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PlanetReuse featured in KC Star Business Weekly article.



In the Kansas City Star Business Weekly section today, PlanetReuse along with BNIM Architects were mentioned for the reuse of the Inaugural Address stage in their upcoming Omega Institute project. For the entire article, continue reading and be sure join the PlanetReuse Facebook Group so you can check out pictures of the project as work progresses!

"Two KC Businesses Have A Post-Inauguration Link

An Innovative Kansas City firm is helping assure the inaugural platform used by President Barack Obama for his brief swearing-in ceremony lives on in upstate New York.

PlanetReuse LLC, a one-year-old firm based in the Crossroads Arts District, is brokering a deal in which lumber salvaged from the inaugural platform will be used in building a waste-water treatment and classroom facility for the Omega Institute. The holistic healing center occupies 200 acres in the scenic Hudson Valley near Rhinebeck, NY.

And in another local connection, the new Omega facility was designed by BNIM Architects. The goal is to make it the most environmentally friendly project build in the U.S.

If all goes according to plan, the 6,200-square-foot structure will be the first to receive the Living Building designation from the Cascadia Green Building Council. It's a chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council that runs the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program known for its platinum, gold and silver rankings.

"We're a guinea pig for the nation," said BNIM architect Laura Lesniewski. "A key piece is the materials. That's where PlanetReuse comes in."

An important element contributing to the LEED status of a building is the amount of reclaimed materials included in its construction. PlanetReuse has found a niche in linking architects with "deconstruction" firms that carefully dismantle structures to save building materials.

"We take the guessing out of the game," said Nathan Benjamin, co-founder of PlanetReuse. "Deconstructors like it because they don't have to mess with architects. Architects like it because they don't have to drive around the country to find materials."

Benjamin, a former construction industry professional, teamed with Brad Hardin, a former architect, to start the company in March 2008. At first, the pair tried a business model selling reclaimed materials on the Internet. When that proved cumbersome, they decided to instead be a broker, linking architects with salvagers, and certifying the materials.

"We're connecting dots not otherwise connected," Benjamin said.

"When BNIM got the commission for the Omega project, it reached out to PlanetReuse. As part of the energy-efficiency equation, reclaimed materials for a green project should come from a 500-mile radius. That is how Benjamin found the non-profit group in Washington, D.C., that was slated to receive the inaugural platform lumber -- it's still being dismantled.

"The stage was built very well," Benjamin said. "Obviously, somebody important was on it."

The 10,000-square-foot, 40-foot-tall platform was built from entirely new lumber and was obviously used only once. It's yielding 24 dumpster loads of reclaimable material.

Lesniewski said the fact her project's lumber component comes from such a historic structure is a "cool factor, an add-on" to the overall environmental quality of the $1.65 million building.

Benjamin said: "This stage was only used a few minutes. This will be part of a building that will last many years."

--Written by Kevin Collison