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GreenBuild: The Wonderful Week That Was


November 26, 2013
Oh, GreenBuild. What a great 3 days it was. There were riveting panels, networking events, interactive sessions, a keynote address by Hilary Clinton and a rousing rockfest led by Bon Jovi. 

It was such a pleasure to be able to present, along with our friends from BNIM and Henderson Engineers, on salvaging and reusing materials after natural disasters. It's a topic that has, unfortunately, seen an increase in recent years with the occurrences of powerful superstorms, typhoons, hurricanes and tornados and is important to plan for in the years to come. 

We were inspired by the Rebuilding Exchange, whose work with Whole Foods in Chicago resulted in reclaimed materials being beautifully incorporated into the design of the Engine Room.

A major highlight of the conference was the keynote address by Hilary Clinton. She detailed the partnership of the Clinton Foundation and USGBC, and we were particularly impressed by Clinton's philosophy of "greening democracy." We also applaud her ambitious goal of providing a green building in every community in a generation's time. 

The Conference was also a platform to launch LEED v4, a major stepping stone for our industry. This new version, according to the USGBC, is "one that offers flexibility for all green building projects, with new market sectors and global best practices built-in."  Check out the video below for more details. 

The conference was a great opportunity to fortify us for the year ahead. Immersing ourselves in the sea of inspiring mentors, innovative colleagues and brilliant change makers pushes us to continually strive for excellence. It's not always easy trying to change the route of design, construction, demolition and deconstruction into a more sustainable pathway. But after this week, we know we're headed in the right direction.

Bon Jovi just rocking it. 

Increase Profits with Recycling and Reuse Best Practices


August 17, 2012
There's a great article on Triple Pundit on how to make money by recycling and reusing construction material. It comes as a result of re-occurring questions that many designers, home owners, architects, developers, builders and many others about what to do with stuff coming out of projects. 

PlanetReuse would like to thank Bill Roth, Founder of Earth 2017, for his time, interest and continued outreach to help raise awareness about building material reuse.

Here is preview of the article and a link for the balance of the piece, including a link to a short video from our discussion with Bill at Sustainable Brands '12 earlier this year:
"Construction managers’ success in recycling and re-purposing materials/fixtures can make the difference on whether a construction project comes in on budget in today’s still-depressed construction industry. Two factors are driving this trend. The first is the increasing value real estate buyers and renters place upon green labeled buildings. In California a green labeled home sells for a 9 percent premium. In the commercial building market the increasing numbers of companies focused on operational efficiency has created a strong rental market for USGBC LEED certified buildings. A key feature of LEED certification and other green labeled buildings is the reuse of materials, fixtures and buildings.

Construction recycling/reuse best practices

The other major driver is a growing market in recycled materials and reusable fixtures. The construction industry uses more materials by weight than any other industry in the United States producing 325 million tons of recoverable construction and demolition materials. Approximately 8,000 lbs of waste are thrown into the landfill during the construction of a 2,000 square foot home. That is a lot of construction dollars that will either be lost to landfill tipping fees or gained by successfully selling this material for recycling or reuse."

Here's a link to the rest of Bill's article.  Enjoy!

Studio 804 Chooses Reuse - Storefront glass panels and more


June 25, 2012

Studio 804 is a team of graduate students working towards gaining their masters in architecture in the Architecture, Design, and Planning program from the University of Kansas. Studio 804 has been in existence for sixteen years and has consistently designed and produced sixteen projects during that time. Each year, in their final year in the program, Studio 804 project consists of spending the fall semester creating the design, identifying the needs and goals, estimating the cost, and locating the materials needed. The spring semester is dedicated to the construction of the structure.

Dan Rockhill, executive director of Studio 804 and professor of architecture at KU, oversees the project in its entirety and guides the students as they learn what it takes to take a design from conceptualization to completion.

This year’s project, “Galileo’s Pavilion,” was designed to enhance the sculptural piece “Galileo’s Garden” designed by Dale Eldred. It is a three room structure consisting of two class rooms and one collaborative space. The structure was designed using passive solar building principles and includes three green wall systems. A bulk amount of the materials used for the project was reclaimed materials. Reclaimed slate from school chalkboards was used for the exterior siding and the storefront glass used for the project was recycled from a canceled commercial project. Resourcing reclaimed materials for the project assisted in gaining additional LEED points, cut the cost of the project, and kept those materials from being otherwise being dumped into a landfill. PlanetReuse assisted in the outsourcing of the glass material for the building. The glass was salvaged from a Moshe Safdie commercial project that was started and cancelled in the Plaza Area of Kansas City, MO.

