By Chuck Warshaver | Stardust
When a business and/or homeowner decides to rebuild or remodel an existing structure, they want to finish the project as soon as possible and at the lowest cost. At first glance, it seems easier and quicker to demolish the building. After all, demolition is the most common method employed today to clear a piece of land leaving a clean, buildable lot.
However, there is a better and more cost-effective alternative called deconstruction. Deconstruction is a process of carefully disassembling a structure so that the material used during the initial construction can be repurposed and given a second life. Benefits to the community and the owner of the deconstructed building are realized when the salvaged materials are donated to a non-profit organization. Here are four primary benefits:
- Giving salvaged building materials a second life.
According to a recent study, 75-90% of the materials in a home can be reused, repurposed, or recycled. In other words, property owners can save most items within a residential home or a commercial building. Here is a partial list of some of the items that can be carefully removed and given a second life, below:
- Copper Wiring
- Kitchen Cabinets
- Appliance Packages
- Bathtubs and Sinks
- Roof Rafters
- Floor Joists
- Flooring (hardwood, tile, marble, etc.)
- Plumbing Fixtures
- Bathroom Vanities
- Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
- Exterior and Interior Doors
- Fireplace Mantles
- Other Architectural Significant Details
Demolition may appear at first to have a small-time advantage. However, the time variance can be reduced to almost nil by starting to deconstruct the interior while waiting for permits. Plus,
with demolition, many salvageable furnishings are lost forever and buried somewhere in a landfill instead.
- Deconstruction makes us better stewards of the natural resources of our planet.
Every time a demolition company razes a structure, it sends all the building materials and debris to a landfill. According to the EPA, 534 million tons of construction and demolition materials were sent to landfills in 2019. That figure is twice as much as the amount of municipal solid waste (or regular garbage) that went to landfills in the same year.
By utilizing the process of deconstruction in lieu of demolition, 75 to 90% of the used building materials are diverted from our landfills. By diverting some of the waste going to our landfills, in addition to giving that material a second life, we are also extending the life of our landfills and creating jobs. In 2007, the recycling industry created over 230,000 jobs.
How are the salvaged materials from a deconstructed property reused? The answer to that question lies in the next section.
- Donating Salvaged Building Materials Provides Financial Support to a Non-Profit Organization.
Many people are curious and have asked us who will use their donated deconstructed materials and how. This financial support for organizations that help the less fortunate in our communities is crucial to their long-term success. Non-profit organizations decide whether to resell the donated items or use them for a community project.
Stardust Building Supplies is one such non-profit organization that takes advantage of donated deconstructed building materials. In fact, Stardust’s 2 stores offer a variety of deconstruction services. When Stardust deconstructs a property, it removes the most used building materials, furnishings, and other goods at a nominal charge to the owner making the donation. Stardust stores sell these items. The people who buy the items save considerable amounts of money. Instead of paying the full retail price for new items, Stardust sells its donated items at a fraction of the retail price.
- Deconstruction Has Significant Tax Benefits for the Donor.
In addition to the many advantages listed above, Deconstruction provides tax benefits for the donor whereas Demolition does not and is a dead expense.