Volume 11, Number 6
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New BMRA board members announced
Thanks to retiring BMRA board members
Portland prepares for deconstruction requirement
Webinar describes new reuse inventory system

New BMRA Board Members are Announced

Congratulations to our new directors!  Elections are complete. The following members have been elected to three year terms on the BMRA board of directors:
Mike Gable, Construction Junction in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Karen Jayne, Stardust Non-profit Building Supplies in Mesa, Arizona
Chris Rutherford, Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan
Rochelle Sibbio, Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, Akron, Ohio

We are lucky to have such talented individuals joining the board, and look forward to great years ahead.

Thanks for your service!

In welcoming four new and returning BMRA members to the board of directors, there are two directors to thank for their exceptional service as they move on to new adventures.

Alli Kingfisher, Washington State Department of Ecology 
Alli first came to the BMRA as a host and co-chair of the Decon ‘13 conference in Seattle, WA where her leadership brought about an outstanding event.  At the close of the conference Alli was elected to serve on the board of directors for a three year term, and has been an enthusiastic advocate for the BMRA membership and reuse industry at large.  As an executive officer Alli was the first woman to hold the office of President, and most recently served as Secretary.  In addition to her work on the policy and event committees, Alli’s leadership in stabilizing and formalizing the structure and operations off the BMRA will have a lasting and positive impact on our organization.  Her dedication, vision, and excellent travel stories will be much missed.

Patrick Smith, NoVaStar Appraisals 
Elected to a partial term only a year ago, Patrick hit the ground running as an active and valued board member.  His service on the appraisal committee has helped bring about the release of the BMRA’s appraisal resource document, as well as the passage of three proposals at last month’s elections.  Less well known is the time and resources Patrick has given to the Budget Committee, bringing about our most comprehensive financial planning to date.  We’ll miss Pat’s generosity of time and spirit to the board.

Portland Prepares for Deconstruction Requirement

By Dirk Wassink, BMRA News

On October 31 of this year Portland plans to implement a policy requiring deconstruction on any demolition of a house or duplex which was built in 1916 or earlier.  Pre-1917 houses currently account for approximately one-third of the 300+ demolitions taking place in the city each year.  

A number of BMRA members have been involved with the effort to develop, pass and implement a deconstruction ordinance in Portland.  BMRA member Sara Badiali, of the Reclamation Administration and also a member of the City of Portland Deconstruction Advisory Group touts the pioneering aspect of this effort:
"The City of Portland, Oregon's Deconstruction Ordinance is unique as the very first in the world to lawfully require dismantling buildings for reuse. Its historical precedence lays the foundation for other laws to be created to close the loop in our building material waste streams. I am honored to be on the team that created the Deconstruction Ordinance and I am thrilled for the future of the planet."

BMRA member Stephen Reichard, Executive Director of The Rebuilding Center in Portland says, 
”We are excited by the opportunity presented by the deconstruction ordinance to create meaningful, well-paying jobs, and by the opportunity to reduce waste to the landfill and to provide some really spectacular old growth lumber to our customers. We are working closely with the City and with numerous workforce partners around the City to develop a diverse and skilled workforce that will allow us to meet the requirements of the ordinance and the needs of our customers, primarily the contractors, who remain somewhat skeptical regarding the ability of Portland’s deconstruction industry’s ability to take homes down in a timely manner. With arguably the hottest real estate market in the country right now, we are getting a taste of what is to come - currently booked out through the summer. "  

This new policy is a big step, and it requires preparation.  After the initial resolution for this policy was passed unanimously in February by the Portland City Council, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), with input from the Deconstruction Advisory Group, began drafting code language that would implement the policy.  The draft code was issued April 20, followed by a four-week public comment period.

According to construction waste specialist Shawn Wood of BPS, approximately 15 written comments were received during the comment period on the draft code language.  The majority of the comments were supportive of the ordinance, with a few comments even suggesting that the ordinance be even wider in scope.  Could more recently built houses be included in the ordinance? Could commercial projects be included?  Could deconstruction be required even in situations where a building was only partly demolished?  A couple of comments from the homebuilding industry expressed concern about costs and logistics of complying with the requirements of the policy.  Would there be enough companies and trained workers to address the need for deconstruction?  How could extra costs of deconstruction be covered?  Interestingly, no comments were received from owners of pre-1916 homes that would be covered by the policy.  Based on the comments received, the BPS will revise the draft code language and forward it to the city council June 17.   City council will hold a hearing on the ordinance June 29.

Regarding the concerns raised about the deconstruction requirement, Shawn Wood pointed out that work is being done to ensure that infrastructure is developed and ready by the implementation date.  For example, BPS has been working with consultants and the local salvage industry to determine hiring and training needs to meet increased demand for deconstruction.  The BMRA is being tapped to provide training for inexperienced deconstruction workers to get up to speed quickly.  Both 3-day project manager training and 12-day worker trainings are planned for this summer.  The deconstruction resolution requires steps to ensure that women, veterans and other disadvantaged minorities are able to take advantage of jobs created by the new policy, and BPS has been working with organizations like Oregon Tradeswomen to elicit recommendations for people to participate in the training programs.  In addition, Wood reports that state funding is available to cover up to 50% of wages for on-the-job training during the first 3 months of work for newly trained hires.

A second measure the city is taking to mitigate some of the extra cost of deconstruction is a deconstruction grant program.  The program, which began in September 2015, accepts applications for grants of up to $2,500 to encourage innovation and community engagement as well as to offset excess expenses due to deconstructing instead of mechanically demolishing a house.

All this preparation is under way, but it can be hard to predict exactly how the need for deconstruction workers will unfold as the new ordinance takes effect.  There is an expectation that some projects starting this year will pursue demolition early in order to get under the wire before the deconstruction requirement comes into effect.  That could lead to a lull in deconstructions in November and December.  Eventually though, the numbers are expected to move upward.

The next critical step in this path toward Portland's revolutionary deconstruction policy is the city council hearing on June 29, where the council will either “bless” the proposed code requirements or take some other action.  Stay tuned for further updates. 

Upcoming Webinar on a new Reuse Inventory System

Please register for Reuse Retail: a solution for managing donated inventory on Jun 21, 2016 2:00 PM EDT here.

BMRA Member organization Construction Junction has been on a long journey to determine if there is a cost effective way to manage all aspects of a nonprofit reuse retail operation using one integrated system. The purpose of this webinar is to demonstrate how Construction Junction is currently using a solution they call Reuse Retail (RR), and to address how this software could be adopted at other organizations. 
RR is a true turnkey solution built on the Salesforce platform (donor management and donation processing). Salesforce integrates with our inventory management system, our Point of Sale (POS) system, our website, and our weekly email blast. Each component is open source, affordable and well supported. RR uses a mobile app to efficiently capture images and descriptive information for each (typically nonstandard) donated item. 
The Executive Director of Construction Junction, Mike Gable, will be presenting along with the individuals who helped develop the app and use it on a daily basis.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Member Notes

This section is here for you, BMRA members.  What is going on in your world?  Do you have job postings?  Did you just host a successful event?  Send notes to  They should be 200 words or less and may include up to two photos.
BMRA News is published monthly, typically in the first week of the month.  Submission deadline for articles and member notes is the 25th of the month preceding publication.  Submissions and commentary should be addressed to editor Dirk Wassink at
Copyright © 2015 Building Materials Reuse Association, All rights reserved.

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