Yale University to Host BMRA Conference

Yale University Marsh HallIf you are interested in building-materials salvage and/or deconstruction -- and your subscription to this e-letter tells me you are -- then you should check out the Building Materials Reuse Association DECON ‘11 conference and, if possible, attend. This year’s event is May 15-19 on the campus of Yale University, New Haven CT. To learn the particulars, visit www.BMRA.org

In addition to outstanding sessions, speakers and exhibitors, the Yale campus alone is worth a visit. Walking the campus and surrounding area is like taking a trip back in time. The architecture of the university buildings and adjacent residences is breathtaking. As a deconstruction practitioner and salvager of building materials I practically drool.

About a year ago, as a guest lecturer, I addressed a public audience at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The following day I led a tour of a Yale building to show what materials TRP would salvage if that building were to be deconstructed. We were not allowed to tour a building that was actually slated for demolition for fear the group’s enthusiasm for reuse would bring pressure on Yale’s construction department and the demolition contractor. Instead, the university insisted that we tour a historic building that could neither be demolished nor deconstructed -- Marsh Hall. Originally built by O.C. Marsh, the first paleontology instructor at Yale (and the first such instructor in the U.S.), this grand old three-story redstone house is now used for lecture, laboratory and office space.

Because it was decreed an official New Haven Landmark, the integrity of Marsh Hall is carefully preserved. When drafty, energy-sapping windows needed to be replaced, the university used the Bi-Glass system, which is designed for use in historic buildings. The original window frameworks were retained, as were the sashes. Once the old frames had been removed, repaired, and replaced with new insulation and caulking, original latches and hardware were cleaned, repaired and reinstalled. At the same time, a double glazing of insulated thermal glass replaced the old single panes. For preservationists interested in more information about this process, Bi-Glass is the name of the Connecticut company that did the work.

Back to DECON ’11. 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.

I look forward to seeing folks I have not seen in years and others with whom I’ve had only a telephone acquaintance to date. If you attend, be sure to say hello.

Also coming up is AltBuild Expo, May 6-7 in Santa Monica. www.AltBuildExpo.com. This year the Expo will feature building-materials reuse and TRP will be auctioning off its model “ReUse Haus,” a modular backyard structure built of predominantly reused materials.

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 received several beautiful stainless steel appliances, including a 48-inch Subzero, 48-inch Thermador Professional four-burner grill and griddle, 48-inch Best by Broan kitchen hood and Miele dishwasher.


The Los Angeles (Pacoima) warehouse, we're set to receive an entire gorgeous white kitchen with granite countertops. Call or come by for more details.



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