Deconstruction: Economic Advantages For Connecticut

June 11, 2017

Deconstructing barns requires jobs, produces materials, that create local products that require local manufacturing workers, and support local retail outlets, that either sell the raw reclaimed product or the goods manufactured out of the raw product. All within Connecticut. And some products manufactured here are exported out of state ,bringing more money into the local economy.

IMG_4313 IMG_4322 IMG_6294     IMG_4346reclaimed_pine_entry_bench_1Local retail outlets for local products



It is important to understand the local economic advantages of deconstruction. Our current project, dismantling two historic tobacco barns in Windsor Locks is a timely example.First,note that these buildings are historic,  and every attempt was made to keep them in place. But if the buildings must go -saving all of the buildings materials,as  in this case,  is the next best option. First of all, American Honda Motor Company, Inc, is a business located in Windsor Locks and is supporting this project ( see press release here ). The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation is being supported in their preservation work. Not only does this allow for the recovery of these barns, but supporting The Trust supports other historic preservation work. ,for when  we can save the buildings in historic structures. And note that preserving historic structures has a direct positive economic impact. See this publication for more information: Investment in Connecticut:The Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation 

Meanwhile the deconstruction process still has a demolition and waste hauling component ( jobs), though much smaller that it would be in a typical demolition ( less waste). The big difference is that around 85% or more of the materials will be recovered and the value of those materials will support the jobs required to engage in the deconstruction, and sales of those materials . Selling these materials pays for Urbanminers to recover them. Some of these materials will be sold directly from our retail outlet at Fairhaven Furniture in New Haven, ( or online at  Urbanminers on line store to directly buy the barn board  from this project .) These direct retail sales typically represent a local homeowner or artist engaged in some small scale DIY project. But for example, a quantity of barn siding was just sold to a local company that manufactures furniture out of reclaimed materials, So this company is purchasing their raw materials right here in Hamden Ct., that are sourced from Windsor Locks Ct. They might have otherwise had to purchase materials manufactured perhaps even in another country,  from an out of state company. Instead all of that purchase money ,whether retail or wholesale, is directly and indirectly supporting local business. As it is ,The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation,  Urbanminers  and Urbanwoodandsteel  all  happen to be Hamden ,Ct, based businesses.

This is just one example of many of materials salvaged within Connecticut supporting local Connecticut businesses, while at the same time reducing Connecticut’s overall waste output. The advantages for deconstruction also apply to residential structures, of course, including barns, garages, houses and sheds. And they are not necessarily historic. Sometimes very new buildings need to be removed and they also provide valuable materials for reuse.  If we reclaimed more of the materials from the buildings that we otherwise cannot save , more raw materials and manufactured products would be produced within Connecticut, stimulating job growth, including construction, manufacturing and retail jobs.