William Wood

Habitat Deconstructed

"Habitat Deconstructed will mobilize diverse groups of volunteers in order to take an aggressive approach to preventing usable building materials from being disposed of in the landfill. The conservation goal that will be targeted by this project is reducing energy use through the reuse of building materials. The amount of embodied energy in building materials is rarely considered when a house is torn down, but if one considers the life cycle of a piece of two-by-four lumber, he or she will realize that significant energy is applied to harvesting, milling, and transporting it prior to its use. A similar analysis of nearly any building material will reveal that every window, door, or kitchen cabinet has a carbon footprint. By reducing the demand for ""new"" materials by increasing the supply of used ones, energy conservation is increased in a way that is economically sustainable, as the sales of used building materials perpetually fund their further salvage.

Activities include using groups of volunteers to remove cabinets, doors, flooring, and other fixtures from buildings that are being remodeled or demolished. The reblending of latex paint into a reusable product will also be conducted. Volunteers from diverse community organizations will be engaged to energize their constituencies about conservation. Expected results include using at least six groups on either a salvage project or paint reblending to undertake a minimum of 10 projects in one year (some groups are expected to repeat). Volunteer leaders will be sought out to further expand the program's capacity.

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