Why is this important?
Our process involves the thorough documentation of the structure before it is removed. We pair this documentation with research on the history of the building and the lives that were lived inside its walls. Our research is shared with the public in our online archive, Re:Purposed Neighborhood, and attached to every piece of material we save. These histories help strengthen our sense of place and the arc of our changing city, and keep the memories of what was lost alive in our community.
Historic buildings in Savannah (and most places in the United States) are made from materials that are irreplaceable, like old-growth longleaf pine. Longleaf, once the dominant species in the Southeastern US, is now endangered. Yet this wood is a remarkable product, with an extremely long life in building applications, and it is very suitable for use in fine craft. Every piece that is lost can never be replaced (unless you have thousands of years to spare re-growing pre-Columbian American forest). Longleaf represents one of many heritage materials that we seek to protect. This is why we also refer to our process as “material preservation.”
Learn more about Longleaf Pine from the Longleaf Alliance
Healthier for Neighborhoods
Deconstruction mitigates the release of particulates into the air. Every instance of breakage that is prevented (by comparison to demolition) means less harm to the folks that live and breathe near the structure.
Healthier for our planet
Less landfilling: our Deconstruction process sends only what is absolutely necessary to the landfill. All materials that can be salvaged are brought to our Lumber Yard for resale or distributed among community partners, and all materials that can be recycled are sent to appropriate facilities.
Embodied energy: historic building materials represent a very small, if any, carbon footprint. Capturing these materials for reuse is the most sustainable treatment, keeping the embodied energy locked up in materials. By contrast, landfilling these materials releases their sequestered carbon into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change.
Fun fact: it is estimated that Construction and Demolition waste constitutes the most tonnage of all materials landfilled in the United States, far beyond municipal and industrial waste. Reducing this tonnage through material salvage can have a major impact on the trajectory of climate change.
…this stuff IS USEFUL
When we keep good stuff out of the dump, folks can use it. Whether to repair their historic homes, or for myriad art & craft possibilities… it is just good sense!
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org