Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Ins and Outs of Deconstruction

The New York Times has a piece by Jon Mooallem exploring the challenges and economics of painstaking 'deconstruction' - versus demolition - of homes. Focuses on Cleveland, where the city and the Cleveland Foundation are leading pilot projects exploring the economics of deconstruction. Challenges? One informal study showed that pulling nails can take up to 1/3 of the labor involved. Interesting factoids:
* 250,000 homes are demolished in the U.S. annually
* This 'liberates' some 1.2 billion board feet of reusable lumber alone
* Remodeling generates 1.5 times the debris every year as demolishing homes does
* The U.S. generates 160 million tons of demo and construction debris each year, 60 percent of which is landfilled
* As few as 300 homes in the entire U.S. were fully deconstructed last year
* On average, it can take a day to demolish a home and several weeks to deconstruct it
* However, the added cost can be more than recuperated when owners donate salvageable material to one of the more than 900 nonprofit, secondhand building-supply stores nationally (deducting the value from taxes)

See the full story at

1 comment:

Axxman said...

Love that story! My Nail Jack will change the time it takes dramatically, and I'm already a member of the BMRA. Check out the new family of nail pullers at and these are just the tip of the iceberg!