EPA press release honors PlanetReuse for building material reuse efforts


(Kansas City, Kan., Oct. 30, 2008) - The Planet Reuse Project in Kansas City, Mo., and the Greensburg, Kan., Arts Center, designed by the University of Kansas Studio 804, have been recognized for Lifestyle Building Challenge 2 (LBC2) Awards.

LBC2 is a partnership of EPA, the Building Materials Reuse Association, the American Institute of Architects, Southface, West Coast Green, and StopWaste.Org. The partnership invited professionals and students nationwide to submit designs that support cost-effective disassembly and reuse of building materials.

The PlanetReuse Project received the top award in the Professional Built category for their Material Reuse Tool. The tool is an on-line resource that provides homeowners, architects, deconstruction professionals and local municipalities with an industry solution to find, sustainably deconstruct and reclaim building materials. Planet Reuse has supported the reuse of more than 20,100 tons of building materials to reduce more than 2,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The concept removes common barriers associated with material reuse.



PlanetReuse to provide reclaimed material for the Omega Center For Sustainable Living Project (OCSL)

PlanetReuse is working with BNIM Architects and Sember Construction to provide reclaimed materials for the Omega Center for Sustainable Living project (OCSL). PlanetReuse will source framing, structural steel, exterior siding and sheathing for the project to help meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum standards and achieve certification as a "Living Building", an ambitious project designed with total sustainability in mind.

You can read more about the OCSL project in the attached PDF here

About the OCSL

An innovative educational center, the OCSL will be the first of its kind in the United States to combine the most sophisticated green building and wastewater treatment technologies under one roof. It will serve as the heart of Omega's ongoing environmental sustainability initiatives and will include the Eco Machine™ (a water garden and constructed wetland to treat our wastewater), and a classroom for visitors—students, teachers, activists, corporate executives, elected officials—who want to learn more about green building and sustainable living.

The building will be self-sustaining, featuring the latest technology in the sustainaiblity field; it will be heated and cooled by geothermal systems and use solar and photovoltaic power. It is being built to exceed both the LEED Platinum standard and achieve certification as a Living Building. It will be a model of environmental sustainability that can be seen, understood, and replicated locally and globally.

The OCSL will protect our local ecosystem, preserve our freshwater resources, and serve as a community resource, demonstrating sustainability, ecological responsibility, and green alternatives, reminding all of us that if we take care of the Earth, the Earth will take care of us.

About BNIM Architects and the Omega Insitute

In 2006, the Omega Institute commissioned BNIM Architects to design a new 6,200 square foot facility to serve as a new and highly sustainable wastewater filtration facility. The primary goal for this project was to overhaul the organization’s current wastewater disposal system for their 195-acre Rhinebeck campus by using alternative methods of treatment. As part of a larger effort to educate Omega Institute visitors, staff and local community on innovative wastewater strategies, Omega decided to showcase the system in a building that houses both the primary treatment cells and a classroom/laboratory. In addition to using the treated water for garden irrigation and in a greywater recovery system, Omega will use the system and building as a teaching tool in their educational program designed around the ecological impact of their campus. These classes will be offered to campus visitors, area school children, university students and other local communities. Preliminary engineering work was done for the project by John Todd Ecological Design (wastewater engineer) and Chazen Companies (civil engineer). This early investigation was invaluable to the full design team in the early design phases for the building and site.


Is FSC enough?

Recently, I decided I really needed to do my homework and dig into what FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified wood really is. The answer I got was disappointing to say the least.

While I respect what FSC is trying to accomplish, I learned that there are still not sufficient sustainable logging practices taking place throughout this certification. What is even more alarming is what it takes to become FSC CoC (Chain of Custody) certified.

Essentially, the FSC applicant pays a fee (considerable in amount) to engage the certification body to "audit" the company. This basically is to analyze the company's practices from operations to supplier's and so on. Where this gets a little blurry is that the lumber company for example now has to receive a CoC certification. What this means is that they have to show documentation tracing back the logs from where they were forested to show that they were "sustainably" harvested.

So I dug a little deeper to see what sustainably harvested meant and was forwarded here. And after much digging finally ended up finding the document which outlines recommendations for sustainable harvesting here.

Here is where I jump off the FSC bandwagon.

After reviewing the documents they outline a series of reforestation practices, planting planning and so on to promote sustainable forestry. However, they also get into how not to "disturb the indigenous peoples through logging" which sent up a "hey whats that?" flag in my mind.

The last indigenous people I knew of in North America were the Native American Indians. But wait....

According to FSC requirements, you can log in Africa, China, Russia and Peru. Then ship the logs to be milled in plants in Mexico, China and India and then finally shipped here to the states. Whaa?

Whats the carbon footprint for that 2x4??

