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Home Removal, One Plank at a Time

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There’s more than one way to take down a home in Chicago. You can use a wrecking ball, or you can try something new: home deconstruction.

Chicago Public Radio’s Shawn Allee explains.


Home deconstruction’s like building a house but in reverse.

Wall panels, windows, and boards … they’re all removed, not smashed.

The idea’s to re-sell and re-use as much material as possible.

Environmental housing groups like Urban Habitat Chicago hope deconstruction catches on.

The group’s Dave Hampton.

Hampton: If you cannot a building or reuse a building there should be a better way for it to meet its end. Deconstruction is definitely a way for it to go, it’s a way for it to have a new life there really is no concept of waste in nature … it’s closer to that.

Hampton says the Lake View neighborhood has the city’s first home deconstruction project.

He estimates the owner will keep sixty-six thousand pounds of material out of landfills.

I’m Shawn Allee.

Chicago Public Radio.

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