"Empowering communities to turn construction and demolition waste into local resources."  

2020 Conference Update

During the closing remarks of last year’s conference, we announced that the 2020 Deconstruction and Reuse Conference would be held in Minneapolis MN in late October or early November.

We would now also like to announce that the Board of Build Reuse has decided to work with Reuse MN to create a joint conference focused on material reuse! Reuse MN held their first conference last year and given their local contacts, organizational infrastructure and a topic that lines up nicely with our work we decided to team up. The conference committee is deep into the process of choosing a venue and we will announce the dates for certain once we have confirmed the venue. 

We are looking at a similar 3 day format as last year’s conference and will announce the “crazy early bird” rate as soon as we lock down the venue and the date. Each organization will develop conference tracks separately to cater to our membership while looking for topics of commonality to bring together the larger group. We are still working on a conference them.


The conference committee chair from Build Reuse is Kevin Gastelewicz and Mike Gable is participating on the committee as well. The conference chair from Reuse MN is Annika Bergen. We are excited to have the strength of partnership behind this effort!  

Build Reuse News

Appraisal Working Group

While we are behind schedule with our deliverables from the DRC19 Appraisal Solutions Session group, we have been meeting and working on resources that we will post on the Build Reuse web site to answer the first two questions we identified in our group discussion: 1. How do I find an appraiser? 2. How do I choose an appraiser?  We have been vetting the information in our group and will post the information soon. We are striving to help people make informed decisions with these documents about donating and appraisals. We will be interested in your feedback. We have also started working on the last deliverable for the group which is a flow chart/timeline of the donation process and the roles of all the parties involved when executing a tax deductible donation that requires an appraisal. We are also working on a response to the Forbes magazine article regarding the Loube decision. We already know that some of our members have already contacted the author of the article.

MBA Sustainable Business Practices Master’s Students Project

 Mike Gable announced this project at the Conference and he had his first meeting with the four masters students and their professor during the last week in January. This group is developing a set of questions to ask Reuse Retail operations across the country that would begin to gather data that would track the economic, social and environmental impact of building material reuse operations across the country. This group will be reaching out to your store and deconstruction operations to ask questions and gather information. The idea is develop a set of questions Build Reuse would use to communicate the impact of our operations. We will be sending out the initial questions for a trial run in the next two weeks to get your feedback. We will be using our membership list as a starting point for feedback.


Member Spotlights

New Member

"Square Nail Consulting" - Joe Connell


"After 15 years in construction followed by 15 years in building materials reuse I am going out on my own as a consultant to help bring the two closer together."

Our communities exist within the structure of our built environment. They are by nature extremely integrated and dependent upon the buildings we live, work, learn and play in. Yet for the most part community development, economic development, and the development of our built environment work in silos. This is never truer than when a building is at the end of use. The industries that make up our built environment have been working in these silos for generations. Each has its part in the linear progression that creates our buildings and the dramatic level of waste we now live with. SNC is dedicated to the concept that only when the various players in our connected industries work together to break this linear isolation will we be able to build solutions locally, regionally and nationally. 

So SNC's goal is to create conversations between the various key players at local levels, partnering with local leaders. Conversations about how to engage and encourage everyone to take advantage of the resources and embodied wealth within their existing buildings. Every building that gets renovated or removed has some value, and the materials in them can be reinvested into the local community to help us rebuild lives, trust, and diversity. SNC is also dedicated to helping existing reuse operations and operators succeed for we can only build our industry if we are also continuing to build our capacity as individual businesses and organizations.

"I have spent the past 30 years building, remodeling and promoting reuse. For the last 15 years I have been a national leader and thought provoker in the building materials reuse industry. I led the Portland Oregon ReStores to being one of the most well organized and profitable ReStore operations in the country, led the Building Materials Reuse Association through its shift to "Build Reuse", and have mentored and encouraged people within the reuse industry across the country.

Square Nail is my next iteration, in which I hope to continue building our reuse industry by working directly with businesses and organization leaders to help them meet their goals and connect with others around them that create our built environment."

So, whether you own a reuse business or run a reuse organization, are thinking about starting one, or just want to start a larger conversation in your community, consider SNC. I'd love to help."

Note: Joe is editor of this newsletter. 

Renewing Member

"Sledge" - Seattle

co-owners Jim and John

Deconstructing local historical homes, piece by piece, Sledge sustainably reclaims wood and processes it into reusable base materials. Using the mastery of local artisans, Sledge renews the life of the tree branches by building beautiful decorative and furniture pieces that respect their origin and patterns, creating deeper connections to any home.​

In deconstruction, the building never dies, it simply reorganizes, transforming and branching off into countless new existences.  Patterns, life, and history enmeshed in a structure waiting to be released and reborn. Waiting to be carefully disassembled, valued, transformed, and celebrated in new and exciting uses.

making the best of old and new...



Love for wood is a must, and this team loves old, dirty, encapsulated wood that can be carefully mined from vintage Seattle residences and repurposed into reborn new homes and products. We believe every home we rescue from the wrecking ball teaches us something.

