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Deconstruction Masterclass

What is deconstruction and why does it matter? And how can it benefit me? This series of three free events on May 4, 11 and 18 will reveal the economic, environmental, and cultural value of deconstruction. Sign up for all three to complete this Deconstruction Masterclass! The series is funded by the National Trust Preservation Fund. Each webinar features a panel of experts sharing the latest updates in a growing industry with discussion and Q&A. Open to all. Building owners, contractors, city staff, heritage preservation commissioners, tradespeople, and policy makers are especially encouraged to attend. Register here.
  • Deconstruction Masterclass: Giving New Life to Old Buildings
    May 18, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
    Zoom Webinar
  • Deconstruction Masterclass: Climate & Environmental Impacts
    May 11, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
    Zoom Webinar
  • Deconstruction Masterclass: The Essentials
    May 04, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
    Zoom Webinar

Speaker Bios

Panel #1 

Deconstruction Masterclass: The Essentials 

Melissa Wenzel

Melissa Wenzel has worked for the MN Pollution Control Agency for nearly 2 decades, and currently works as the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Built Environment Sustainability Administrator. Her current focus is on creating system-wide change within the building material management system. With key stakeholders across the state, Melissa is working to prevent C&D materials going to landfills by encouraging preservation, reuse, repair, and recycling of building materials. Previously, she was the state's industrial stormwater program coordinator. Over the years, she coordinates project-specific sustainability efforts within the agency and as a volunteer, within her community. She lives by her work motto: "human being first, government employee second." Connect with her on LinkedIn: 


Olivia Cashman

Olivia Cashman is an Environmental Protection Specialist with Hennepin County’s Environment and Energy Department where she works to promote reuse and recycling of construction and demolition waste and ensure proper disposal of hazardous building materials. Olivia coordinates the county’s recently developed deconstruction grant and pre-demolition inspection programs. Olivia has a Bachelor of Science in environmental science from the University of Minnesota and has prior work experience in environmental, health, and safety in manufacturing industries. 


Jason Burbul

Jason Burbul has been facilitating deconstruction projects for homeowners, businesses, and government clients since 2016 with hundreds of successful large and small projects. In 2017 he landed and then led Better Futures largest single project - the full deconstruction of 21,000 residential home in Hennepin County. In addition to leading Better Futures Minnesota's deconstruction sales efforts he also consults for and owns several reuse businesses.  

Panel #2

Deconstruction Masterclass: Climate + Environmental Impacts 

Jason Allen

Jason Allen is a Project Manager for Better Futures Minnesota and is currently managing their statewide waste diversion project to divert 15,000 tons of solid waste from the State’s 42 landfills, expand the use of reclaimed materials, and job creation centered on reuse, repurpose and recycling. Jason is a strong believer in the power of relationships and teamwork and is a powerful force in the workplace utilizing his positive attitude and energy to encourage employees to create favorable outcomes. Jason formerly managed the Better Futures Minnesota ReUse Retail Warehouse. In that role he helped reclaimed building materials harvested from deconstruction projects find new homes and uses. Jason is inspired daily by his two children Devin and Sydni. When he is not saving the World one reclaimed item at a time, Jason can be found streaming one of his favorite shows. 


Olivia Cashman

See Panel #1


Matt Rohn

Matthew Rohn is a retired St. Olaf College Environmental Humanities professor and Northfield environmental citizen-volunteer. He co-chaired the city's Climate Action Plan's Material and Waste Workgroup when it helped write the recently passed Zero Waste Plan that the CAP requires. He also served as the city's liaison for several St. Olaf student groups who undertook academic, civic engagement projects in a course offered twice during the academic year that the Zero Waste Plan was being written. Their projects helped inform the Plan and involved the college hiring contractors to deconstruct and demolish about a dozen houses on campus. He and Professor Paul Jackson led a session at the national, Deconstruction + Reuse Conference '21 on the usefulness of academic, civic engagement for such municipal tasks. 

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