Total Construction Duration to date

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Light House completes Pilot Project on Deconstruction

Light House Sustainable Building Centre Society completes pilot project analyzing the costs and time needed to deconstruct part of a single family residence before renovation.

Their report, published here, indicates there are some savings to be realized under some conditions, but that we have a long way to go before this can be common place.

As my time is 'free', I plan to spend up to a month deconstructing my house before starting construction on my upcoming build.  The items I plan to reuse, sell, salvage, give away, and recycle include:

  • Studs and joists - Reuse/Donate/Recycle (They can be ground up and added as a soil conditioner - Clearview Grinding Ltd).
  • Plywood - Reuse/Donate
  • Ship lap - Recycle
  • Shingles - Recycle (
  • Exterior Concrete bricks - Reuse/Sell/Donate
  • Cedar Siding - plane down to remove paint to reuse and sell.  The stuff is 1.75" at the narrow end.
  • Wiring, metal piping, bathtub and sinks - Salvage (will need to strip insulation of wiring for best prices, a job that will be left till after construction).
  • Drywall - Recycle
  • Light & Plumbing Fixtures - Reuse/Donate
  • Plastic Piping and other plastic products - Recycle ( takes any plastics that cannot go into the curb side blue box)
  • Solid Wood flooring Reuse/Sell/Donate
  • Bath and Kitchen Cabinets - Reuse (Shop)/Donate
  • Stove and Dishwasher - Recycle (they are both beyond there service life and are being babied to last this last year)
  • Fridge - ReUse (we just bought it a few years ago)
  • Aluminum window frames - Salvage
  • Window blinds/Shower Door/Boiler - Donate
  • HWT - Reuse or dontate
  • Laundry appliances - Reuse for while then donate
  • Electrical Panel - Reuse as sub-panel (newer 200A panel)

Stuff that will probably go to the landfill:
  • Interior and Exterior Doors
  • Single Pane Glass
  • Painted Wood
  • Insulation (very old mineral wool and some fibreglass)
  • Counter tops (laminate)
  • Ceiling tiles (may be hazardous)
The last item is the concrete slab.  I would like to have it ground up and be able to use it as additional granular material for back-filling but at the very least I will find a place where it is needed as fill.

As you can see, my plans are ambitions and if successful, I would  divert over 90% by weight or volume away from the typical landfill process. Some of the effort like stripping the wiring or the paint of the siding will have to wait till after the build process. But with some planning and a little hard work, this should all be easily achievable, bring in some income or good karma and significally lower the carbon output of my demolition process.

Thanks for reading and as always, I encourage your comments.

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