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Even with surging interest in green building and sustainability, new construction and renovation projects in New York continue to deplete vast quantities of resources. Remodeling, in particular, is a double-edged sword--the new house consumes materials, the demolition of the old structure generates debris.

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Source: BUILDING PRODUCTS Magazine
Publication date: March 19, 2007

By Nigel F. Maynard

Even with surging interest in green building and sustainability, new construction and renovation projects continue to deplete vast quantities of resources. Remodeling, in particular, is a double-edged sword--the new house consumes materials, the demolition of the old structure generates debris.

You can build efficiently with sustainable products, and many pros do, but reusing building materials salvaged from old structures is yet another way to help Mother Earth. The concept is simple: The tons of usable materials that already exist in commercial and residential applications can be carefully deconstructed, cleaned up, and reused in new buildings.

Recycling in this manner is an old tradition, but the practice has grown as an increasing number of builders and architects consider it the ultimate sustainability strategy. "Using something old is often easier on the environment than buying new," Jennifer Roberts writes in Redux: Designs That Reuse, Recycle, and Reveal (Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2005).

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