I thought our first blog should be about some blow-out super fancy building materials reuse topic, and honestly I couldn’t come up with what that one “thing” was going to be. Actually, what really is appropriate is timing – and right now – the beginning of February 2015 marks an unusual time for GreenLynx and myself personally – we are starting an addition project on a property that has been in the works for 7 years. And it is only appropriate that I begin my house remodel and addition project utilizing my own amazing crew and company to deconstruct what can be reused again from one site to another.
Timing can make or break a construction or deconstruction/reuse project, and often these two clash, unfortunately leading to demolition more often than not. This is a huge loss for us as a society because there are so many gains by deconstructing. But I’ll leave those benefits as topics for other blogs. Many construction projects, like mine, are years in the planning, and often property owners or General Contractors do not think about deconstruction of their buildings,or salvage before a remodel or tenant improvement project, until it is often too late. As a building industry, we typically spend an enormous amount of time designing and permitting a project, and by the time bidding comes to fruition, finances are so tight you have very little time (sometimes weeks) to actually solicit bids from different subcontractors.
Municipalities take note – Here is where you can make a difference – incorporate deconstruction into the permitting process early on – incentivize deconstruction with expedited permitting opportunities and extra time on the actual building permits. Too many deconstruction projects slip through our fingers because a contractor is worried they’ll go over their permitted time for a project. What a waste of precious resources! Even better – offer/provide deconstruction permits in advance of issuing building permits. This could drastically change our industry for the better. A clean slate before a project starts is a huge benefit to contractors – no unknown hazardous waste hold ups and no unforeseen delays related to demolition. Smart planning starts with our leaders and community policies.
Contractors take note – Check with the local municipality about permitting process benefits related to deconstruction. The more we request special treatment for engaging in deconstruction, the more they’ll start to listen. Contact deconstruction firms well in advance and get to know their processes and timing. We can often hire more crew members to make a project happen faster if the need is really pressing, and depending upon local permitting, we can often salvage interior finishes and fixtures prior to demolition permit issuance.
Property owners/lessors take note – Your contractor is worried about not finishing in the time allotted to them by the local permit. If you are committed to deconstruction, assure them that you value the environmental and/or tax benefits over the additional time required for salvage.
Next week we begin our own addition and remodel project – we’ve already deconstructed the interior finishes worth saving taking advantage of timing and we’re saving materials from going to the landfill before the excavators arrive.