deconstruction

Saving Concrete

Peter Amerongen is fond of saying "concrete is one of the most energy intensive things we do".  Or something to that effect.  By "we", he means humanity, and he's right:  read more... »

Scrap Metal (Part 1)

Metals are easier to recycle than many other substances. They can usually be melted down, and the quality of the end product is very high. This contrasts sharply with plastics, which always degrade to a substantailly lower-valued product when recycled.

Recycling metal is much more energy-efficient than mining it from scratch, so "mining" it from a house that's going to landfill is the right thing to do.

I've spent the past two workdays ripping metallic things out of the house that the Mill Creek NetZero Home will replace.  It's dirty work that pays very little.  read more... »

Give It Away

The Edmonton Earthcycle network is an unheralded success story. It's been around for years now, as a way to give and get free, unwanted things. With over 12,000 members and 200-250 messages (either offerings or request), it diverts an amazing amount of stuff from the landfill. And just imagine all of the great karma that it helps create!  read more... »

Hmmmm...fir

The old house at 9805 - 84th Avenue was built in 1910, so the property title says. Those were different and amazing times - I'm guessing that most houses had no indoor plumbing, and all heating was done by burning wood or coal in stoves.

As I deconstruct this house to make way for the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH), I've been encountering a lot of history. For example, when it was originally built, every square inch of the house was covered in 15-foot long, 3.25-inch wide planks of old-growth Douglas-fir.  read more... »