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!

Reuse in Durham NCThe building materials reuse community is comprised of many individuals and groups – preservationists, contractors, policy wonks, developers, associations, reuse retailers, government agencies, and profit and nonprofit organizations. Most of the time these various entities fail to collaborate and cooperate. All too often they openly oppose one another.

The TSTC Deconstruct TeamA couple of weeks ago I was back in Harlingen, Texas, working with Texas State Technical College (TSTC) to train workers in deconstruction. As you may recall, my October 2011 post described this particular training program and the subsequent deconstruction and building-materials reuse at TSTC.

This year TRP is taking its popular Reuse Contest national. All company and affiliate warehouses throughout the country have been invited to participate. More than a dozen have already said they will. I will announce the names and locations of participating retail outlets in next month's e-letter.

TRP 2011 Contest Winners

Thank all the donors who helped TRP return thousands of tons of reusable building materials to the marketplace in 2011

I want to start the new year by thanking all the donors who helped TRP return thousands of tons of reusable building materials to the marketplace in 2011, keeping them out of overburdened landfills. I also want to thank the numerous TRP employees who made it a successful year. Many businesses (especially nonprofits) were not so fortunate.

The year unfolded somewhat differently than the one we envisioned and budgeted. That was probably true for most organizations in our business. What made the difference were the wild swings in deconstruction activity. The year started well, both for our crews and for TRP-certified contractors. However, by June, while our contractors continued to prosper, TRP's own crews had become idle. (I wanted to blame it on the Greeks, but was unable to connect the dots across thousands of miles and a lot of water.)

TRP 2011 Reuse ContestCongratulations to Chris and Melanie Warden for capturing the top prize in this year's reuse contest.
   The goal of the TRP-sponsored contest, now in its fourth year, is to publicly demonstrate what can be done with salvaged building materials, while applauding some of the creative people who actually make reuse happen. As in past years, this year's entries revealed eye-popping skill and aesthetic sensibility. It's always fun to look at the before-and-after photos, and it's always a challenge to rank them.

 

It's a sure bet that most businesses in our industry would jump at the chance to lower insurance costs, employee turnover and training demands, while at the same time improving their image and reputation. Well, as an 18-year veteran of the deconstruction industry, a licensed demolition contractor in California and a former general contractor, I've learned that improving safety is one of the surest ways to accomplish all of those aspirations.

How to Appraise Your AppraiserThis month I'm announcing the opening of two new partner retail-warehouses, one in Durham, North Carolina, and the other in West Haven, Connecticut. Both of these establishments have relationships with TRP that allow them to provide tax-deductible donation receipts for materials dropped off at their stores. In addition, both are eager to help homeowners, architects and contractors connect with local TRP-certified deconstruction contractors who can provide full-service deconstruction (as an alternative to demolition) on building-removal and remodeling projects.

How to Appraise Your AppraiserIt never fails. When a new business model is developed based on an older, established model, two things happen. First, older, entrenched businesses attempt to discredit, and in some cases demonize, the new model. Second, unscrupulous faux organizations spring up to make a quick buck off unsuspecting customers, even if it means flaunting the law.

Intelligent Expenditure of Tax DollarsTRP recently participated in a well conceived government program in Kansas City, MO, designed to relieve blight and recover reusable materials from abandoned homes. While this deconstruction program will continue for 18 more months, the people involved in its creation and successful kickoff deserve early recognition.

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