Deconstruction – Construction in Reverse

What Is Deconstruction and How Is It Done?

Demolition, completely tearing down an existing structure with no intention of reusing or recycling any of the materials, with the aim of making way for a new structure or the sale of the subsequent empty lot, is quick. But one should not be too quick to make the decision to demolish a structure. There are significant benefits to be enjoyed via the alternative to demolition. In many cases, if you need to remove an existing structure, deconstruction offers that strong alternative. 

What Is Deconstruction?

With demolition, the primary goal is to tear down a structure as quickly and efficiently as possible. Speed is among the top priorities, since the quicker the building is torn down, the lower the cost of labor. In addition, fewer specialists are required for demolition work since the goal is tear down the structure, not requiring any reverse engineering, and reducing overall costs. In general, there is typically little to no concern for the torn-down components and materials since they will be sent to a landfill, aside from removing any high-value items prior to demolition.

When we break down the meaning of deconstruction, it is construction in reverse. With deconstruction, great care is taken to preserve the structural integrity of all parts and materials. This care allows for the salvaging of materials, which can then be reused and recycled. Deconstructing essentially disassembles a building in a way that recovers the maximum amount of materials in a safe, environmentally conscious, and cost-effective manner. 

How Is Deconstruction Performed?

With deconstruction, the building is quite literally taken apart in the reverse order of how it was constructed, often referred to as “last on, first off” or LOFO. Whereas the mechanics of demolition can result in a degree of recyclable materials, the manner in which buildings are deconstructed offers the advantage of being exponentially more compatible with reuse. When done right, a significant amount of the salvaged items resulting from the deconstruction can be reused on the same site for a new building or sold (for example, to a developer, recycling center, or related manufacturer).

There has also been a steady increase in salvaged deconstructed materials being donated, which not only assists charitable organizations, but can also deliver significant tax benefits via sizable deductions. After as much material as possible has been recycled, sold, donated, or reused, the remaining non-salvageable items are then sent to a landfill. Since structures of all types and sizes can be taken apart, deconstruction is suitable for both total building removals as well as partial removals such as remodeling.

Want to learn more about deconstruction? Contact Green Donation Consultants at (800) 870-3965 for more information.