Such deconstruction, instead of simple demolition, employs 6-8 times more people, the program focuses on people with barriers to employment, and the reclaimed wood (which accounts for “more than 10% of annual waste material in the US.”) is then purchased at market prices to be used in the making of furniture.
This creates a closed-loop system where old wood is diverted from waste streams, creating something new and beautiful, whilst reducing the need for raw materials.
Even better for the surrounding community, once the derelict buildings have been stripped of wood and then demolished, the Parks and People Foundation helps them envision what they want to put in the buildings’ place.
The abandoned buildings are transformed into green spots for the community, perhaps a park, an amphitheatre, a flower garden or a farmers market. An added benefit of deconstruction is that it costs far less to create a park or other infrastructure on one of these blocks compared to a demolished block.
And lets repeat that this is done in collaboration with the US Forestry Service, which makes it such an excellent example of how organizations need to re-invent themselves and think of innovative solutions. Reclaiming wood saves some trees, fitting their mission, and they do it in a completely unexpected setting, helping out these urban communities in the process.