I was really expecting to see local harvesting promoted, if not a standardized practice such as mulching roots of cut trees to replenish the exact nutrients in the soil new trees need. Or how to selectively cut trees to maintain shade and soil protection as opposed to allowing "controlled clear cutting so long as the eco-system is not changed" All in all I was a little put back by FSC's requirements.

Enough griping, now I would like to challenge the Forestry Stewardship Council to reform their protocols and drastically increase the sustainability of the forestry practices currently written into its standards by the following:

Jobs - If FSC is truly trying to promote sustained job growth then I believe some in our current US economy would really appreciate a job at a mill in Atlanta or Florida sustainably harvesting our current supply of trees.

Fuel Conservation/Pollution - The fact is that Stewardship is cyclical. Stewardship regards all costs and activities to determine its sustainability. Thus the same old way of exporting and importing wood just won't work anymore... so change it. If that means the CEO won't get any FSC certified zebra wood for his desk so be it....maybe he can find reclaimed huh?

Global Standards - Great start, just not enough. I recently heard how the treeline in Canada isn't getting as cold as it used to. So the tree ravaging insects that otherwise would have their populations controlled by freezing temperatures are now thriving. This is resulting in complete forest systems being wiped out. The world isn't waiting, change faster.

I don't want this to seem like a rant on FSC wood however, if you're going to reform an industry you can't do it by making it easy or even remotely possible by doing the same old practices as before with some minor revisions.


PlanetReuse at Great Lakes Reuse Conference & Greenbuid

What a great week!

The Great Lakes Reuse Conference in Buffalo, NY featured many great speakers and discussions on deconstruction. The perfect size for these discussions, one-on-one dialogs with others on how to best address the ever-increasing vacant building stock in the Northeast and all over the country, was inspiring. There are so many great people and outstanding organizations, all with common goals. BuffaloReuse did an outstanding job of pulling the conference together- they even got us our first snow for the year! They have great leadership in Michael and his team – one that is helping in so many ways with deconstruction and in the community. BMRA as always was a great foundation for bringing so many leaders in this field together.

Greenbuild 2008 in Boston more than lived up to the hype that has echoed through the design and construction communities since last year’s conference! It was cold outside but the energy inside had things heated up. Common themes were heard throughout the week all related to the economy where it is, the new administration coming in DC, with the “green movement” growing at an exponential rate and an increasing need to educate our youth to continue to push for change. Rick Fedrizzi summarized things well in the opening address "Revolution is a powerful word," he said, and it can be measured in many ways, "but what counts the most is that we are changing people's minds about what matters." He said we have gone beyond the revolution of ideas and achieved a revolution of values. Congratulating Americans on the election outcome, keynote speaker Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, "you have helped to usher in a new era....you are one of the craziest countries I know.... an incredible nation, incredible people... he's an incredible guy! I'm not jealous, no!"

We are in a unique time that we can all work together to help. Looking at building certification is a good start, but we also need to look beyond by thinking o
utside of the LEED scorecard and follow-up by verifying that buildings are performing as designed. It was great to meet with so many like-minded vendors and architects throughout the event; we look forward to helping you grow your business. Please let us know how we can help you on your next project, and we look forward to seeing you over the next year and at our booth in Phoenix at Greenbuild 2009!

Thank you to all of the new friends of PlanetReuse I met, and if I missed you this week, thanks for visiting our website and please let us know how we can help you out.

Thanks for joining the removement!



Images from EPA Waste Wise Award Ceremony

Recently PlanetReuse recieved an award from the EPA in Washington, DC! Here are the pictures from the event (little dark hoping for better ones to come.)

CEO Brad Hardin recieving the award

The event was great as a number of industry manufacturers and businesses have committed themselves to sustainable manufacturing and managing the waste from their processes. Of course, PlanetReuse was recieving an Innovation award for sustainably using reclaimed materials!


Roderick Bates -Kieran Timberlake, Michael Mariano-Schemata, Pam Swingle-EPA, Brad Hardin-PlanetReuse, Benno van Noort-Van Noort Designs LLC

Planet Reuse recently at HNTB architects!

A big thanks to Walt Bleser for arranging our last lunch and learn with the team at HNTB! It was a great turnout and exciting to hear how HNTB has embraced sustainable design practices and are so open to material reuse! We look forward to working with HNTB and their talented design staff soon.


Reuse is sexy!

We can help source commercial quantities of wood, steel, brick, glass, masonry, flooring...and even bridges for LEED credits in sustainable building. Watch our new video to learn more!

Daniel Fox, CCO

music courtesy of PlanetReuse's favorite band, Scratch Track

Meet with PlanetReuse at Greenbuild and Great Lakes Reuse Conference!

Meet up with CEO Nathan Benjamin, LEED AP, at the Great Lakes Reuse Conference in Buffalo on November 17-18th and Greenbuild 2008 in Boston from November 19th-21st. He'll be at both conferences to speak about how PlanetReuse can help source reclaimed materials for projects and trends in the sustainable marketplace with our friends and partners.

