As our society becomes more and more environmentally conscience, we are taking certain steps to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills. According to Canadian surveys as much as one third of the 20 million tonnes of municipal waste comes from construction, renovation and demolition related activities. 750 houses are demolished each year in Vancouver. A home demolition produces an average of 40 tonnes of waste material. The majority is wood. With all this waste, many of our landfill sites are reaching full capacity. On top of that, a lot of construction waste is illegal dumped and burned, which in turn causes air, water and land pollution. The cost of disposing this waste has increased over recent years, which then raises the cost of construction projects as a whole, because contactors have to consider disposal costs in their bid costing.
The good news is there is a way to renovate your home and at the same time keep your ecological footprint to a minimum. You can do this by using the method of Deconstruction.
Instead of knocking every piece of your home down with heavy, noisy and dangerous machinery, then disposing these materials that are still reusable, deconstruction is simply the process of which a house is taken apart either wholly or partially with the intention of salvaging all or parts of the building.
When deconstructing your home it’s important to ask the question, what materials can be salvaged and reused?
Materials that are typically salvaged for later use include windows, lighting fixtures, Framing lumber, doors, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, countertops, flooring and roofing materials.
You have the option to reuse these materials by giving them new purposes or building them into other areas in your home. You can also sale or donate your salvaged materials to other individuals who are also deconstructing when renovating their homes.
Deconstruction saves you money
Deconstruction not only helps save our planet, but it also saves you money! Depending on the size of your project and the amount of materials you’re able to salvage, selling your used building materials you can actually pay for the costs of deconstruction and contribute some money toward building the new home.
The Social Benefits of Deconstruction
It’s interesting how salvaging materials from your home renovation benefits our community in so many ways. Barry Joneson from Pacific Labour, a Vancouver based company, has been pulling apart homes for over 20 years. Based on a article published by The Globe and Mail, Mr. Joneson is a true believer that deconstruction not only helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in Cache Creek and Burns Bog landfills, but a huge part of is hiring approach is to provide work for marginalized youth. He likes to see most of his employees stay with the company for a year or so, and then move on to start their own businesses or go to school. "Once you get them involved in stuff like deconstruction where they know that they're actually giving back to society, back to the environment, it gives them an artificial booster."
A summary of the benefits of deconstructing are as follows:
It’s environmentally friendly.
Reduces greenhouse gases.
Reduces waste in landfills.
Helps Recycling/salvaged material businesses.
Helps create jobs.Saves you money.
You can’t go wrong with deconstructing your home. So why not give this green alternative to traditional demolition a try!
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