Comprehensive Economic Recovery Initiative (CERI) Update

By: Nathaniel Hooper, Project Coordinator at the CCED

The MSU Domicology team is proud to announce a new project that represents a major step forward in revolutionizing design-build-demolish practices within the State of Michigan. The newly minted Michigan Deconstruction Collaborative - a partnership between the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development, the ReUse People of America, American Classic Construction, and The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy – is embarking on an ambitious set of activities that will be instrumental in advancing practices of deconstruction, material salvage, and circularity in the built environment. With the support of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Market Development Program, the Michigan Deconstruction collaborative will be embarking on a year of feasibility work to explore the steps necessary to create a dedicated deconstruction, used building material retailing, and training facility. This will entail the completion of deconstruction training demonstration projects resulting in the creation of a standing deconstruction crew, as well as a full market analysis and site feasibility workup  

Deconstruction describes the practice of systematically dismantling structures (instead of demolishing them) with the goal of maximizing material recovery and reuse. Skilled deconstruction practitioners (under the watchful guidance of the ReUse People of America, the leading body nationally for deconstruction, training, and used building material retailing) can recover 75% of all materials present in a structure, preventing substantial amounts of waste from entering the landfill. These materials are suitable for a wide array of uses, often being reused in a new structure or remodel project. In this way, embodied energy is conserved not just from the diversion of these materials from landfill, but from the voided emissions gained via substitution of new materials. As an emerging field of study and practice in our region, deconstruction also offers the potential for green jobs training and job creation – on average 6 full time deconstruction jobs for every one demolition job.  

This project has the potential to revolutionize the way in which we understand the lifecycle (And particularly the end-of-life) of structures in the State of Michigan. By taking steps to responsibly remove structures in a way that prioritizes the recovery of materials and creates new job opportunities, the Michigan Deconstruction Collaborative seeks to help usher in a new era of stewardship and circularity in built environment.   

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