Creative Destruction of the Built Environment

Reuse in Durham NCIn this very interesting political season, you've probably seen or heard the term, "creative destruction." It's been used repeatedly in reference to the process by which Bain Capital and other private equity firms dismantle struggling companies to allow for their reorganization and rebirth -- or, in some cases, demise. Ah, the Phoenix Rising!

While most often used relative to business and economics, creative destruction is a generic term representing a generic concept. In fact, the ongoing destruction and renewal of the built environment is a form of creative destruction.

An early manifestation of creative destruction in the U.S. can be seen in the rise of the industrial revolution, when vast amounts of capital were invested in technology, factories and machinery. To build the required infrastructure often necessitated the destruction of smaller enterprises, communities and even natural landscapes. New, modern buildings were then erected to replace the old ones -- the creative part of the process.

Evidence of creative destruction can be seen wherever new buildings rise in place of old ones. I thrill at the sight of cutting-edge structures going up. It isn't just the buildings themselves that spark my excitement, but everything they represent: good jobs, better living, and functional, beautifully designed workplaces.

Of course, not all innovative new buildings involve the destruction of old ones, but many do, particularly in urban areas where scarce open space is conscientiously preserved.

Whenever older buildings must come down, we in the deconstruction and reuse business can add substantially to the creative part of the process (assuming there is one) by salvaging the building materials so they can be resold and reused. Reclaimed building materials find numerous creative uses. They allow homes to be rebuilt and remodeled, neighborhoods to be refurbished, and families to get more mileage from limited budgets, to name the most obvious outcomes. Then, of course, we also enjoy a cleaner environment and less energy consumption.

To get an idea how TRP customers creatively reuse salvaged building materials, take a look at some of the past winners of our annual Reuse Contests (see here).

While you're at it, please consider entering the 2012 contest yourself – and share the idea with your friends!

And just a reminder: TRP also helps create jobs for unemployed and underemployed workers through our various training programs — and we regularly spread the word about deconstruction through a variety of consulting services. Learn more on our website.

New Inventory

The Oakland warehouse recently received a shipment of vertical-grain, pre-hung interior doors. If you're thinking about replacing the doors in your home, come check these out.



At the Los Angeles (Pacoima) warehouse has received the following new items, all in excellent condition and sure to go quickly: vintage 1950s pedestal bathroom sink; hand-carved, pine fireplace surround; pine doorway moldings; knotty pine kitchen cabinets, about 15 years old.



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