You can shoot Nathan a direct email at nbenjamin@planetreuse.com or call his mobile at 816.918.1120 to set up a meet and greet at one of these two great conferences.

See you there!

Nathan is a LEED accredited construction manager and has over 11 years of industry experience, including many sustainable and LEED-certified projects. The operations management skills that he brings to PlanetReuse, coupled with his expansive knowledge of the industry, help direct and drive overall operations and business development. Nathan is known for his passion for sustainability, the arts, and the community...and for his recently acquired wedding planning skills.


Finding navigation problems or other usability issues on PlanetReuse.com?

We've recently released our 2.5 version. Unfortunately, the last build had a minor bug with the image thumbnails on the material listings page we're working on fixing this evening.

We believe that all of the issues have been captured and taken care of, but be sure to email us at dfox @ planetreuse.com or comment in this thread if you identify any other usability issues. As always, we welcome feedback and recommendations on how to improve the user experience over at PlanetReuse.

(oh, and watch for the release of the online shop for our 3.0 version in January!)

Daniel Fox, CCO

PlanetReuse now on Twitter!

Come join us over at Twitter!


LEED MR and PlanetReuse

PlanetReuse works through our location services both online and offline for LEED MR 3.1, 3.2 and innovation credits on projects. Using our product request forms, users can tell us what they need and we locate materials through deconstruction professionals and partners in your home state.

Email Nathan Benjamin at nbenjamin@planetreuse.com to learn more about how PlanetReuse can help you achieve LEED certification in your design projects.

PlanetReuse is a proud member of the USGBC, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction, developers of the LEED building rating system.

Join our CEO Brad Hardin December 2nd for an online web demo of PlanetReuse!

Join our CEO Brad Hardin, LEED AP and AIA Associate, on December 2nd from 12AM to 1PM Central Time at GoToMeeting and learn more about PlanetReuse's focus. We'll give an exclusive tour of the site, explain how our online tool can help connect you to source and find reclaimed material for commercial and residential green building and our place in the industry today.

Web Link: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/join/270179945
Conference Phone Number: 914-339-0016
Access Code/Meeting ID: 270-179-945

Email Brad at bhardin @ planetreuse.com if you have any questions you'd like to pose for the demo.

Brad is a LEED accredited architect and has worked for over 8 years on environmentally responsible projects in the US and abroad. Brad brings his industry experience and his passion for design, technology, environmentally conscious living and big ideas to the table at PlanetReuse. His main focus is on commercial and residential solutions to the design and construction reuse community as well as overseeing the company, and his new baby girl.


PlanetReuse chosen as the winners in the professional build innovation with Lifecycle Building Challenge!

PlanetReuse.com is an online resource that provides homeowners, architects, decon professionals and local municipalities with an industry solution to find, reclaim and sustainably deconstruct and reclaim building materials. PlanetReuse was created to enable material reuse at all levels, from residential, commercial to municipal and this successful concept, continues to remove common barriers associated with material reuse and is pushing forward in completing a buildings' Life Cycle.

Read more about our entry and us here

PlanetReuse now offers deconstruction consultation services

With our Deconstruction Consultation Service, we help municipalities, building owners, demolition and general contractors to evaluate materials that can be reclaimed, reused and recycled for commercial and municipal projects. PlanetReuse can generate the necessary UL Certification, Structural Engineering Reviews, LEED Innovation Point Potential and other documentation required to resell building materials. We fully inventory all reusable materials, with documentation, photographs and other information in our searchable database, made available for architects and designers online.

Contact us at info @ planetreuse.com or join us at PlanetReuse.com to learn more about our online tools to help you locate, source and resell reclaimed commercial and residential building material.

PlanetReuse 2.5 goes live tonight at midnight!

We've taken your feedback and comments from other sustainably-minded designers and architects to introduced two new tools into the PlanetReuse online engine to help the end user find and source reclaimed and underutilized material for green building.

Our Material Brokering Services help architects and designers incorporate reused materials into their commercial and residential projects. With the relationships we have in place with our partners, PlanetReuse can help locate materials unavailable on the website to help complete your project. With the Request Materials form, you can place free requests on PlanetReuse to reduce the amount of legwork needed to find reused building material for LEED MR credits. We'll help connect you through our brokering services by sending samples to your doorstep. You can also View Material Requests other users have submitted online to help you grow your business and help divert construction material from landfill.

Although we're taking down our online Shop temporarily, we're introducing a tool to allow users to enter available materials they have and want to move through our material brokering services. Stay tuned for an update or simply visit http://www.planetreuse.com on November 12th to see the next evolution of PlanetReuse, connecting contractors, homeowners, architects, designers, architectural reclamation stores, and deconstruction professionals together for a bigger, better online sustainable tool.