As an alternative to building demolition, you may have heard the term “deconstruction”. But how is it different? And why does it matter?
Deconstruction is the opposite of building. It is the "unbuilding” or disassembling of a structure, piece by piece. When a building is deconstructed, materials like lumber, windows, fixtures, and hardware, can be salvaged and reused in new buildings instead of ending up in landfills. In addition to reducing waste, deconstruction allows for money to be spent on local labor, rather than on new materials that aren’t sourced locally. If you’re hoping to reduce your carbon footprint while completing your next major home project, deconstruction is the way to go.
When a building or a part of a building is deconstructed, elements are often carefully removed by hand. Materials that can’t be reused have potential to be recycled instead of thrown away. Reusable materials are sorted into different categories before being donated or sold to local reuse retail stores. You can locate reuse retail stores and drop-offs in and around the Twin Cities on the Choose to Reuse website.
Hennepin County and Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy are now offering grants to homeowners, property owners, and developers for home/building projects that employ deconstruction techniques. Applicants can receive up to $5,000 for project costs associated with deconstruction. For more information and to apply, visit the following:
Hennepin County deconstruction grants
Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy deconstruction grants