1 DECEMBER 2002
conserves natural resources. The availability of natural resources varies from region to
region. Where these resources are scarce, an active resale industry exists. Regions
with high demand and markets for used materials include the West Coast (California,
Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Idaho) and the southwest (Arizona, New Mexico,
Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana).
Recovering materials for reuse has a high potential to reduce the cost for building
removal. However, there is relatively little potential of generating income through reuse.
The value of recovered material along with reduced dump fees can enable a contractor
to reduce the bid price for demolition. Case studies show that recovery and reuse of
components can yield a cost avoidance of a few cents to or per square foot of
3-1.4 Deconstruct (Cost). Initial costs for deconstruction are relatively high. Based
on case studies, the cost for deconstruction can add up to an additional to per
square foot of building floor area. The single most expensive element of deconstruction
is labor. Careful dismantling is labor intensive. Other costs include equipment rental,
storage of materials before resale, and transportation of materials.
However, decreased costs from avoided time and expense needed to bring heavy
machinery to a job site, salvage values, and reduced disposal costs can make
deconstruction a viable alternative to conventional demolition. Case studies show that
the sale of recovered materials could offset expenses by to per square foot of
building floor area. When the costs associated with long-term landfill life are
considered, deconstruction is the preferable method. In an area with high tipping fees
and well-established end-use markets, it may even be possible to profit from the
deconstruction of a building.
TIME. If time is critical, then conventional demolition may be the only feasible
option. Other methods require additional time for contract development, salvage, on-
site waste separation and waste removal. "Time is money." For recycling to be feasible,
the additional time spent segregating waste must be offset by the revenue of materials
and reduced disposal costs for alternative methods of building removal.
3-2.1 Demolish (Time). Mechanical demolition is the most time efficient method in
terms of physical work. It requires the least amount of on-site labor hours. Mechanical
demolition yields a commingled pile of debris that can be quickly loaded up and hauled
away. Unless there is some contaminated debris requiring mitigation, a demolition
operation can be completed within a matter of days as opposed to weeks or even
months with some other methods.
3-2.2 Recycle (Time). There is no specific time disadvantage to removing materials
for recycling if all debris is removed and separated off-site. The time required for on-site
removal and separation increases depending on the degree of separation. To save
time, a salvage outlet may be contracted to pick up and haul away the materials from