Deconstruction involves the careful teardown of a building that its property owner no longer needs. Some buildings are completely deconstructed to their foundation. Others are partially deconstructed. In all circumstances, deconstruction is a preferred alternative to demolition. This is because most materials in a building are deconstructible and because property owners can take advantage of many benefits like tax breaks.
Many organizations already have or are taking advantage of the benefits deconstruction has for them and the environment. Let’s go over some organizations worldwide who are doing deconstruction projects this year.
Colorado State University’s Hughes Stadium
In early October, Colorado State University’s Board of Directors approved the demolition or deconstruction of its former football stadium which hosted games for 49 seasons. The University recently opened a new larger stadium, that opened this past summer. However, Hughes Stadium’s future was in question. Though some people in the Fort Collins, Colorado community wanted to see the facility repurposed as a concert venue, the University decided that a deconstruction or demolition project would be more beneficial.
The deconstruction of Hughes Stadium could take as long as 14 months and could cost as much as $6 million. It is not difficult to see why the deconstruction process can take months. First stadium has seating for over 32,000 people and is on a 160 acre plot of land. There are also many parts within the stadium that can be reused such as copper wiring, kitchen and plumbing equipment, and much more. Removing these fixtures safely takes much more time than a straight demolition.
The Georgia Dome in Atlanta
The Georgia Dome in Atlanta was once the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and hosted other major sporting events like NCAA Tournament basketball games. Now, the Falcons moved to a new stadium and the dome itself is scheduled for implosion on November 20.
Before the implosion though, much of the Georgia Dome has been deconstructed. The Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Falcons’ new home, has many deconstructed components from the Georgia Dome. Other items are on sale. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, many items of the Georgia Dome are on sale to fans as memorabilia, such as actual seats, turf, and other fixtures. What this project shows is that deconstructed materials aren’t always put in another building. In some cases, like sports facilities, they can be re-used as memorabilia for those who want a piece of history.
The Missoula Mercantile Building in Missoula, Montana
Last spring and summer, the former Missoula Mercantile building was taken down to make way for a new Marriott hotel in the city’s downtown area. Though many people in the area were sad to see the building go, many parts within the Missoula Mercantile building were either saved as memorabilia or for future construction use.
According to the Missoulian, there is a large amount of dimensional lumber in the building that is valuable for other construction projects. And despite the building’s age, the lumber was still very high quality.
The former Northland Regional Council Harbour Board building in Whangarei, New Zealand
We are based in the United States, but deconstruction projects are happening all over the world! We head over to Whangarei, a city in Northern New Zealand where a former building for the Northland Regional Council (NRC) will be deconstructed. Furthermore, most of the material from the building will be used for the upcoming Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery.
The upcoming Art Centre is named after Frederick Hundertwasser, an Austrian artist and philanthropist. Though Hundertwasser himself passed away in 2000, he was involved in another deconstruction project during his lifetime. The Hundertwasser Toilets in Kawakawa is a public restroom that is made of recycled materials from the local community. Also, some of the bricks in the facility come from an old bank. The public restroom is functionally like any other restroom you go to. However, it is environmentally friendly and a work of art in its own right.
The Rotorua Museum in Rotorua, New Zealand
A major 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the northern part of New Zealand in November 2016. Along the way, the earthquake damaged many older buildings, including the historic Rotorua Museum. Unfortunately, the museum is still closed due to the earthquake.
According to the Rotorua Daily Post, the government is reviewing several options to repair the facility. One of them involves deconstruction of one wing in the facility. Though deconstruction is expected to cost the most, it will be compliant with the country’s building codes.
One of the challenges of deconstruction involves cost. Crews are not just destroying and clearing a property — they are carefully dismantling a building instead. Furthermore, in the United States, deconstructed materials are tax-deductible.
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