Attempting to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle in St. Louis

Environmentally friendly decisions are tough

Green Rehab: Can you do demolition in a sustainable way? June 25, 2007

Filed under: Green Rehab — budint @ 3:27 am

So the demolition begins………. Demo 1


In doing all the planning for the sustainable rehab, it’s been determined that much of the old plaster and lathe will need to come down. Much of this is due to design changes and much is do to the horrible insulation behind the original materials.  The roof, for example, has straw hay for insulation.  I can only imagine the R-value is 1 or 2.  That’s Bad News for energy efficiency.


 Anyhow, as demo has started, I’ve begun thinking about sustainable demo and did some research.  As with much of my sustainable building research, the most modern techniques/resources are not in the U.S. Most are in Australia/New Zealand, U.K.  or even Canada.  Seems all these places are more concerned about their resources and energy efficiency than we are.


 So here are the sources:

1. U.K. Sustainability Site w/ demo protocols and guidelines 

2. New Zealand Sustainable Demo information


And here’s a nice New Zealand  guide to Eco Friendly building


 Through my own planning, the architect’s recommendations and ideas from various online sources, I have a modest list of ways which I’m hoping will reduce the environmental impact of my demolition.


1. Reusing old trim, baseboards, doors and hardware – though we’re going for a more modern house, we’re trying very hard to use every bit of the old house.

2. Deconstructing walls carefully to save any studs for reuse.

3. Carefully dissecting the crappy additions the previous owner had and saving those for donation or use in a rental or somewhere.

4. Saving the windows we don’t like for our garage.

5. Keeping the workplace clean and safe, so as to not have any injuries.

6. Pulling out the batts of insulation the previous owner added in the crappy addition for use elsewhere.

7. Saving all light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, connectors, etc.

8. Selling the clay tile roof pieces that we’re not reusing.


 I know these are small and obvious steps, but someone with less patience probably would have come in and just ripped everything apart.


 Let me know if you have more ideas. My main pieces of waste will be, drywall, plaster, lathe boards, ceramic tile floor, and some white siding.




3 Responses to “Green Rehab: Can you do demolition in a sustainable way?”

  1. Matthew Says:

    i’m renting, but it’s good to hear about people doing things right like my landlord who redid things aboutv2 years ago. good luck

  2. […] we’ve been trying to make ever decision with sustainability in mind. A couple weeks ago I posted that we were starting demolition and I was taking many measures to insure that landfills […]

    • Jess Says:

      Some comments from Tessa Corner:Test 1 Questions1. How easy is it to use the serach on the homepage? piece of cake2. Do you get results as you would expect? Yes3. Is it easy to scroll through the different projects that show up in the results? YesTest 2 Questions1. How easy is it to use the advanced serach? very2. Do you get results as you would expect? yes3. Is it easy to scroll through the different projects that show up in the results? yesHi Fiona Have had a play with the new website I must say I really do rather like it, it seems quite straight forward, I like the lack of fussy bits, the simple colours used etc. I like the way the adanced serach criteria are seperated out. All in all its looking pretty good to me (as one who has actually written a website myself in the past). The only inconsistency I noticed I have mentioned above (the vacancies bit)YoursTessa Corner

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