Deconstruction is the process of strategically disassembling a building and maximizing the salvage of building materials for reuse and recycling. Many vacant and abandoned buildings that are slated for demolition contain high-quality building materials and, by deconstructing them vs. standard demolition, several benefits can be realized: (1) jobs creation - deconstruction takes more people and more time, with a greater potential profit, (2) reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfills, (3) increased environmental abatement practices through meticulous disassembly, and (4) support for local waste salvage and reuse markets.
Coalition partners and members are working to build a robust deconstruction program for vacant and abandoned buildings:
DECONSTRUCT STL: PROGRAM OUTLINE
OCTOBER 2017: Exploratory Site Visit by the Delta Institute (funded by EPA) to determine the potential feasibility for deconstruction in St. Louis, followed by a convening of approximately 50 stakeholders to discuss next steps, and a recommendation from Delta and the EPA to move forward with program development.
APRIL 2019: Release of the Regional Market Assessment for Deconstruction, completed by Delta Institute with funding from the Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority (EIERA).
1. Vacant Building Inventory & Creating a Selection Process: Reviewing candidate structures to determine the amount and types that are eligible for deconstruction, and creating a standardized system for reviewing structures to determine whether they should be demolished or deconstructed (which can be applied City-wide and/or regionally).
2. Contractor Training (including Deconstruction Certification): St. Louis Community College's Workforce Development program will provide training to existing demolition contractors. Training will include both classroom and on-site portions and will culminate in certification through the Building Material Reuse Association (BMRA) - the sole deconstruction certification association in the nation.
3. Deconstruction Pilot Program: The program will be tested and reviewed through the pilot deconstruction of 20-30 vacant and abandoned buildings.
4. Post-Pilot Comparative Analysis: Data will be collected from both the deconstruction pilot and from comparable structures that are demolished using standard practices. The analysis will compare costs and benefits, including materials diverted from landfills, materials salvaged and reused, and employment and wage information. The results will inform continued program development.
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Mayor's Office of Resilience // Missouri Department of Conservation // St. Louis Community College Workforce Solutions // City of St. Louis Building Division // St. Louis Development Corporation // Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 // Missouri Department of Natural Resources // Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority // Delta Institute // Refab STL