Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 17 seconds
We recently deconstructed a single-family residence. Crushing the house was off the table because it was irresponsible environmentally to the owners. That is all well and good but where did the materials go? Good question, even better is why did you take it down instead of just moving it or selling it to find a better fit.
The Deconstruction Decision
The home was still young only 25 years old. We typically don’t start remodeling for 50-100-year-old homes. This one was prime for a multigenerational living situation however the floor plan would need to be altered so much that it did not make sense. With a strong desire to keep their home out of the landfill, the family reached out to us for the deconstruction option. So the lot was great but the home was a bad fit. We evaluated it for moving but the floor joists were hung below the foundation making it a poor candidate.
How Do You Measure Success?
A typical single-family 2,000 SF home weighs about 120 Tons. Half is cement and the rest is the other half. Our example was 1325 Sf, so that would be about 40 tons expected. We toss out the drywall, the roofing materials, and miscellaneous debris. We used a 40-yard dumpster and a 20 Yard one as well. We hauled a total of 10 tons which means and per our inventory calculations we diverted 38 tons of building materials. That makes it a 79% landfill diversion. In a city that has no requirement for landfill diversion that is pretty amazing.
Where Did the Materials Go?
They went to needy folks that could use the materials that were left behind. From lumber to trusses to siding. Everything from flooring, doors, windows, and trim were diverted. The appliances were saved and the pavers were reused elsewhere. the gutters were recycled along with the electrical wires and metal pipes.
The Math Works
This home was parted out with the building materials all being donated to the nonprofit The REuse People of America of which I am a Regional Associate. We had the materials appraised by a qualified appraiser and were able to provide the proper documentation to the owner in order to take credit on their taxes for a handsome donation. They ended up ahead financially and they were environmental heroes for our community.
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