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Ann Murray talks about creating her story about deconstruction with photos and video from the process.
Reporter's Notebook: Building a Story about Deconstruction
by Ann Murray
This week, I'm producing a story about how some contractors take down buildings so many of the buildings' parts can be reused or recycled. Instead of simply demolishing a building, they disassemble it, separate and store the parts and use these building materials for new construction on-site or somewhere else. The process is called deconstruction. It's like construction in reverse. PNC Bank is currently deconstructing buildings in downtown Pittsburgh.
The key to deconstruction is having a market for the salvaged materials. Stores that sell salvaged building materials are starting to pop up around the country. Pittsburgh has the nonprofit Construction Junction and a couple reuse stores run by Habitat for Humanity. California and other west coast states have been ahead of the game because laws there limit the amount of building and demolition debris that can go into landfills. Pennsylvania has not such law.
The best way to deconstruct buildings is to design and build them in a way that they can be more easily taken apart. I went to Carnegie Mellon University to see The Intelligent Workplace, a building designed with deconstruction in mind.