The Times on Deconstruction


Teardowns are as much a problem in non-landmarked Brooklyn areas as they are in other parts of the country (even a couple of "green" condo projects stand in lots once occupied by humble, wood-framed homes). So perhaps we can learn a lesson from Brad Guy, a deconstructionist — and we don't mean that in an academic way — who is trained in the fine art of advanced salvage, and profiled in the NY Times Magazine this weekend. Deconstruction, dismantling and reusing building materials rather than just junking them, is becoming more popular. "The demolition industry has identified 14 recyclable building materials, but it only recycles three in any real volume: concrete, metal and wood," they write. But it has some drawbacks: Deconstruction can be cheaper than demolition, but it can never be faster. "It takes two weeks and a dozen wage earners to do what a piece of hydraulic machinery accomplishes before lunch," they write, but it does provide jobs, not to mention lightening the carbon footprint of the building industry, which produces more pollution and consumes more energy than any other business sector, according to Architecture 2030. We know a couple of demo projects that might be a good fit (see above).
This Old Recyclable House [NY Times]
Decon2. Photo by horseycraze.

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