One of the standing goals of the project was education for the present and the future. The building was designed as a tool of interaction and education for “green” design and “green” building techniques. Said Dr. Jay Antle, the sustainability director for the project, “…everyday this building will be educating students about what building can be and should be.”

Galileo’s Pavilion is a response to Johnson County Community College’s goal for sustainability. Though it has not been achieved, it is set to gain a LEED Platinum rating. This will be Studio 804’s fifth LEED Platinum building and the 4th LEED Platinum building in Kansas (the others which are located in Greensburg).

Congratulations to Studio 804 on their accomplishment and completion of "Galileo's Pavilion."

PlanetReuse Begins Beta Testing New National Online Platform for Reuse Centers


January 13, 2012
Since 2008, PlanetReuse has been expertly matching commercial materials with designers, builders and owners to save projects money, serve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) efforts and sustain the planet. PlanetReuse is now expanding its services to make use of reclaimed building materials more commonplace in the residential construction market.
Publish Post

PlanetReuse has begun testing its proprietary InvenQuery technology platform, a web- and mobile app-based system that offers real-time inventory, point-of-sale and e-commerce serviced tailored for the reuse center industry. Formerly called PlanetRestore, the InvenQuery technology platform will power PlanetReuse Marketplace, an online store to debut later this year, that will help reuse centers make reclaimed and surplus building materials instantly accessible to homeowners nationwide.

Currently, reuse centers sell less than 5% of their inventory online. If you are a reuse center interested in learning more about InvenQuery and PlanetReuse Marketplace (coming soon), please contact us at

USGBC Webinar - Building & Material Reuse: Understanding the Challenges, Celebrating the Successes, and Navigating the Credits


April 06, 2011
Session Description:
The LEED credits related to building reuse (Materials & Resources Credits 1.1 and 1.2) and material reuse (Materials & Resources Credits 3.1 and 3.2) are some of the least utilized credits within the rating system. In a time of increasingly limited resources and a growing awareness around sustainable stewardship, however, building and material reuse represents one of the ultimate forms of resource conservation. The reuse of existing built fabric can be economically pragmatic, nurture communities, and provide vision of how to live more sustainably.

Join USGBC for this exciting webinar session, addressing reuse and credit challenges and opportunities, innovative tools and resources available, and strategies to utilize reuse as a vehicle for creativity and sustainability. Upon completion of this webinar session, attendees will gain a greater understanding of how to integrate building and material reuse into their projects and useful strategies for navigating the related LEED credits.

Learning Objectives:
  • Define foundational concepts related to building and material reuse
  • Outline credit intent and techniques that support credit achievement in Materials & Resources Credits 1.1, 1.2, 3.1 and 3.2
  • Discuss, through case studies and anecdotal stories, effective strategies and methods for building and material reuse
  • Identify tools and resources available to support designing with material reuse, material and team logistics, and LEED certification processes  
Moderator:  Sarah Buffaloe, LEED Resource Development, USGBC
Presenter 1: Liz Ogbu, Public Architecture
Presenter 2: Nathan Benjamin, PlanetReuse & PlanetRestore

Live Date: April 7th, 2011: 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET 
Continuing Education Hours: This session has been registered for 1.5 hrs with AIA/CES, GBCI
Pricing Information: $60 for members, $75 for non-members

To register: Link to USGBC website

Greenbuild 2010 - PlanetReuse


October 21, 2010

It's going to be another great conference!  

Things will be kicked-off by General Colin L. Powell in the Keynote, there will be many great speakers, and will be closed by Paul Hawken. 

General Powell has made another career of sharing his lessons of leadership, honed through his distinguished military service, his tenure as the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his role as Secretary of State. His keen insights and global perspective are especially relevant to our movement in these times of great challenge and change.

Paul Hawken has authored four national bestsellers – "The Next Economy," "Growing a Business," "The Ecology of Commerce" and "Blessed Unrest" – and co-authored "Natural Capitalism" with Amory Lovins. He is currently CEO of OneSun Energy, which is focused on ultra low-cost solar PV based on green chemistry and biomimicry.

