Thursday, February 7, 2008

blog launch

Hey there!
This is the first posting on our new Building Material Reuse Center blog.
We decided to create this blog in order to facilitate discussion about sustainable building deconstruction and material reuse practices.

Our group is in the process of fundraising and locating a warehouse in the Chicago area to operate a retail center for used building materials. This is a non-profit venture, and the Delta Institute and The Reuse People of America, are the primary project initiators.

The goal of this project is to divert material from the landfill, promote the creative and utilitarian reuse of building materials and sell these materials at a very low cost.

We have secured a temporary space for material storage and limited operations on the A Finkl campus on Goose Island. Once we identify a permanent location, we plan to operate on a full schedule. Coming shortly will be a link to a website for the Center. Until we move into our permanent home, we intend to post information and pictures of materials as they come in, and visitors will be able to purchase these materials on a limited basis.

More information to come...


1 comment:

Tom said...

It takes a good recipe to bake a successful cake. An accessible (to customers) Chicago warehouse location is the Basic Ingredient. The space has to be cheap, not necessarily heated, but well lit...and should not be in an "unsafe" neighborhood. A dock or drive-through is helpful, and high bays for industrial rack shelving are a must. Exterior signage can build traffic, but should show business hours clearly.
Second is the ability to maintain an incoming "stream" of quality materials from active relationships with decon firms or from your own crews.
Third challenge is to be open enough hours to make doing business possible, tough for a startup. With an actively-maintained web site, however, you can now be "open" with spreadsheet data and sample photos of inventory, (for example, lumber) to extend "working hours."
Many design and interiors professionals will take interest in reclaimed materials if they know first there is enough on hand for their renovation or build-out project... vs. finding the right thing, but finding there is only a tenth of what is needed
Lot number, description, condition, pricing, and any notes that add interest should be updated frequently.To wait only for walk-ins to move the materials makes for very slow turnover. (People also may show up when the place is closed due to limits on staffing, and it's hard to get them to come back).
This can be a very tasty cake, and I hope the project moves toward its realization this year or next!
Notes are from a similar business experience in Minnesota in 2001.