Building Value gets Cincinnati working, and homeowners thinking Green

Building Value builds up the confidence and construction skills of some hard-working Cincinnatians, while tearing down old, but reusable home and office spaces in an environmentally conscious way.

Building Value is a non-profit that salvages building materials. In the past the organization specialized in taking apart small rooms, like kitchens and bathrooms, for homeowners remodeling their spaces. But this summer Building Value undertook the region’s first full-house “unbuild,” where workers deconstructed a vacant multi-story house in Wyoming, salvaging more than 6,400 sq. ft. of building materials, and creating green space in the small city.

More than 10 people worked on the project for about a week. The unique, salvageable materials were then sold to the public at a reasonable price.

“Deconstruction provides an alternative to demolition, and this is all about trying to keep things out of landfills,” said Jerry Janszen, director of Building Value.

The non-profit was founded in 2004 by Easter Seals Work Resource Center as a way to further its mission: “empowering people with disabilities and disadvantages to increase their independence through work.” The ultimate goal for Building Value workers is to get trained for jobs with Cincinnati employers.

In addition to its deconstruction work, Building Value houses a retail center on Gilbert Avenue, a wood working area and warehouse space. Since its beginnings, Building Value has kept more than 5,000 tons of building materials out of the city’s landfills.

The construction workers, who all go through training, are honing their skills to facilitate these large “unbuilds.” And earlier in the year, the Building Value crew took apart its first big structure, a barn in Indian Hill.  To accommodate its growth into deconstructing large structures, Building Value is moving into a bigger space in Northside in October.

"We’re trying some new techniques and moving in this new direction,” Janszen said.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Sources: Lisa Doxsee Communications Manager and Jerry Janszen Director Building Value LLC

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