Photo courtesy of PlanetReuse
Building green is my passion. Do you think I became a LEED AP1 for the heck of it? Although I may not talk about green building products as much on the website as many of my green building aficionados would like, it is always in my heart and my ears perk up every time I hear about a new green building product.
For many of you that are new to the blog, you may not know about my green building journey. Four years ago, we completed our energy star house, which contained many eco-friendly materials. My main focus was to build a house using nontoxic building products. With the exception of my fireplaces, I would have never thought of using salvaged building materials. I was building new, not renovating an old house.
When I started Green Talk, one of my first stories was about Build it Green NYC, a 17,000 square foot depository of salvaged and builder over-runs ranging from Kohler plumbing, Pergo flooring, Jacuzzis, and too many kitchen cabinets to count. Just as an aside, I made a video about the center in conjunction with the article. Once I saw my “big hair,” a term my sister uses to describe my hair, on the video, it was chopped off that month! Talk about a need for a make-over.
Once I was at the center (big hair and all,) I could not believe how inexpensive these wonderful materials were. The added bonus was buying and using them was so ϋber-green. Going to Build it Green NYC changed my life. (I am not talking about just my new shorter hairdo) I started to buy salvaged furniture and lighting. Most of my new furniture for the house came from Craigslist, EBay, and garage sales as well as local antique and vintage dealers.
Scrolling through my Twitter home page the other day, Elaine, a green building specialist and one of the people I follow mentioned PlanetReuse, in one of her tweets. I was intrigued with the thought of another material re-use company. Just think. PlanetReuse was another source to search for treasures, and to add to my other sources listed on my Build it Green article. I was in heaven. (For an explanation of what is Twitter and tweets read footnote 2 below.)
I knew from the moment I saw PlanetReuse’s slogan, “Welcome to the Re-movement,” this material exchange company was going to be different. Planet Reuse is a material brokerage company helping to connect architects, builders, home owners, and designers with requested salvaged material with those companies or individuals who wish to divert materials from landfills. According to the website, construction waste amounts to 40% of global yearly waste or 34,000,000,000 tons a year.
The brains behind this unique website are Bradley Hardin, a seasoned architect and LEED AP, Nathan Benjamin, with 11 years in the construction business and a LEED AP, and Daniel Fox, a web usability expert. They have created a website where it is easy to list your material requests and materials you wish to dispose of for free.
The Company helps to locate the requested materials through its global partners, submits samples to the requesting party, and supplies necessary documentation for LEED certification. Using salvage material and/or diverting them from landfills by offering them through material exchanges help builders, architects, and owners to receive LEED credits.
With regards to materials that companies wish to dispose of, Planet Reuse helps locate a home for these materials at no cost. On the Company’s material disposal list, for example, are antique bricks, maple flooring, and reclaimed white oak barn wood looking for new homes.
In addition, the Company offers deconstruction consulting service to building professionals and municipalities to evaluate which materials from demolition projects can be reclaimed, reused and recycled for other commercial and municipal projects.
There are numerous benefits to using salvaged materials. Their use lowers the building’s carbon footprint since the materials already exist rather than needing to be manufactured. Moreover, many salvaged materials such as reclaimed floors, beams, and moldings, for example, are made of quality materials and details which do not exist anymore or are very expensive to re-create. Using these materials lowers building costs since they can be cheaper than new materials. Disposing of your building over-runs or salvaged materials through Planet Reuse will reduce disposal costs and less will be diverted to landfills.
According to their blog, the website is being overhauled to create a more user friendly site experience. In the meantime, list your needs, peruse the site for one of a kind treasures, or add building materials that need to be disposed of. Don’t see what you want, contact them.
PlanetReuse creates the perfect ying and yang to keep salvaged materials out of landfills and being re-used in building projects. A win-win for everyone, wouldn’t you say?
1A LEED AP is defined as follows: “LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and the LEED Rating System” according to the United States Green Building Council.
2Twitter is like Gmail meets chat rooms. People provide short snippets (no more than 140 characters) of their lives from what they are doing to engaging questions. You can follow who you like. In addition, every time I post a Green Talk article, it is picked up on my Twitter page providing my content to a larger group of people. For a great explanation of Twitter watch this really short video. Even if you don’t have a blog or website, join. It is addicting. I actually find a lot of information for my website from people like Elaine.