Deconstruction: a green alternative to demolition - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Deconstruction: a green alternative to demolition

Quinn Vittum Quinn Vittum

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - There's been a lot of talk lately about going green when it comes to building a home. But did you know there is also a greener way to go when it comes time to tear down your house or business?

Say you have an old home, and you want to knock it down and put up a new one. In the past, you didn't have much choice, it got demolished.

But now, homeowners can reduce what goes into the landfill by deconstructing their old home.

The Re-Use Hawaii crew is hard at work on a Diamond Head house.

But they're not building it, they're taking it apart.

"We start with the fixtures, drywall, and things that were put in last and we go to the roof and deconstruct all the way to the ground," said Co-executive Director, Quinn Vittum.

Re-Use Hawaii, is a non-profit organization that recycles building materials, which are then resold and re-used. And there is plenty in a old home like this.

"Typically it ranges from 60-85 % of the volume of the house that we can reuse," said Vittum.

If the home was demolished, the waste would fill up twenty construction dumpsters, all destined for the landfill. But Re-Use Hawaii will only need 5 for the stuff it can't salvage.

Deconstruction may initially cost more than a demolition, but home owners get more than just a good feeling at the end, they also get a tax break.

"At the end of the year they get a tax deduction for the market value of their donation and on some of these houses it can be substantial," added Vittum.

This is not only a greener way to go for homeowners, but workers also get a sense of satisfaction from saving the environment.

One 'used' board at a time.

"We're all ecstatic that we're spending our days making a difference for the community. We'll be doing it for a lot longer and hopefully getting more people involved and teaching the concept," said Vittum.

Re-Use Hawaii has only been around for a year, but as more businesses and homeowners find out about this green way to take apart additions or even whole buildings, the number of jobs is steadily increasing.

Powered by Frankly