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Check Out the Deconstruct Dayton and EcoRehabarama
May 10-12 and 18-20, 2012
You just never know where you are going to find a gem. Today I was picking up signs for the Campus Community Garden and Jim Lawrence mentioned that he visits the Deconstruction Depot regularly. Jim is restoring his century-old house and is always on the look out for old building materials like the fireplace insert that he picked up recently at the Depot. As he stripped away layers of paint, a beautiful cast copper fireplace insert emerged. Like I said—you never know where you are going to find a gem. Just as Jim discovered, deconstruction rather than demolishing buildings that are no longer use-able makes absolute sense—dollars and cents and environmental sense. Why send these potential gems to a landfill, expend resources to produce and transport new, often lesser-quality goods when we can salvage these items from abandoned houses and reuse the building materials?
The city of Dayton and surrounding communities have many uninhabitable houses that need to be removed from neighborhoods. To answer this need, a local architect and Wright State University Alumni, turned very green deconstructor, James Kent, created the Architectural Reuse Company http://architecturalreuse.com/ better known as Deconstruct Dayton.
James Kent uses his crews to dismantle, savage and resell the materials from these old houses. This is about as Green as building can get! Not only are the materials high quality, but they are often wood and brick that just are not available anymore. Dense hardwood from trees that decades ago were harvested from 100 year old trees. Talk about lowering the carbon footprint and true lifecycle cost analysis, implementing "cradle to cradle" thinking!
The another key point here is that Deconstruct Dayton is training and paying wages to underemployed or unemployed, often ex-offenders who need job and life skills to become part of the workforce. Through a training program partnership with Sinclair Community College, Deconstruct Dayton Works Plus employees earn OSHA 30 and asbestos and lead abatement certifications. This training, workplace skills and time on the job allows these workers to be hired by other contractors. Now, these workers are gainfully employed and paying taxes rather than being a drain on the system.
In addition, the number of abandoned houses is reduced so there is more green space in urban
areas and the priceless old building materials are available for new purposes. It is truly a Win-Win-Win for society and the planet.
Here is another example, an outdoor table built from $5 of wood from the Deconstruction Depot. The grain of this old wood is something that woodworkers can appreciate, rich and beautiful. Before you go to one of the big box stores, you will want to go there first. The selection is amazing and some of the materials there are much better quality than you will find new. Wrought iron, old wood doors, mantels, stairs, stone, bricks and lots of all sizes of wood, some sizes they can't even produce anymore (20"X12"X1" —one board!). I already have my next projects lined up—a pair of outdoor chairs, a gardening workbench and a deck storage box.
Be sure to check out examples of upcycled products at Jimmy’s Ladder #11 and at the Modern Reclaimer house at the Eco-Rehabarama May 10 -12 and 18-20, info at: 2012 EcoRehabarama Showcase in Huber Heights.
See you there!
Linda Ramey, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Office of Sustainability
LEED Green Associate
Environmental/Science Education, Associate Professor