The Iowa Central Community College is offering a Deconstruction program. Here, students will learn the skills necessary to carefully deconstruct a structure rather than demolish it. They will also understand the value of reusing, recycling or donating recovered material.
The environmental benefit of the course is apparent. However, it’s the economics of deconstruction that needs explaining. The standard procedure when it comes to demolishing a structure involves ripping out old fixtures and throwing away salvaged material.
The general perception of deconstruction is that it involves more work and higher cost. Contractors are also unfamiliar with finding deconstruction crews and go with the more popular and accessible demolition ones. The course puts a strong emphasis in the long-term benefits of deconstruction for home and business owners. Once educated about how they can take their deductions over the following years, many were willing to put in the extra investment.
Deconstruction is also for the creative soul. The course sheds light on how to reuse old material that isn’t completely worn. For example, Jeff Talmadge of Talmadge Construction in Aptos, California, transformed an unwanted piece of mahogany into a surf-board shaped countertop for his pool house. “Look for an opportunity in old stuff – what can you do with it?” he says.
In addition to improving the environment, apprentices will receive certification in lead renovator, lead abatement, asbestos, and OSHA30 upon completion.
The program involves 30 hours of lecture at 3.5 hours a day, and an on-site portion which would last 4 weeks.