Beyond the Build

Commodities Pricing

Save Cost and Carbon Onsite

In this economy, reusing, repurposing and recycling construction material can make the difference in meeting a budget. Additionally, our experience shows that a portion of customers, whether they be landlords or tenants, are placing an increased value on green label buildings. In the right applications, repurposing materials makes economic sense .

This article by Bill Roth discusses a few steps for recycling and reusing construction material to increase your bottom line:

1. Think first. Before you tear something down, develop an inventory of materials that can be sent to recycling companies or can be reused.

2. Create a lay down area.  Designate areas and containers for the sorting of materials and fixtures.

3. Create crew buy-in. Train the folks onsite, set performance expectations and motivate them.

4. Measure/report. Keep track of what is being done and hold your team accountable.

5. Keep it local. The best place to recycle and reuse demolition material is on the job site.

To me, these tips are easily applied. On our jobs, we are seeing the trend toward recycling/reuse of a number of materials:

  • Steel, which in our region is almost always locally produced and comprised of recycled scrap.
  • Carpet, which is easily recycled into what I would argue is a better product.
  • Crushed concrete, which works well when reused in a variety of civil applications.

We are currently reviewing a project for the application of full depth reclamation, which is a process using a rotary mixer to first pulverize the onsite asphalt, then combine it with the existing stone base material and insitu earth. We then adjust the moisture percent for compaction, and the result is a stable subgrade for a new asphalt surface.

To us, full depth reclamation is a solid method to deal with repaving a parking lot that suffers from extensive failures, which would cause reflective cracking in an ordinary overlay. It saves cost and carbon, a win all around.

What kinds of materials are you seeing recycled or reused onsite? 

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.