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Material Reuse

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!

PlanetReuse Selected as a Top 25 Social Entrepreneur for 2012 by Businessweek


June 22, 2012

PlanetReuse is honored to be featured as one of America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2012 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Competition for the “final five” is stiff (and inspiring!) so please cast your vote for PlanetReuse to help realize a dream where:

  • any commercial or residential building owner who needs construction materials, considers used before new; and
  • reuse becomes THE obvious and easy alternative to the landfill during deconstruction or renovation.

This is why we are preparing to launch PlanetReuse Marketplace (powered by InvenQuery), a national website that connects building material “haves” and “wants” with their local reuse centers to easily donate and shop for reclaimed materials online.

A special thanks to our friends at the Kansas City, Missouri Habitat for Humanity (HFH) ReStore, the Chicago ReBuilding Exchange, the Wake County HFH ReStore in North Carolina, the Chesapeake HFH ReStore in Baltimore and the Montgomery County HFH ReStore in Gaithersburg, MD for their ongoing collaboration in helping us design and test a technology solution especially for the unique needs of the reuse industry.

Reuse centers like these and the 1,100 more around the U.S., keep valuable materials out of landfills, create local jobs, provide affordable home improvement resources (at roughly 40-60% off the price of new!) and support the missions of other local non-profits.

To learn more about reuse centers please visit the store links provided above.

Architect Magazine - Great article for the Reuse Industry


April 12, 2012
Reuse continues to be brought to the forefront in discussion. It's hot topic at conferences as well as in the press and is becoming more common in practice.

There's a wonderful piece in this month's Architect Magazine this month on the past, present and future of the industry.

The article features some great quotes from leaders in the reuse industry such as the BMRA, CMRA, BNIM, el dorado inc, Deconstruction & Reuse Network, PlanetReuse, Standford University, and many others.

"We are moving away from the status quo of how we handle our construction and demolition waste for many reasons. Dumping has become more expensive and thus less appealing for contractors..."

"If architects really want to look out for the ecosystem, they should start by making the most of what they already have."

Link to the article: Architecture’s Afterlife

You can even earn one HSW/SD CEH (Health/Safety/Welfare and Sustainable Design Continuing Education Hour) for reading this article and successfully completing a free online quiz. To do so, go to:

BMRA announces Poster Session Program at DECON '11


January 29, 2011
Great program to help continue to grow and deveopment the materials reuse industry. 

The Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) is pleased to announce the  Poster Session Program at the DECON '11 Conference.

Architecture, construction management and environmental sustainability students are urged to submit original contributions related to the fields of deconstruction, building materials reuse, and construction and demolition debris (C&D) recycling that can be displayed in an educational poster format. 

Overview:  BMRA consistently seeks to advance research and education in the public interest.  The purpose of the DECON 2011 Poster Session Program is to provide a means of stimulating interest in deconstruction, building materials reuse, and construction and demolition debris (C&D) recycling research, as well as communicating other useful deconstruction information to the profession to include best practices, new program initiatives, etc. 

Please visit the conference website for how it works and complete details.  Please forward widely to any students or instructors with an interest in decon/reuse!

Removing the Roadblocks to Material Reuse - Cascadia Green Building Council's Trim Tab - Winter 2011


January 25, 2011

The Cascadia Green Building Council's Trim Tab is an amazing resource for provocative articles, interviews and news on the issues, designs, and people that are truly transforming the built environment.

PlanetReuse is proud to contribute to this great publication where we review successes as well as struggles when it come to material reuse in commercial and residential projects. 

To review and download the complete issue and to sign up for updates, visit their website.

Reuse It: The Movie


September 27, 2010
Great video on Building Materials Reuse:

Bryce Jacobson of the Metro Portland Sustainability Center is the narrator of this new film, Reuse It: The Movie.

The twelve minute film provides a background on the current waste stream in the state of Oregon, makes a compelling case for the need to reuse building materials, and provides an overview of the resources available to Oregon residents to find and use salvaged building materials.

What a good example to implement throughout the US in every community.

Nice job BRING and everyone involved!