Going to the Expo??  Come by and see us, we will be in Booth#1296.  
(Looking for Expo passes?  Just let us know how we can help with free passes).

For an interactive map of the Expo Floor, click here and go to the upper left-hand corner of the "F1" thumbnail.

Look for our booth made many types of reclaimed materials, including reclaimed office furniture, steel, wood flooring, granite flooring, reclaimed brick, granite pavers, and many other reclaimed samples.  It will look similar to the booth from last year (as seen in photo at the right - reusing most of the booth, of course), but there will be some revised products so stop by.

We will also be introducing our latest development, PlanetRestore.  Want to know more?  Come on by.

Going to the Educational Sessions??
Join in a panel discussion at Chicago's Rebuilding Exchange location about how architects and contractors can incorporate reused materials into their project process, with a focused discussion and explanation of Materials Reuse in LEED, and how reused materials can impact LEED projects across rating systems.

PlanetReuse, the Rebuilding Exchange, OWPP/Cannon Designs, Studio Gang will present.  To sign up, go to OF04 on course registration.

GreenTown Chicago 2010


September 28, 2010
GreenTown: The Future of Community is designed to help create sustainable communities. Mayors and elected officials, public works directors, park district directors, planners, developers, architects, landscape architects, builders, school leaders and others interested in seeing how a community can become greener, gather to hear from inspiring speakers, learn from been-there case studies and discuss actionable ways to make communities greener, healthier and more prosperous.

GreenTown Chicago will be held on October 13-14, 2010, at Columbia College Chicago and will be sponsored by the City of Chicago, Department of Environment. 

There are many great presenters from the City of Chicago, Animal Planet and Planet Green, iGo, Seven Generations Ahead, Plant Chicago, City of San Francisco, Chicago Public Schools, and many, many more.  Here is a preliminary agenda from the event, Agenda.

One of the many great breakout sessions:

Innovation in Building Material Waste Reuse & Recycling.   This panel will feature managers of two Chicago businesses that are reusing or recycling large volumes of construction & demolition waste and a business that makes it easy for architects and builders to find reclaimed materials for their projects.  The ReBuilding Exchange (RX), a new Chicago-based building material reuse store that diverted 1,200 tons of building materials from deconstructed homes and residential rehab work in its first year of operations.  Recycling Systems, Inc. is sorting and reselling even greater volumes of C&D waste from demolition activity in Chicago.  PlanetReuse matches reclaimed materials with designers and builders to save projects money. Panelists will discuss major markets and customers and present visuals of how materials are being reused or recycled by contractors, designers and how the use of recycled materials can help buildings earn LEED certification.

Moderator:  Chris Slattery, Senior Director, Delta Institute

·         Meegan Czop, Business Manager, the ReBuilding Exchange
·         Jerry Golf, Jr., President, Recycling Systems, Inc.
·         Nathan Benjamin, Principal + Founder, PlanetReuse

This “Biocycle #2” breakout will run from 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. on October 14, 2010.

PlanetReuse Lists Its Lines of Reclaimed Building Materials on GreenWizard


September 01, 2010
To Advance Sustainable Building and LEED Credits, PlanetReuse Partners with GreenWizard to Provide Comprehensive Online Source for Reclaimed, FSC, & Excess New Building Materials

Charleston, SC – September 1, 2010 – GreenWizard, Inc., the largest collection of green building product data for intelligent material selection, and PlanetReuse, a consulting-and-brokering company focused on reclaimed, FSC, and excess new building materials, have formed a new alliance that makes reclaimed building materials even more accessible to architects, engineers, and contractors (AEC) focused on LEED credits and green-and-sustainable building.

Initially, PlanetReuse will list 20+ categories of reclaimed and excess new building products in GreenWizard’s database.  A product specifier can request a product by category (e.g. wood, flooring, furniture, doors, etc.), and enter in their project location.  With that information, the team at PlanetReuse will source the product from its regional inventory or actively search for the desired product in current demolition and salvage projects. The quality and quantity of the reclaimed products are assured by PlanetReuse.

