Architects As Deconstruction ‘First Responders’

By Ted Reiff
This month I will be in Austin, presenting at the 2016 summer conference of the local chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIA). As you might expect, I'll be talking about deconstruction and its relationship to reuse, adaptive reuse and historic preservation.

A good deal of TRP outreach is directed at architects for three good reasons. First, much of their work involves existing structures that must be removed or substantially remodeled. Second, when projecting a timeline for clients, architects can easily include the additional days necessary to accomplish deconstruction. Third, people who hire architects tend to fall within higher income brackets, allowing them to take advantage of the tax benefits offered by TRP.

Over the years, TRP has developed strong relationships with numerous architects. In fact, when I was trying to secure TRP's maiden deconstruction project, my initial phone call was to an architect. We didn't get that particular job, but referrals from his firm have continued for 23 years.

In several instances, architects have written TRP deconstruction into their job specifications — you can't get better support than that. It would happen more often if more architects, particularly those who tout themselves as "green," would recognize and remember that the first opportunity to make environmentally responsible choices occurs when deciding how to remove the existing structure.

In 2012, a team of students from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA did some basic market research for us. A sampling of homeowners, some of whom chose deconstruction and some of whom did not, was surveyed, along with a random selection of alumni from the Anderson School. The response rate was unusually good–an astonishing 50 percent. One of the questions asked was, who was most influential in the decision to choose, or not choose, deconstruction. Several possible answers were offered, including "other." Results showed that the influence of architects was second only to that of general building contractors.

So, if you are a deconstruction-savvy architect, please accept my thanks, on behalf of TRP, for your persuasive words, forward thinking, support and referrals.

My question to readers is this: How can we get architects to be the number one influencers? Not that I have anything against general contractors, I just want to create a little friendly competition.

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Location and Contact Information

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Oakland
9235 San Leandro Street
Oakland, CA  94603
(510) 383-1983; toll-free 888-588-9490
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-6:00 Closed Sunday

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Los Angeles
3015 Dolores Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065
818-244-5635
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-5:00; Sat 10:00-4:00

Please visit our partnering warehouses:

The ReUse Warehouse
1400 East Geer Street
Durham, NC 27704
(919) 219-4913
Hours: Mon-Fri, 2:00-6:00; Sat, 9:30-5:00

Second Chance Building Materials Center
1423 West Grove Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 331-2707
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00-6:00; Sun, 12:00-5:00

Roaring Fork Valley Habitat for Humanity
7025 Hwy 82
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-7733
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10:00-5:30; Sat, 10:00-5:00; Sun, 11:00-4:00

Stardust Building Supply
3901 E. Thunderbird Road
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 459-9803
Hours: Mon-Sat, 8:00-6:00; Sun, 10:00-4:00

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salt Lake Valley,
1276 South 500 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 263-0136
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00am-6:00pm; closed Sunday

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Summit & Wasatch Counties
6280 N. Silver Creek Drive, Silver Summit, UT
(435) 487-9015
Hours: Wed-Sat 10:00-6:00; closed Sunday

Recycle Utah
1951 Woodbine Way Park City, UT 84060
(435) 649-9698
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:00-5:30; Sun 10:00-4:00

Reuse Depot
50 West Madison
Maywood, IL 60153
(708) 223-0502
Hours: Wed-Mon 10:00-6:00p; Closed Tuesdays

New England Reuse
400 Sackett Point Rd
North Haven, CT 06473
(203) 230-2638
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00p; Saturday 9:00-1:00p

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