Sunday, February 22, 2009

Which of my building materials are recyclable?

Simple Answer - almost All of them

Through the deconstruction process, all materials can be reused or at least repurposed - keeping them away from the landfill. From lumber to pipes to appliances, tiles, plumbing and flooring, it can all be used again.

If you don't want to reuse it for its original purpose, you can repurpose it into something new. Such as: pieces of plywood into a toybox or birdhouse; Kitchen cabinets into a coffee table, or toybox/storage box; turn a drawer into a unique planter.... The possibilities left only to your imagination. Handles can be reused on other household projects or as decoration.

Many organizations, like Habitat for Humanity for example, will take unwanted, good condition for second use items off your hands as well. Habitat sells some of these items in their retail stores as funding; but also uses the items locally to build low-income affordable housing.

As for those materials foolishly thrown away, many waste management companies employ demolition recyclers, etc. to sift the real trash from the reusable. This saves space in the landfill which will slow the growing number of landfills.

So, be careful what you throw out...One person's trash really is another one's treasure.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Recycled Houses: Texas

There is a great need for low-income affordable housing between $20-50,000. In Texas, Brigid's Homesteading is helping people at a small scale build these houses out of recycled and salvaged material. 85% of the material used in these homes were on their way to the landfill or salvaged from local shops dumpsters.

The catch is, the home-owner has to "swing a hammer". A contractor volunteers a helping hand along with a small number of unskilled laborers.

Those who have had the chance to build their own homes through this organization are now using their acquired skills are now helping others build their own homes. So far 8 families's have built their homes using this initiative's help.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hi there.

In this blog you will find my senior project at Temple University.

I will be discussing salvage material use in renovation and construction of housing. This will cover ways to obtain and/or donate materials worthy of a second life, and methods of repurposing smaller materials into home decorations.

I will also be including links to articles and websites relating to salvaging and repurposing materials, including brief how-to's on small projects, and the benefits of reusing materials as a way to keep them out of landfills.

Also, you will be able to check out my partners' blogs as we collaboratively focus on the less familiar side of sustainable housing techniques. On their blogs you will find international sustainability techniques as well as an exploration of existing low impact sustainable housing projects.

Our goal is to draw your attention to these methods and hopefully get you interested in an effective and helpful way.

Please feel welcome to leave comment and suggestions.