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Marketplace for reclaimed building materials tracks each piece's story

Home & Garden

Fueled by the need for both economy and sustainability, deconstruction increasingly makes sense as a solution for old, vacant buildings. We’ve already seen Buffalo ReUse’s approach to that topic, and recently we came across another example that tracks and highlights the story behind each reclaimed piece. Based in Syracuse, NY, D-Build does not deconstruct buildings itself; rather, it provides a place to track the stories of buildings and reclaimed materials as well as a marketplace to sell those materials and products made from them. A variety of local deconstruction projects are profiled on the site, as are myriad products made from the materials reclaimed as a result; QR codes help link the materials to their histories. Users are encouraged to add their own personal stories and historic records to the store of information recorded on the site, including details on who lived or worked in a given building, for example; they can also buy and sell associated products and materials. One product currently featured on the ad-supported site, for instance, is a limited-edition platform bed crafted out of floor joists reclaimed from Syracuse’s Lincoln Supply Warehouse. “There’s only so much of these materials,” D-Build founder Rob Englert told “We’re trying to tell that story. Don’t throw this stuff away, because it has value.” There are currently some 14 million vacant homes in the United States alone, containing materials valued at USD 75 billion; meanwhile, the market for green building materials is expected to exceed USD 31 billion in the U.S. by 2014, reported. Who will help spread architectural sustainability and stories to other parts of the world? (Related: Furniture with a story, crafted from salvaged sailing dhowsHyperlocal museum made of salvaged objectsOld cast-iron radiators, transformed for electric heatService helps product designers find sustainable new materials.) Spotted by: Post Standard via Pamela Brewer



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