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Deconstruction for Reuse

Deconstruction is the process of carefully dismantling buildings to salvage components for reuse and recycling. Deconstruction can be applied on a number of levels to salvage usable materials and significantly cut waste.

Deconstruction has many benefits, including the following:

  • Maximizes the recovery of materials.

  • Conserves finite, old-growth forest resources.

  • Provides many employment and job training opportunities.

  • When coupled with traditional demolition methods, allows communities to create local economic activities around manufacturing or reprocessing salvaged materials.

  • Diverts demolition debris bound for disposal

  • Preserves resources through reuse.

What Are C&D Materials?

Construction and demolition (C&D) materials are generated when new building and civil-engineering structures are built and when existing buildings and civil-engineering structures are renovated or demolished (including deconstruction activities). Civil-engineering structures include public works projects, such as streets and highways, bridges, utility plants, piers, and dams.

C&D materials often contain bulky, heavy materials such as:

  • Concrete

  • Wood (from buildings)

  • Asphalt (from roads and roofing shingles)

  • Gypsum (the main component of drywall)

  • Metals

  • Bricks

  • Glass

  • Plastics

  • Salvaged building components (doors, windows, and plumbing fixtures)

  • Trees, stumps, earth, and rock from clearing sites

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