Demolition Man

by schmidt on March 30, 2009 · 3 comments

in Miscellaneous Schmidt,Sustainable Building Materials

Well, much thanks to the Chronicle for a very kind story yesterday in the Sunday paper.  As I am a dirty landlord already, it is nice to also be an evil greedy developer =)  Yes, I am referring to the lively discussion over at the Chron boards on the story, though I have to say it was pretty cool.  A lot of people had some valid points, and even the trolls were funny.  One criticism that came up that warrants more discussion was about demolition.  Many people were upset at the thought of tearing out material and sending it off to a landfill.  While it is true, construction debri is a serious, serious problem, as something like 22% of the total waste stream in the state comes from construction debri, sometimes you have no choice but to tear things out.  For 2139 39th ave, the house had some serious termite damamge.  There were parts of the first floor hardwood flooring that had so much termite damage, you literally stepped through the floor when you walked on it.  There is nothing to salvage there.  When a bathroom gets water behind the tiles and under the shower pan, sorry, but those walls are coming down.  So my point is, sometimes demolition is unavoidable, and do not let the trolls get you down if you have to tear something out.  It is a little like surgery, sometimes you have to remove a diseased part of your body to save you. Here are some before shots to consider:

demolitionman-story-1demolition-man-story-2demolitionman-3demoman4 Honestly, 30 year old red shag carpet?  How are you going to salvage that?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 flairdesigns 03.30.09 at 9:32 am

This article was great! For every anonymous troll there are hundreds out there thinking you did a great job. Now, let’s see when you’ll start seeing the return in savings from all that water and power you saved! When will the house pay for itself? Now if more landlords and developers could be as evil and greedy as you, the world would be a better place.

2 skjthielen 03.30.09 at 3:34 pm

I think this house is pretty cool and all.. But think about it. The tent city in Sacramento that the authorities are planning to shut down is actually a much more sustainable way of housing people. There is a much lower usage per capita there of electicity, water, gas, building materials, red shag carpet,

I just don’t think it would be sustainable for every family on the planet to live in a 1.2 million dollar home as well. No matter how tricked out it is to have a lower carbon foot print. What we are talking about is assuaging the guilt of the people who can afford these homes. They have the money and now they can actually feel good about their over priced home.

Don’t get me wrong! I think this is great idea. But do keep in mind. Tents have the lowest carbon foot print out there..

3 schmidt 03.30.09 at 6:51 pm

I can’t quite tell what parts your kidding and what parts your not. Tent cities are not sustainable – they are actually kind of horrible. People who live in a tent, or are homeless, more often than not, would prefer to live in an actual home. People are not using water or power in a shanty because there is none, and because they have no money, not because its their choice. The lack of carbon is kind of offset by the human suffering and misery.

I think your beef is that the house is expensive. I would agree, it is expensive, and getting costs down is an ongoing struggle. But your wrong to think that this is some sort of feel good exercise. If it were about just feeling good we could have found other ways to spend dollars than on high end insulation. People are going to build homes. They are building right now. Lots of money, a little money, so what? What is important is that when people build or remodel, they think about water, power, the materials they use, and that they make choices to minimize the impact their structure has on the planet.

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