Five Questions on Friday with Lovett Deconstruction
Lovett Deconstruction: Striving for Sustainable Building Material Reuse and Recycling
What is Lovett Deconstruction’s mission?
Lovett Deconstruction is a full-service deconstruction contractor whose mission is to encourage the reuse, repurpose, and/or upcycling of quality used building materials by disassembling built structures by hand in order to preserve the material’s integrity.
Who are your clients?
Our clients include developers, builders, contractors, and homeowners – basically, anyone who has a project in which they would like a building or individual rooms removed before beginning anew. In the case of an entire house being removed, we take everything down to the foundation, salvaging as much material as possible. In the case of individual rooms, such as a kitchen, we remove all of the appliances, fixtures, cabinets, countertops, doors, etc. for salvage, then remove walls and flooring back to the framing and subfloor, leaving a clean shell, ready for the remodel.
What can’t be reused or repurposed?
You can find die-hard DIYers find creative uses for nearly everything. That said, people don’t line up to reuse or repurpose plaster or drywall. Items that have the potential to contain hazardous materials, such as lead or asbestos, should also be disposed of according to DEQ regulations and not be repurposed. Other than that, the sky’s the limit – chimney bricks become raised garden beds, doors turn into workbenches, window weights can be landscape edging, and on and on.
Are there regulations changes you see in the future that will be beneficial?
Actually, the construction/deconstruction industry is currently going through a radical regulation change as it relates to the disposal of building materials in the Portland metro region. Though hazardous materials has, for decades, had very specific disposal regulations, transfer stations and landfills are now requiring all loads to be tested for asbestos before being dumped. The change has come due to the increased understanding of asbestos hazards and its historical propensity to be used in every type of building material (the natural occurring mineral is amazingly heat resistant, which is a huge plus when building structures to not burn down). New rules will benefit the environment and community, but the transition has caught many builders – and homeowners – off guard as the testing and paperwork has increased dramatically. Because waste disposal is such a large part of what Lovett Deconstruction does, we have, and will continue to, stay abreast of the changes and make sense out of the regulations for our clients.
What are you optimistic about?
Early last year the City of Portland convened a Deconstruction Advisory Group to investigate ways to incentivize deconstruction over mechanical demolition. The group recommended, and City Council approved, a grant program offering up to $2500 for deconstruction to help offset the costs vs. using a bulldozer to raze the house. Though mildly successful, there was no real uptick in full house deconstructions over demolition. In response, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will be recommending to City Council that deconstruction be made mandatory for houses built in or before 1916. If successful, it could keep nearly a third of Portland’s demolished houses out of the landfill, as well as put used building materials back into the market. It is definitely an exciting time to be in the deconstruction industry.
Have more questions or want professional advice on buying or selling a home?
Contact us at [email protected] or (503) 926-5213. We’re here to address all your real estate needs!