Deconstruction: reducing the costs to deconstruct blighted buildings
Olen, Michael E.
University of Wisconsin--Stout
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Demolition produces 90% of all Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris in the United States (EPA, 2018i). Milwaukee has been using mechanical demolition to remove blighted buildings and are simultaneously embracing deconstruction as an alternative to mechanical demolition. "In theory," Yogi Berra once said, "there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." This is more than just a famous quote repurposed as a bumper sticker you can buy on Amazon for $3.95 plus $4.99 shipping (Amazon, 2018), the quote captures the difficulty of a seemingly straightforward task of deconstructing a house. Deconstruction is defined as taking a structure apart in order to maximize the amount of material that can be reused. This simplistic definition however, does not consider the layers of regulated steps required to get the building materials to a retail market. A philosophical meaning of the word deconstruction can help us to understand how separating the building into its individual parts can educate us on the interdependencies of the parts. Ideally, decision makers can learn how structure, and its removal, impacts the surrounding community. This research looks at reducing the cost of deconstruction and increasing the benefit to the community at the same time.
Construction and demolition debris