Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New permit to promote salvageable 'green' building


Above: Deconstruction workers from The RE Store in Ballard push over a wall to be dismantled on the ground in West Seattle. [picture from Ballard News-Tribune]

The Department of Planning and Development has created a new permitting option for contractors and developers to promote green building, decrease the amount of materials that are sent to landfills and speed up the deconstruction and reconstruction of houses in Seattle.

The voluntary permitting option will give the critical time contractors and developers need to salvage reusable building materials from housing that is being removed. When housing was taken down in the previous code one would have to get a demolition permit at the same time they obtained a building or associated permit for new housing, said Sandra Mallory with the Planning and Development. Now, if housing is to be deconstructed and materials salvaged for reuse, the planning department may issue a demolition permit prior to issuing the associated new construction permit.

"Most contractors or builders choose to demolish over deconstructing a house because demolishing only takes about two days while it can take an average of two and a half weeks to deconstruct a building. Being in the reuse industry we’ve had a hard time getting into some houses to salvage before demolition because the builder, homeowner or contractor does not get their demolition permits before they get access into the building,” Pat Finn of RE Store in Ballard said.

Now, if housing is to be deconstructed and materials salvaged for reuse, the planning department may issue a demolition permit prior to issuing the associated new construction permit.

Ballard News-Tribune

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