Update on Domicology  and Material, Salvage, and Reuse Innovation (MSRI) Hub 

By Nathaniel Hooper, Project Coordinator

I cannot think of a more appropriate way to start than to sing the praises of the entire MSRI/Domicology student team. Over these past eight months of remote work, I’ve witnessed our team rise to the challenges of these uncertain times and have observed innovations in thought and strategy that continue to drive our work as domicologists. Perhaps even more importantly, I’ve observed our team’s unwavering commitment to the principles of community and economic development that have guided our unit’s work for half a century. Without the dedication and determination of each of the students on our team, this project could not have been what it is today. 

Though the work of the Materials Salvage and Reuse Innovation Hub continues on, I’d like to take a moment to recount the many successes that our student teams have produced throughout this project period:

  • Established a statewide MSRI network and made contact with over 150 businesses to assess opportunities for resource development training
  • Analyzed this information and produced an executive report detailing the business needs of this sector
  • Established a mass communications network with weekly distributions of free trainings, resources, and other relevant information based on the changing needs of this sector
  • Conducted two major case studies of major deconstruction/material salvage enterprises
  • Conducted three Student-Led/Factulty-Guided Technical Assistance (SLFG TA) projects with community and business partners

Implications of these projects include: 

  • Completed first ever deconstruction project by a school district in our state 
  • Developed a new tar shingle recycling facility (pending beneficial reuse approval)
  • Developed the capacity to create new trainings and webinars
  • Completed two webinars, with another produced ongoing
  • Conducted pioneering research on physical and mechanical properties of salvaged structural lumber 

Moving forward after months of delay due to COVID-19, the MSRI Hub will continue its work in connecting this sector with needed resources, training, and technical assistance. This includes its next generation of webinars and training materials, the development of multiple SLFG TA projects, focus groups, and other analyses related to our salvaged wood research.

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