3 Benefits of Deconstruction – Environmental, Societal, and Financial
Deconstruction is a significant part of modern green building initiatives. The term might appear to be new, but this method of saving materials to be used for building new structures has been around for as long as construction. Material sourcing used to be primarily manual, necessitating intensive labor and thereby requiring more time, effort, and money. It is an enormous advantage to reuse materials whenever possible instead of demolishing. With a renewed focus on eco-conscious practices, we are experiencing a renewed focus on deconstruction.
Deconstruction Is a Driving Force behind Green Building Initiatives
There are a number of factors contributing to the resurgence of deconstruction. One of the most significant, and increasingly so, is building material scarcity—reduced raw material availability due to usage outpacing growth and production—which contributes to higher costs of primary building materials such as steel and oil. Material transportation costs are also increasing. Furthermore, landfills are now overflowing, requiring new landfill sites, which is a problem in and of itself, but also directly passes on higher fees to developers and property builders. Another green benefit of deconstruction is reduced pollution. We require less virgin material production when we use deconstructed materials, which inherently decreases pollution.
The resurgence of deconstruction is driven numerous positive influences. For example, the green building initiative emphasizes making a difference at the point of origin, slowing the pace of our natural resource usage. Next step in the chain of green building is material conservation and waste reduction. Not simply demolishing and sending materials to landfills, but taking structures apart in a way that enables materials to be reused.
Legislative Support for Deconstruction
While governing bodies have taken a long time to catch up with the construction industry, more and improved legislation is in play. For example, legislation now requires some construction debris to be diverted, making it unlawful to simply dispose of certain percentages of debris from construction demolition such as concrete, clean wood, asphalt, and metals. From this, we are seeing a positive upswing in the recycling industry, with more businesses assisting with debris diversion via recycling, using the old building materials to make new, recycled building materials or repurposing to make entirely new products.
The uptick in businesses serving the deconstruction and recycling industry also helps create more jobs throughout local communities. And as more organizations, businesses, homeowners, and workers come to rely on deconstructed materials, the demand for such materials also increases, which helps enhance the profitability and sustainability of deconstruction. And where demand typically increases costs, the cost of deconstructed materials remains inherently lower than the cost of new materials. This has helped countless low-income homeowners as well as developers of low-income housing projects secure vital materials at the discounts necessary to prevent buildings from falling into disrepair. This also has the cumulative effect of sustaining housing values throughout entire neighborhoods and communities.
Financial Benefit of Deconstruction
While on the one hand we have legislation tightening around debris disposal, on the other hand we have increasing legislation affording greater benefits for responsible deconstruction of buildings.
For example, tax payers can claim tax deductions for deconstruction materials they donate to charitable organizations. Whereas homeowners might traditionally need to pay for the demolition and disposal of their materials and face a total deficit, deconstruction allows them to enjoy a tax benefit that provides a viable economical alternative.
Deconstruction does not just benefit individual tax payers. Deconstruction provides vital help on a larger scale as well. Charitable organizations receiving donated deconstructed materials are able to repurpose materials and save significant costs for their own buildings, give deconstructed materials new life by redistributing them to low-income-project builders, and selling at a discount or donating to low-income homeowners.
If you would like to learn more about deconstruction, contact Green Donation Consultants at (800) 870-3965. We are happy to share more information about the process, costs, and tax benefits.