Keywords: demolition, building deconstruction, green building practice, building materials reuse, building salvage, building dismantling, wooden barracks, recycling
The optimisation of building deconstruction for Department of Defense facilities: Ft. McClellan Deconstruction Project
This project entailed the removal of three identical WWII-era two-story wood-framed barracks buildings at Ft. McClellan Army Base, Anniston, AL, using varying degrees of hand deconstruction and mechanical/hand deconstruction, and a traditional demolition method. Deconstruction is the dismantling of building structures to recover the maximum amount of primarily reusable and secondarily recyclable materials in a safe and cost-effective manner. Each building was approximately 4500 square feet. The maximum practical materials salvage from the buildings using 100% hand deconstruction techniques was 39% of the mass by weight. A combination of hand and mechanical techniques was discovered to have approximately the same economic efficiency as 100% hand deconstruction, measured as a ratio of gross cost per salvage value, with a 44.6% reduction in total labour-hours, and a reduction of only 7% of salvage materials by weight. This paper describes the research methods and deconstruction techniques employed, and lessons-learned.