Building materials re-use company Building Value opens up shop in Northside

In the age of green building it can be easy to overlook what is done with existing structures and those that are torn down for the more efficient, more desirable, or more economically advantageous.  Except of course if you are one of the 25 people working at Cincinnati-based Building Value.

Building Value is a non-profit formed in 2004 by Easter Seals Work Resource Center with the goal of salvaging quality building materials that would otherwise be headed straight for the landfill.  Those salvaged materials are then resold by Building Value to keep the cycle going.

"We give quality building materials a second life," said Jerry Janszen, director of Building Value.  "Instead of shipping items off to a landfill, we salvage them and allow people to take them home to use and enjoy."

The work is done largely by individuals with disabilities and other life disadvantages who are trained by the Building Value team in the [de]construction and retail portions of the business.  So far more than 150 individuals have been through the program and provided true hands-on experience.

As the company moves forward they expect to complete seven full-structure deconstruction projects salvaging 60 to 90 percent of each building for reuse and recycling.  With more full-scale deconstruction projects on the horizon, the need for more space became increasingly evident.

As a result, Building Value has now moved into their new 23,000 square-foot home in Northside at 4040 Spring Grove Avenue.  The new building is an increase of approximately 7,000 square feet over their previous location on Gilbert Avenue.  Janszen says that the additional space will be used to house and display salvaged materials from its full-structure deconstruction - a component of the company that was added in May 2009.

Building Value, along with Easter Seals, was joined by Northside community leaders, Mayor Mallory, and City Councilman Greg Harris, who read a proclamation that officially pronounced Saturday, November 14 as "Building Value" Day in Cincinnati.

"We're lucky to have this new space so that we can expand our services and touch the lives of even more individuals with our hands-on experience and employment services," said Janszen.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
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