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Residential Deconstruction  --  September 24, 2021

Green Building Materials for Construction – Part 1

Can residential deconstruction and commercial deconstruction help you get significant tax deductions? Yes. Does donating deconstruction materials to non-profit organizations provide critical support for those less fortunate in our local communities? Yes. Win, win.

But if you’re like us, we’re always looking for as many wins as possible for our clients, communities, and the planet. Bringing home the third win for deconstruction is its environmental benefits. Deconstruction is the green alternative to demolition.

Demolition typically tears down a structure as fast, and shall we say recklessly, as possible, with little to no regard for salvaging materials. That means most, if not all, demolition materials are then deemed as complete waste and shipped off to overflowing landfills. On the flip side, deconstruction strategically takes structures apart with the goal of reusing materials for other structures and even completely different applications. At the very least, if deconstruction materials are deemed unfit for reuse, they’ve at least been taken apart in a manner that allows them to be more easily recycled, enabling them to be remade into like-new construction materials.

So, the ultimate goal is always to reduce the volume of new materials used across all types of residential and commercial construction. But, even with the most strategic and well-executed deconstruction projects, with as much material preserved for reuse as possible, contractors, developers, and construction managers will inevitably need additional materials to complete their new structure.

For those times when purely deconstructed materials can’t be used, the next best alternative is green building materials. The goal of using green building materials is to construct energy-efficient structures that minimize impact on our environment. This is the first part in our blog series on leading green building materials, their characteristics, and their beneficial impact.

Green Building Materials used in Construction

Earthen Materials

Earthen materials include adobe, cob, and rammed earth. These materials have been used for ages. And we’re finding more ways to reintegrate them into mainstream construction and reconstruction. For example, chopped straw, grass, and other fibrous materials can be added to enhance strength and durability.

These materials are often seen in more remote areas (for example, desertscapes), often due to the lack of availability or higher expense of certain materials in those areas. But there are many ways we can start to integrate more earthen materials in high-populous, suburban and urban areas.

Engineered Wood

Wood is one of the most common building materials used globally. While the process of converting raw timber to wood boards and planks for construction can lead to waste, timber byproducts can be used to make structural parts like walls, boards, doors, etc. in the form of engineered wood. Engineered wood contains different layers of wood. For example, the middle layers are made of wood scraps, softwoods, wood fibers, etc. There’s no sight of wood losing its popularity as a common construction material, which emphasizes the growing importance for comprehensive forest stewardship and replanting.

Stay tuned for the next part in our Green Building Materials blog series.

In the meantime, if you’d like expert guidance on deconstruction and the use of green building materials for construction, Contact Green Donation Consultants or call today at 800-870-3965 to speak with our team.

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