Reduce WasteTaking a historical home or building apart piece-by-piece allows for the preservation of beautifully aged, premium lumber, instead of losing it to the dump. This reduces both waste and carbon emissions from hauling demolished materials.RespectfulNeighborhoods have histories, and the materials from a historical home or building have absorbed the scent of the past. Unlike violent demolition, deconstruction preserves the materials and integrates them into newly developed homes, creating a visual continuity for the community.SustainableMaterials reclaimed from deconstruction can be resurfaced and reused for handcrafted home finishes and furniture pieces. Sledge aims to create as many end-products on site as possible to further reduce its carbon footprint.

For more info check out Sledge Seattle


Buzz Saw: Reuse and Decon news and stories from around the country. 

Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: After Disaster - Deconstruction, Rebuilding and Resilience Lessons from Hurricanes Katrina and Irene


This webinar will explore lessons learned from two innovative post-hurricane deconstruction projects following Hurricanes Katrina and Irene. Both projects found opportunities to build a more resilient future by reducing disaster debris, creating jobs, and rebuilding the community. These lessons can inform pre-disaster and resilience planning as well as recovery efforts.
March 5th 1-2:00 eastern

More info and registration here.


Science Friday: How The World Of Building Materials Is Responding To Climate Change

"In order to slow a warming planet, nearly every industry will be forced to adapt: airlines, fashion, and even the unglamorous and often overlooked building materials sector. 

Just like the farm to table movement, consumers are increasingly thinking about where the raw materials for their homes and cities come from, and how they impact climate change. And in response to this concern, the materials sector is serving up an unusual menu option: wood."

The Mjøstårnet building in Norway, the world’s tallest timber building. Credit: Peter Fiskerstrand, via Wikimedia Commons

Sustainability in a Material World
FEBRUARY 7, 2020  BY 

Each year, the mainstream definition of “sustainable design” continues to broaden its reach. The emphasis has expanded far beyond energy, water and site into public health, social equity, wellness and transparency– underscoring how our effect on the environment is inextricably linked with its effects on us.

Walkabout: Building the case for deconstruction

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In 2008 and 2010, Construction Junction disassembled several old properties in East Liberty and Squirrel Hill.

The store in Point Breeze, which sells salvaged building materials, got small grants from the Urban Redevelopment Authority and had the property owners’ blessings, but the cost was too high and the return too low to feed momentum.
Read on...


London's mayor calls on architects to design for a circular economy.

 | 15 October 2019 

The mayor of London's office has published a document to help property developers and architects to design for a circular economy, with ideas such as rental furnishing and using blockchain technology.

Called Design for a Circular Economy, the document was published yesterday with a call to action for London's architects, along with a guide to the terminology around the concept.
Read more here...

Bricks Alive! Scientists Create Living Concrete 

By Amos Zeeberg, New York Times

“A Frankenstein material” is teeming with — and ultimately made by — photosynthetic microbes. And it can reproduce.

Wil Srubar, left, a structural engineer at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and materials science and engineering PhD student, Sarah Williams, holding bricks of building matter made from cyanobacteria and other materials.Credit...CU Boulder College of Engineering & Applied Science 
Read on...


Stop Going Round in Circles About the Circular Economy

As people around the world increasingly question our impact on and relationship to the physical environment, so too should those who design how we live and work within it. With thoughtful planning, collective efforts and careful attention to the life cycle of materials, sustainability in the A/E/C industry could be closer than we think.
Read on...


NERC Conference to Take a Fresh Look at Recycling Solutions

Focusing on fresh ideas and innovative strategies for Rebooting Recycling is the theme for the Northeast Recycling Council’s (NERC) Conference on April 20 – 21 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.  The jam-packed Agenda will feature groundbreaking sessions and expert presenters that are paving the way for innovative thinking about recycling at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel.


Have an article we should post? Something of your own you've written and would like to get out to our folks? Send along to


Our Vision

To transform our communities by creating a building industry in which used and excess materials become an asset to our communities and waste is no longer acceptable

Mission Statement

Empowering communities to turn construction and demolition waste into local resources

Our Core Principles

The members and supporters of Build Reuse believe:

1. The present linear economic model relying on consumption of “new” products and materials is unsustainable.
2. The Reuse of building materials needs to be recognized as a key component of sustainability goals
3. Reuse recognizes and prioritizes existing community value.
4. Reuse is most impactful when implemented locally

Become a Build Reuse member!
Please remember, we depend on you to keep us going. Membership is the foundation of our organization; we can’t do what we do without our members financial support. Please renew or join today and help us to keep building a vibrant building materials reuse economy.

Got an interesting story idea? an article you've writen or read, or want to highlight your business or organization? 
Contact our newlsetter editor Joe Connell at
Become a Member of the BMRA today!
Follow the BMRA on Twitter
Like Build Reuse on Facebook to help engage everyone in reuse!
Copyright © 2020 Building Materials Reuse Association, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Build Reuse
c/o Construction Junction
214 N. Lexington St. 
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
Not currently a subscriber?  Signup here.