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Thread: Salvage building materials encouraged by the "green" approach but discouraged by code

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Salvage building materials encouraged by the "green" approach but discouraged by code

    On a construction industry forum that I participate in, this article has been posted. It questions the useability of salvage material in new construction, in spite of the fact that it's a more "green" way of doing things.

    Current building codes simply aren't formulated to accommodate the reuse of salvaged materials, leaving well-intentioned green builders caught in a classic Catch-22: As a matter of public policy, many progressive cities encourage the recycling of building materials, yet as a matter of administrative practice they make their use either economically impractical or else outright illegal.
    There certainly does seem to be some degree of contradiction existent. I'm curious as to how those of you in the planning profession reconcile that...

  2. #2
    No one should use lead painted old building materials in anything, anywhere, anytime. Lead is a terrible toxic and is not safe in any amount. Sooner or later it ends up getting released and recycled materials will be more prone to leak.

    It would be interesting to know if the energy savings of using recycled light fixtures (with incandescents) were greater than new energy efficiency fixtures, but that might be on a case by case basis.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    I'm not sure I agree w/ Gotta. If lead painted boards are used out of possible contact w/ people (say as siding face inward) I'm not sure there is more danger there than in putting into a C&D landfill.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dogandpony's avatar
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    Last edited by dogandpony; 11 Aug 2008 at 12:35 PM. Reason: bad link

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