To view the movie, please click here.

USGBC Iowa Chapter Monthly Program: August 18.


July 22, 2010
Every month members of the Iowa Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council get together for a program in which they can discuss and learn about new green technologies or design strategies. Their July monthly meeting will be held this afternoon with guests from The Weidt Group discussing the benefits of comparative analysis through energy modeling. "Energy modeling" can normally allow the designers and owner, "to evaluate mechanical system options and to maximize daylighting potential in early design stages."

Next month the event will change gears to focus it's attention on the world of reclaimed and salvaged materials. Guest speaker Nathan Benjamin will deliver the August program titled, "Making Reclaimed Material Reuse Easier." If you are in the area and interested in learning more about incorporating reclaimed materials into your next project, or just looking to further your LEED knowledge base, be sure to attend the Iowa USGBC Chapter August program. Find out more about registering for this event here.

USGBC 2010 Federal Summit: "Leadership in Sustainability from Coast to Coast"


April 06, 2010

From May 18-19, our nation's capital will be putting their greenest foot forward to host the USGBC Federal Summit which boasts the theme, "Leadership in Sustainability from Coast to Coast." The Federal Summit provides the USGBC, government officials, industry leaders and non-profit community experts the opportunity to all learn from one another, discuss policies, and network with other industry-people passionate about the boom in green building. If you are a government employee, there will be a half-day Forum dedicated to government-focused programming as well. Keynote government speakers will include Director of U.S. General Services Administration Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings Kevin Kampschroer, U.S. Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program Manager Richard Kidd, Urban Land Institute Senior Research Fellow Tom Murphy, U.S. General Services Administration Commissioner of Public Buildings Bob Peck, Office of Management and Budget Deputy Associate Administrator for Procurement and Senior Budget Analyst Cynthia Vallina.

Among the many educational sessions to attend is #201 titled, "Building Material Reuse, the Purest Form of Recycling - Successful Models and Future Tools." The focus of this session shall be, "how practitioners and clients have addressed challenges and opportunities around reuse, including how they dealt with government infrastructure to accomplish their goals." The practitioners and clients that have been asked to share their experiences include Liz Ogbu of Public Architecture, Ted Huang of Webcor Builders, Darin Headrick from the Greensburg Schools, and Nathan Benjamin of PlanetReuse.

If you wish to attend the USGBC Federal Summit, early-bird discount rates will be available until May 4th for both government and non-government workers. For more information, click here!

37th National Demolition Association Convention: March 21st-23rd.


March 17, 2010

Next week from March 21-23, the National Demolition Association will be holding their 37th Annual Convention. This convention will take place in Las Vegas, NV in the 100,000 square foot Mirage Convention Center.

"As the largest exhibition of demolition products and services in the world, the NDA’s annual convention draws everyone involved in the demolition process from around the globe."

Being the largest event in the industry, the NDA hopes to push sustainability at this years' conference by means of actively educating membership throughout their sessions. Nathan Benjamin has been asked to speak about Material Reuse, its perceived roadblocks, and ways it makes sense for the environment and for demo companies' bottom line. The panel will be on Tuesday in the late morning education session. If you are in the demolition industry and are interested in attending this fantastic event, click here for more information.

Hopefully we will see you there!

PlanetReuse featured in Jan '10 issue of Log Home Living.


January 05, 2010
Log Home Living features PlanetReuse in their latest issue called "In with the Old." Here is a taste of the article which you will find in its' entirety here.

" We've all heard the saying, "Out with the old, in with the new." People envision their homes filled with bright, shiny, new products to keep them on the cutting edge with everyone else. But with increased interest toward sustainable building practices and using what's already available, more and more homeowners are turning their interests to reclaimed materials.

Whether it's lumber from an old barn or bricks from an old warehouse, reclaimed materials can be found- and used- in a variety of places, none of which is a dumping ground. "We're trying to expand views of what reclaimed materials can be," says Nathan Benjamin, principal and founder of Kansas City-based Planet ReUse. "Some people have no way to make this connection, so the material goes to landfills predominantly." "
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