6/4/2014 2:00 AM

Understanding the Process & Benefits of Deconstruction

The process of deconstruction involves structural and architectural components of a building being salvaged or removed before demolition. Remodeling and demolition projects produce more than 50 million tons of debris, which normally ends up in landfills. By hiring special contractors to assist in assessing what materials can be salvaged, the process is optimized. Plumbing, lumber, cabinets, some fixtures, concrete and a wide variety of other materials can be salvaged. After being saved, these materials can then be donated to charity or reused for future projects. In addition to this, it may be possible to gain LEED points or tax credits for some materials.

Basics Of Deconstruction
It is important to identify any permit issues and potential hazards. The main concept abbreviation to remember for the actual task of deconstruction is this: LOFO. It means last on is first off, which indicates the last piece of material placed during the construction process should be the first object to be taken out. When the deconstruction process is being carried out, the same tool that was used to install a specific object or material should also be used to remove it.

During the task of removing materials, it should not be necessary to use excessive force. When contractors find themselves reduced to this as the only option, something is preventing the object from being extracted. Evaluate the surrounding area to see if any alterations were made. If not, continue assessing the area until the source of the difficulty is found. For all projects, it is crucial to use proper safety tools. Employees should also be provided with the right safety gear and other materials. Workers should not be exposed to overhead activities, so work on only one floor at a time. To keep safety a priority, plan an escape route ahead of time. All exits and hallways should be free of debris. Another important step to take prior to a project is to obtain an estimate, and one of the best sources for this may be the structure's original blueprints. It is also helpful to know what to do with the material ahead of time. In addition to this, it is wise to have transportation for the materials scheduled beforehand. If the items will be donated, contact a charity such as Habitat for Humanity to arrange a time to receive them.

Costs Of Deconstruction
When planning a deconstruction project, this is the main area where people will notice an impact. Research shows that the highest value per labor unit varies for each residential construction component. The most valuable materials include following:

-Plumbing Fixtures
-Lighting & Electrical Features
-Massive Dimensional Lumber
-Wood Timbers
-Interior Wood
-Outer Sheathing
-Wood Flooring

Before starting a deconstruction project, people may consider various alternatives. These considerations are what lead people to choose the methods and tools used for the process. Although deconstruction is not a cheap solution, it does come with its own set of benefits. For example, it is better for the environment, reduces landfill waste, results in cleaner air and may be beneficial for charities if materials are donated. In the end, it is possible to create financial, environmental and social contributions.

Comparing Demolition & Deconstruction Costs
The United States Army uses the following formula to assess market price for materials: MP = MC + PC + TC + P. In this equation, P represents profit, TC represents transportation cost, PC represents processed cost and MC represents material cost. With demolition, there are rental costs involved when working with waste companies. There are also costs for relocating debris, maintaining equipment, paying workers and purchasing safety gear. With deconstruction, there are costs for planning, management, hauling, labor, equipment maintenance and training. If salvaged materials are traded or sold, keep in mind they may be considered revenue. However, the benefits include LEED points, possible state funding and tax credits. In many cases, deconstruction provides a great overall solution for building owners.


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