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Making Material Reuse Effortless to Save Time, Money and the Planet - F'09 Newsletter

PlanetReuse is predicated on a simple but revolutionary idea: make it easy for people to use reclaimed materials and they’ll do more of it. That’s good for the future of sustainable building and our planet.
Studies show that as much as 40 percent of waste in landfills comes from construction projects. With billions of tons of trash produced annually and global waste production expected to double by 2013, it adds up to a staggering quantity of landfill waste. Reuse—as the purest form of recycling—helps reduce that amount.
But as Nathan Benjamin found, sourcing quality materials for commercial construction often proved difficult, and frequently architects can’t find materials early enough to incorporate into a design. That discovery led Benjamin to found PlanetReuse in 2008, with the sole purpose of taking the work out of the reuse process.
“We make the connection, handle the groundwork and guide clients through a streamlined process,” he said. “Handled efficiently, reuse is one of those rare situations with no downside. Reclaimed materials are typically available at a 15 to 20 percent savings over new. We follow a proven method that saves time and effort. And—vitally—reuse significantly reduces landfill waste.”
It all adds up to the PlanetReuse mission:to make using reclaimed building materials effortless by expertly matching materials with designers, builders and owners, saving projects money, serving LEED efforts and sustaining the planet.
The idea is resonating within the design and construction industry. The first-to-market company, which earned a Lifecycle Building Challenge award for innovation, has grown 300 percent in the last year.
PlanetReuse follows efficient, tested processes for both placement and deconstruction consulting. The company’s sweet spot is the design development phase, where they work with the architect to seamlessly integrate reclaimed materials, often reviewing drawings and specs to provide a fresh perspective. PlanetReuse sources materials, tests for quality, and documents for LEED and Living Building Challenge certification.
While the robust PlanetReuse website displays available materials and offers the opportunity to request specific items, Benjamin likes clients to consider PlanetReuse the most valuable, cost-efficient member of a project team. And if you’re looking for something you don’t see online, just ask us about it. We’ll find it---we love challenges.
“We spend every minute of every day in the reclaimed materials world. And as long-term members of the green building community, we speak your language,” Benjamin said. “It’s our mission to make your world easier through our knowledge of reclaimed materials. Like our clients, we’re very passionate about sustainable design and construction, and know that together, we can make a real difference.”