May 19, 2004Our forum on deconstruction in NYC was held on May 19 with panelists Eileen Banaticla, NY Wa$teMatch; Omar Freilla, Green Workers Cooperative; Timothy Logan, NYC Waste Prevention Coalition; Ann Marie Aguilar, Environmentally Sustainable Design Solutions; and Nicole Tai.
Deconstruction is the process of dismantling a building in order to salvage materials for reuse. Unlike demolition, which generates waste that is only fit to be landfilled or recycled, deconstruction produces materials that can be used again or remanufactured into higher-value goods. In view of the fact that new construction consumes about 60 percent of materials in the United States, deconstruction is a most suitable alternative that will reduce waste during demolition. What are the benefits of deconstruction?
- Lower Costs: The savings and income generated by deconstruction can male the process less costly than demolition.
- LEED Credits: Under the U.S. Green Building Councilâ€™s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, developers can earn one point for diverting 50 percent of project waste from landfills and two points for diverting 75 percent. More points are available for using salvaged materials in the new building.
- Competitive Advantages: As more developers take on green building projects, the demand will grow for construction managers and demolition contractors who can satisfy deconstruction requirements. Companies that adopt deconstruction can handle these projects and develop expertise that competitors lack. Lastly, savvy companies can also win more bids for conventional demolition projects by anticipating savings and revenues that their competitors overlook.
- Reduced Environmental Impacts: Deconstruction cuts down the use of heavy mechanical equipment, such as cranes and bulldozers that emit greenhouse gases and smog causing exhaust. People living and working near deconstruction sites appreciate how clean and quiet they are. In addition, reusing materials saves landfill space and conserves the energy and resources that would go into making new materials.
- Employment: The implementation of deconstruction programs can create new jobs in the process of demolition, construction, transportation and reutilization of salvaged materials.