A greener way to tear down Detroit's vacant homes - KMSP-TV

A greener way to tear down Detroit's vacant homes

Posted: Updated:
Workers outside a home being deconstructed  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Workers outside a home being deconstructed (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

An old house comes down slowly but surely one piece at a time.  The opposite of construction, workers practice deconstruction, a more earth-friendly way to get rid of vacant homes.

"What we do is tear down houses and recycle and reuse all of the material," said Jasonn Parnell, a site supervisor with the non-profit group WARM.  "We can reuse or save all of the bricks, all of the wood, two-by-fours.  Any of the metal can be recycled."

This past year, WARM started Reclaim Detroit, a project meant to fight blight and create green jobs.  Now about 20 crew members are trained in the art of deconstruction, which saves tons of precious resources.

"There's no way to get this material commercially.  It's the old growth forest that covered Michigan.  It's something that we can't ever get back, and if we throw it away into the landfill it's gone forever," said Chris Rutherford with Reclaim Detroit.

$30,000 to $40,000 worth of materials are salvaged from a typical home.  The painstaking process takes six to ten days and requires quite a few workers.  It's better for the planet than a bulldozer demolition and the cost is the same.

All the raw materials come to a warehouse on the Focus: HOPE campus where they either sell the lumber or turn it into various products.

In the wood shop, we saw workers making butcher block cutting boards.  They also build countertops, recycled wood furniture, planters and more.  Contractors, developers and architects are among their customers.  You can also take home a piece of it and help Reclaim Detroit by purchasing products.  For more information, visit www.ReclaimDetroit.org.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:18:32 GMT
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:48:38 GMT
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
  • Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:26:48 GMT
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
  • Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:57:45 GMT
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices