Deconstruction and ReuseFREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s) Have questions about deconstruction and building materials reuse? Like how to get your contractor on board? What materials are reusable? Or how to use reclaimed materials in your next project? This guide can provide some helpful tips to get you started!
On the Road to Reuse: Residential Demolition Bid Specification Development Tool EPA Region 5 report and bid specification development tool for use by cities, counties or land banks undertaking large-scale residential demolitions.
Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) The BMRA is a 501c3 non-profit educational and research organization whose mission is to facilitate building deconstruction and the reuse and recycling of recovered building materials. The BMRA provides educational resources, a national industry directory and annual conferences bringing together diverse practitioners from around the world.
Delta Institute Go-Guide to Deconstruction and Reuse Delta Institute just released a second edition of the Green Opportunity (GO) Guide to Deconstruction and Reuse. This helpful guide provides an overview of the deconstruction and reuse market, existing policy strategies, and provides resources for contractors, policymakers, workforce development agencies and retailers.
EPA Deconstruction Resources This primer on deconstruction offers tips for salvage activities, ideas for reclaimed wood, and advice on when to reuse over when to recycle.
City of Chicago’s guide to C+D debris recycling Issued by the city government, this guide covers best practices, recycling rules and regulations, and general information on C+D debris.
City of Chicago Salvage Guide A handbook on salvaging in the city.
Cook County 2012 Solid Waste Management Plan
Design/BuildDesign with Reuse Primer A guide to designing with reuse from Public Architecture
Recycling In Chicago
Chicago Recycling Guide A to Z will help you find out if your materials are recyclable, lists local drop off points or alternative suggestions.
Deconstruction & Reuse Facts
- The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that as much as 8,000 pounds of construction and demolition (C+D) debris is produced for every 2,000 square feet of house. A 1995 NAHB survey estimated that builders pay an average of $500 per home for waste removal. —RCRA in Focus: Construction, Demolition and Renovation, EPA 2004
- According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, building-related construction and demolition debris total more than 136 million tons/ year or nearly 40% of the C+D and municipal solid waste stream. —Environmental Protection Agency, “What’s In A Building,” 1999
- The EPA estimates that building demolitions account for 48% of the waste stream, or 65 million tons per year. Renovations account for 44%, or 60 million tons per year. 8% of the waste stream, or 11 million tons per year, is generated at new construction sites.
- About 245,000 residential structures and 44,000 commercial structures are demolished each year in the United States. —Environmental Protection Agency, “Characterization of Building-Related Construction and Demolition Debris in the United States,” 1998
- According to the EPA, building-related construction and demolition debris total more than 136 million tons/year or nearly 40% of the C+D and municipal solid waste stream. —Environmental Protection Agency, “What’s In A Building,” 1999
- In 2003, the total C+D waste stream for that year was estimated to be at 325 million tons. —RCRA in Focus: Construction, Demolition and Renovation, EPA 2004
- In 1979, there were an estimated 18,500 landfills in the country. In 1990 there were only about 6,300, and by 1995 it was estimated that only about 3,000 would still be open. In just 16 years the number of landfills dropped by 84%. During that same time there was an 80% increase in the amount of trash generated.
- According to the U.S. Geological Survey, new construction consumes 60% of all materials used in the nation’s economy every year, excluding food and fuel. —“OSWER Innovation Project Success Story: Deconstruction”, EPA, Nov 2009
- The Institute for Local Self-Reliance estimates deconstruction could divert up to 24 million tons of demolition waste each year for reuse.