PlanetReuse prefers to engage AEC firms, owners, and contractors during the design-and-preconstruction phases, because that’s the way to maximize LEED credits through local use, which takes advanced planning.  PlanetReuse works at no cost to the design team during the design phase on projects, and its minimal brokering fee is included when materials are delivered to the new project, so PlanetReuse’s service is essentially free-of-charge.  With planning, PlanetReuse clients typically obtain reused products for less than the cost of new.

“Only 6 to 8% of LEED-certified projects have ever obtained the LEED Materials Reuse credits, MRc3.1 or MRc3.2, which require that 5%-10% of materials have been installed previously,” explains Nathan Benjamin, PlanetReuse’s Principal + Founder.  “We believe we can drive that number significantly higher.  After all, it’s a relatively easy LEED credit to obtain when working through the process with partners like PlanetReuse and Green Wizard.”

“AEC firms are not adverse to using reclaimed materials, if they are quality- and quantity-assured,” explains GreenWizard’s Adam Bernholz.  “Now, with PlanetReuse, those firms finally have a viable alternative materials source.”

About PlanetReuse

If you make using reclaimed material reuse easier, more people will do it.  This simple but revolutionary goal drove the founders of PlanetReuse to create a new kind of company. Frustrated by the time and resources it took to track down salvaged materials for their own commercial projects, the PlanetReuse team took an entrepreneurial leap to uncover a solution for the entire built industry.

Initially an internet-based e-commerce material website, PlanetReuse has evolved into a consulting-and-brokering company focused on providing the insight, experience, and materials its clients need.  With a well-defined and efficient process, PlanetReuse expertly matches materials with designers, builders, and owners to save projects money, serve LEED efforts, and sustain the planet. Under the leadership of founder Nathan Benjamin, the company has grown 300 percent in the last year. Learn more:

About GreenWizard

GreenWizard Inc. is a technology company offering the most comprehensive web-based software platform for green building materials from thousands of manufacturers. GreenWizard’s WORKflow Pro software is the only data-driven workflow solution helping the design and construction community by putting search, compare, purchase, and LEED documentation capabilities at their fingertips. MARKET Pro software is the only data-driven marketing solution that brings green building products face to face with decision makers in the design and construction community actively engaged in projects.  The Company employs a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) software model delivered over the Internet for its process automation tool, communication center, business analytics, and interactive marketplace. Combined, this platform allows project participants to efficiently navigate the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of green building products, utilizing the most advanced analytical tools and information available in the market. The Charleston, SC-based company was founded in 2008.  More info:

Recap: 2010 National Demolition Association Annual Convention


June 14, 2010

This year, the 2010 National Demolition Association Annual Convention was held at The Mirage in Las Vegas March 20-23. The NDA convention hosted many events which included the Exhibit Hall, Golf Tournament, speakers, and various breakout sessions. The Mirage Exhibit Hall boasted the ability to accommodate demolition equipment of any size from "everyone involved in the demolition process from around the globe."

As yet another sign that things are changing across all industries when it comes to sustainability, breakout sessions about sustainability and speakers engaged throughout the conference were equally as impressive. In addition to many other great sessions, one session explained the importance of LEED certification and was delivered exclusively to those involved with the demolition process as opposed to deconstruction. In the session, Nathan Benjamin was afforded the opportunity to speak about the significance of salvaging materials alongside John Lloyd of Lloyd's Construction Services Inc., and Jason Haus of Dem-Con Cos. LLC. It created a great dialog that received great feedback and questions. To get another perspective on this year's annual convention, click here for a wrap-up by "Recycling Today."

Steel Reuse in May issue of Modern Steel Construction


May 14, 2010

Steel Reuse in New Commercial Construction?? Never seen it before? Don't think it's possible? You're going to see it more and more as designers look beyond the easy recycling option of structural steel.

In the May 2010 issue of Modern Steel Construction you can read "Reclaimed Structural Steel and LEED Credit MR 3 - Materials Reuse", a great progressive article by Erika Winters-Downey with the AISC. Erika examines associated costs, testing, carbon footprint information, and the open communication between the steel fabricator and the Engineer of Record. She also discusses how, "reclaiming and reusing steel products provides a strong environmental option not available with many other construction materials." Great research and data to support a change in thought that needs to happen more and more. PlanetReuse was happy to help with research and provide information to help push the reuse industry further forward with materials that are commonly overlooked.

To read the article in it's entirety, click on the images or go here and flip to page 64.
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