salvaged wheels used as decoration
After tornadoes devastated Greensburg, Kan., in 2007, the town decided to rebuild itself as a green community. They used materials from PlanetReuse. Photo: PlanetReuse
After tornadoes devastated Greensburg, Kan., in 2007, the town decided to rebuild itself as a green community. They used materials from PlanetReuse. Photo: PlanetReuse

PlanetReuse Providing Guidance

Benjamin’s background and the credentials of his team means that beyond making these materials available for purchase, PlanetReuse can also serve as a consultant and broker on projects. They can help buyers locate an item, or consult with buyers and builders on how to incorporate reclaimed materials into a project.

Projects have included providing reclaimed bleacher board plank, which was turned into wall cladding for Knuckles Sports Bar, the No. 1 sports bar on the Monterey Peninsula, and reclaimed wood for the flooring in the Audible.com headquarters. When Greensburg, Kan., famously decided to rebuild its schools in a green and sustainable manner after they were devastated by a 2007 tornado, PlanetReuse was able to connect them with reclaimed siding, furring strips and paneling.

Benjamin says their most significant project to date has been The Omega Center for Sustainable Living, an environmental education center and natural water reclamation facility. It is the first green building in the United States to achieve LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certification.

PlanetReuse worked with the design team and owner to incorporate many reused material options. In addition to using portions of Obama’s re-inauguration stage, the project also used reclaimed doors from office buildings and schools, mushroom-board siding from a regional mushroom farm, toilet partitions from an office building remodel, trimwork from a warehouse deconstruction and plywood from a roofing-deconstruction project.

“When architects and designers see examples of other successful material reuse projects, it inspires them to think about reused materials on their own projects,” Benjamin says, noting that the reuse economy depends on more education and exposure. It relies on a network of participants, from homeowners to deconstruction contractors to retailers and building contractors to keep it running.

“Our goal is to find ways for this network to become more cohesive,” he says. “We want to make it easy for each participant to contribute their expertise or service to help bolster the entire reuse economy and provide more incentive for everyone involved.”

Feature image: Brigitte Werner, Pixabay