local government programs and elsewhere, but it’s safe to say, they’re not necessarily teaching the same strategies and methodologies. The time has come for those involved with the various forms of deconstruction to begin to establish a consensus  - a “best standards and practices” benchmark.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Deconstruction & ReUse Network In Remodeling Magazine

Thank you to Leah Thayer from Remodeling magazine for thinking of us in her article "Thinking Outside the Dumpster". It is full of helpful deconstruction information like what materials are in high demand, who can do it, where materials end up and when you should start planning. Click here to read the full article and here for more information on deconstruction.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sustainability Standards intended for Mainstream and Small Businesses

Builders have LEED certification to identify and categorize their efforts in Sustainability, but what about businesses outside of our industry?  Joel Makower covers a new type of third party sustainability standard that may be the future for mainstream businesses, in his blog at UL environment.

Monday, June 7, 2010

One Giant Step for California's Environment!

California may soon be the first state to entirely ban single-use plastic groceries.  The bill was passed by the California State Assembly 41 to 27 to ban the bags.  The bill would require shoppers to bring reusable bags to the store, or pay around 5 cents for recycled paper bags at the checkout.

The LA Times this past weekend took a look at this very hot debate, and why it is so important to our environment to ban them.  Read the rest of the article on their website!

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Are you Eligible for a Tax Rebate for going Green at Home?

Here is some great information on the possibility of being eligible for a Federal Tax Credit for going green at your home!  Once again, thank you to the Good Human for sharing great information!

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Knowing how to identify Green-Washing

We appreciate the efforts made by so many people and companies to better their practices and ways of life.  At the same time, it's worrying many of us who have worked hard to implement legitimate efforts to be environmentally sound, that large companies are using "green" terms without valid third party certifications in an effort to boost sales.  Check out this great blog, The Seven Sins of Green-Washing to understand more about how to identify legitimate claims and efforts by companies to go green!

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I Will Use Less... Chevron Oil
Deconstruction And Buildingmaterials Reuse Network Inc