While early environmental efforts called for a “cradle to grave” mentality, today’s environmental thought leaders instead look for “cradle to cradle” solutions. Rather than looking at a product as something that should last for a lifetime, designers are now thinking about how to create items that are easy to recycle and reuse across several lifetimes. This approach is transforming entire industries, including our own. Contractors and industrial demolition services are collaborating to discover how to build green structures that are easy to deconstruct in an earth-friendly way.
Green Building Methods: Part 1 in a Green Building’s Lifespan
Across the building and demolition lifespan, green techniques are gaining traction. Just a few years ago, it was unusual for commercial buildings to seek LEED certification. Now even industrial buildings are likely to aim for this earth-friendly credential. The LEED system of Silver, Gold and Platinum rankings is based on a flexible point system, allowing even industrial buildings to find ways to qualify. Visit an industrial or commercial building today, and you’re likely to see earth-friendly building features such as water-retaining bio-swales, recycled carpet and natural light provided by clerestory windows.
Green Demolition Methods: Part 2 in a Green Building’s Lifespan
Once a building has worn out its utility and is slated for destruction, the property manager has another opportunity to choose the environmentally-friendly approach: green demolition. Many parts of modern buildings may be reused in new projects. Green demolition can be as simple as separating waste into distinct piles, or as complex as taking apart a structure by hand so as to preserve as much as possible. Here at Elder Demolition, we maintain specialized equipment to recycle concrete and scrap metal in all types of demolition, Oregon to Montana and all along the West Coast. Environmentally conscious demolition services can “go green” to earn reduced landfill credits for clients while also earning back project costs in the form of scrap metal and other salvaging efforts.
The Newest Green Building Technique: Designed for Eco-Friendly Destruction
Truly forward-thinking developers work with demolition experts from day one to select deconstruction-friendly building approaches. For instance, using conservative amounts of adhesives and sealants allows easier deconstruction down the road. Going forward, we anticipate more collaboration along these lines.
Overall, the demolition and construction industries are moving toward a “cradle to cradle” approach that considers how tomorrow’s generations will reuse today’s buildings.