Expanding Capacity in NW Indiana: Trainees Deconstruct Blighted Structures During 3-Day Workshop

In partnership with the Building Materials Reuse Association, It’s Gary’s Time, and the City of Gary, Delta held a 24-hour deconstruction training, in Gary, Indiana. Nine demolition, renovation, and construction contractors from Northwest Indiana and the Midwest learned how to systematically take a structure apart and reclaim its high quality materials. The 3-day course was held in a classroom and on a deconstruction site, where trainees demonstrated their new knowledge on two vacant structures.

While the City of Gary has deconstructed nine homes as part of their pilot program, they learned that the lack of Gary licensed contractors with the Deconstruction Credential was a barrier to further success. When the nine trainees complete the program, they will increase the community’s ability to deconstruct more homes.

This is the first course of its kind to be physically held in Gary, and organizing a training is no small feat. The organizers secured properties, permits, and environmental assessments and brought in master trainers, and the businesses spared their workers for three full days. Two Gary contractors participated in a 2015 course in Steger, Illinois. Delta Institute plans to offer an additional course in 2017 in nearby southern Cook County.

As more contractors are able to salvage building materials, more reclaimed materials can be brought back to the community and resold at places like Steel City Salvage, a marketplace that will return economic benefits for Gary residents.

Sample of reclaimed wood, ready to be de-nailed.

Some of the reclaimed wood from the house, ready to be de-nailed.

Trainees learning about deconstruction.

Trainees learning in the classroom.

Trainees preparing the garage for deconstruction.

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