Construction & Demolition,
Deconstruction & Salvage


Demolition vs. Deconstruction

Very helpful FAQs about the differences between deconstruction and demolition by the ReBuilding Exchange in Chicago.


Embodied Energy Calculator

Use this calculator to get the amount of energy "embodied" (i.e. the total energy spent in the production of a building, from the manufacture of materials to their delivery to construction) in your building. Also calculate the amount of energy needed to raze, load, and haul away construction materials for a demolition.


Delta’s Deconstruction and Reuse Guide

The purpose of this guide is to help policymakers, architects and designers, homeowners, contractors, salvage retailers and economic development professionals work in concert to help create a thriving, sustainable deconstruction and reuse industry.


EPA Deconstruction Guide

Quick overview by the EPA about reclaiming used building materials.


Determining the Value of Donated Property

A helpful resource for anyone who has donated materials to the Salvage Barn.


Design for Reuse Primer

15 successful reuse projects within different sectors explored in-depth.


Building Materials Resource Association

The Building Materials Reuse Association is a non-profit educational and research organization whose mission is to advance the recovery, reuse and recycling of building materials.


Waste Reduction, Demolition and Construction Debris

A guide for building, construction and environmental professionals.


Iowa Waste Exchange

The IWE is designed to keep waste out of the landfills and in production. Many industry, business and even local governments dispose of items others can use.

Guides & Tutorials


Preservation Briefs

These 47 briefs, published by the National Park Service, provide guidance on preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring historic buildings and help historic building owners recognize and resolve common problems prior to work. They cover anything from mothballing a historic home to repairing wooden shingle roofs.


Homeowner Handbook

Provides owners of existing and newly constructed homes with information and

resources to assist them in efficiently operating and maintaining their homes. Emphasis on best practices for Iowa.


Reducing lead in your home


Dealing with asbestos in your home


Installing a Door Slab


Installing a Pre-Hung Interior Door


Installing a Pre-Hung Exterior Door


Determining Door Swing


Shopping for Salvaged Doors


Building a Cold Frame


Building a Salvaged Garden Gate


Interior Painting


Removing Paint from Hardware


Removing and Installing Windows


Buying Salvaged Windows


Improving Energy Efficiency in Older Homes


Embracing Energy Efficiency


Energy Efficiency Guide for Older Homes by the EPA


Plumbing How-Tos


Wood Identification


Qualities of Different Kinds of Wood


Installing Tile


Buying and Installing Used Flooring


How to paint the outside of your vintage clawfoot tub


How to fix a loose clawfoot tub


How to install plaster ceiling medallions


How to replace missing clawfoot tub feet

Historic Preservation


National Trust for Historic Preservation

NTHP works to save America’s historic places.


State Historical Society of Iowa

SHSI in Iowa City has resources that can provide information about historic properties in the area.


Iowa Site Inventory Form

This is the standard form used by the State Historic Preservation Office to record information on an architectural or historical property.


State Historic Preservation Office

SHPO's mission is to identify, preserve, and protect Iowa’s historic resources. Find information about nominating a building to the National Register here, as well as information about tax credits.


Statewide Historic Preservation Plan


Advisory Council on Historic Preservation


National Historic Preservation Act


National Main Street Center

The National Main Street Center works with a nationwide network of communities to encourage preservation-based economic revitalization, and has participated in the renewal of more than 2,000 older commercial districts during its 30-year history.



Donovan Rypkema is principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm. The firm specializes in services to public and non-profit sector clients who are dealing with downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic structures.

Quick Facts


Repairing existing residential buildings produces about 50% more jobs than building new ones. Nationally, about 41% of the cost of residential repair goes to labor. For new construction, that number is just 28%, meaning considerably more than half of any investment in a new home goes not to construction jobs, but to materials, equipment and things like trucking services. [The Atlantic]


Environmentally, deconstruction reduces construction and demolition (C&D) waste, reduces air pollution, reduces carbon dioxide emissions, abates the need for new landfills and incinerators, preserves resources and saves energy by decreasing the extraction and processing of raw materials, and supports sustainable building practices. [Delta]


Building-related construction and demolition (C&D) debris totals more than 136 million tons per year, or nearly 40% of the municipal solid wastestream. [EPA]


According to Environmental Building News, building construction accounts for nearly 30% of all raw material consumption [Design for Reuse Primer]


It is estimated that over 25% of the buildings existing in 2000 will be replaced by 2030. [Design for Reuse Primer]


According to the Deconstruction Institute, every ton of reused wood avoids the emission of 60 pounds of greenhouse gases created when new lumber is harvested and milled. [Design for Reuse Primer]


Savings from reuse are between 4 and 46 percent over new construction when comparing buildings with the same energy performance level. [The Greenest Building]


The Brookings Institution projects that some 82 billion square feet of existing space will be demolished and replaced between 2005 and 2030 – roughly one-quarter of today’s existing building stock. Each year, approximately 1 billion square feet of buildings are demolished and replaced with new construction. [The Greenest Building]


On average, materials are trucked 497 miles to a building site. Demolished/replaced materials travel 45 miles on average to their respective disposal or processing (e.g., recycling, incineration) destinations. In actuality, distances can vary widely, as some building materials are transported from the other side of the world. [The Greenest Building]


The Institute for Local Self-Reliance estimates deconstruction could divert up to 24 million tons of demolition waste each year for reuse. [Institute for Local Self-Reliance]



2401 Scott Blvd

Iowa City, IA 52240


February Hours

Fri - Sat 9-5

 Hours may change weekly until March 2nd.