Tales From the Road (and the Air)

Road and AirI started the month of May in Sacramento, working with TRP Area Manager Kristin Williams and Larry Liedelmeyer of the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps (SRCC), a YouthBuild affiliate. Larry and the SRCC have become certified TRP trainers, and recent graduates of Larry's deconstruction training classes are using their skills to soft-strip dozens of houses at Beale Air Force Base. The materials are going to the SRCC Re-Use Store for local distribution.

From Sacramento, I took a short drive to Tahoe where I spent a day skiing at Northstar. As you may remember, TRP deconstructed the historic Clock Tower at Northstar a few years ago, to make way for the largest resort development in the country at that time. Due to recent snowfalls, skiing conditions on the mountain were near perfect -- whoopee.

The next day I was in my favorite U.S. city, Chicago, meeting with a Cook County environmental commissioner about waste diversion strategies. Bob Hudson and Elise Zelechowski of the Delta Institute arranged the meeting and invited TRP Regional Manager Ken Ortiz and myself to participate. Cook County handles the vast majority of building and demolition permits for smaller cities in the area, and the department is looking for ways to reduce the solid waste stream and increase deconstruction activity. Our suggestion that they create a deconstruction permit as an alternative to the traditional demolition permit was well received. The deconstruction permit, which could be implemented later this year, would be available over the counter and independent of the new building permit, thereby eliminating time constraints that often preclude deconstruction.

Next stop, Kansas City, Missouri, another favorite city, where I worked with a group of highly energized people on workforce development. The group included the Mid-America Regional Council, including representatives of the Full Employment Council, the Green Impact Zone, local community colleges and the city's Dangerous Buildings and Vacant Property Division.

With the able assistance of Habitat for Humanity-KCMO, TRP then conducted a two-day, "Introduction to Deconstruction" workshop for 20 contractors. The purpose of the training was to pre-qualify potential contractors to deconstruct dozens of buildings beginning in July. The contractors who are eventually selected by the city will be required to hire TRP-trained deconstruction workers, who will have been selected for training by the Full Employment Council from unemployed populations in the neighborhoods where the work occurs.

The following week I was back on the West Coast, training demolition contractors in Los Angeles who hope to become TRP certified in deconstruction. Their training began on a 3,100 square-foot house with over 2,000 square feet of well-constructed garages, circa 1951. The first load of materials was received by our Los Angeles retail-warehouse on May 21.

Finally, a quick drive down the 405 freeway took me to Long Beach, where Wes Harding of Harding Construction was putting the finishing touches on the ReUse Haus, a modular backyard structure that we'll be auctioning off at the 2011 AltBuild Expo, May 6-7 in Santa Monica. Wes is a TRP partner and green construction expert. (See below for additional information about the Expo and auction.)

Special Event Reminders
AltBuild 8th annual Expo, Santa Monica CA, May 6 and 7, 2011. www.altbuildexpo.com/ This year the Expo will feature building-materials reuse, and TRP will hold a silent auction for the "ReUse Haus," a modular backyard structure built of predominantly used materials. Bidding opens at 10:00 a.m. Friday May 6 and closes at 3:00 p.m. Saturday May 7. We'll announce the winner at 4:15 Saturday. Look for the bid forms at the ReUse Haus booth.

Building Materials Reuse Association conference, DECON 11, New Haven CT, May 15-19. www.bmra.org/events/conference This conference has something for everyone. There will be four tracks of presentations over three days, including multiple presentations and training sessions on sustainable communities, deconstruction, materials reuse and C&D recycling. In addition, attendees can sign up for a tour of five local sites featuring green-building, deconstruction and reuse models and resources.

2011 Reuse Contest
If you manage a California store that sells reusable building materials and would like to reward and incentivize your customers (while having fun), be sure to join our statewide Reuse Contest. The winner from your store will automatically be entered in the statewide competition. There, a jury will select first, second and third-place winners who will receive valuable (new, not used) building products and be featured at green-building shows around the state. Contact Mike Yurish and see our website flyer for information and contest details.

New Inventory

The Oakland warehouse has just received all of the solid wood cabinetry from a very large kitchen, in excellent condition; and a huge shipment of 12x12 brick-toned pavers.


At the Los Angeles (Pacoima) warehouse, we just received a large cherry wood kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, all in beautiful condition. This complete kitchen will sell quickly, so don't miss out.

  New inventory at our partnering warehouses:
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