Saving material, energy and money – Greening Homes’ core pillars in action
At Greening Homes, we operate under 5 ‘pillars’ of sustainability. We are always looking for ways to implement sustainable practices on our jobs, even when this requires a little extra work and dedication.
At our on-going full-house renovation in Leslieville, we had the opportunity to implement two of our pillars: 1) Responsible Waste Management and 3) Efficient Use of Resources by re-using 100-year- old floor joists.
There was a 3.75″ variation in the elevation of the existing first floor plate as well as an overspan condition so to achieve a solid, level floor while conserving ceiling height in the basement, we decided to re-frame the entire floor. Most of the existing joists were structurally compromised due to historic damage by reckless tradespeople. We had a subtrade demolish the existing floor sheathing and joists, but rather than send all the waste off site for recycling, we sorted through the salvage joists to glean any re-usable stock.
The original joists were full dimension (2″ X 9.5″) fir. After removing defects and trimming damaged ends, we had the structural engineer review them for structural adequacy. With his approval, we were able to re-frame approximately 1/3 of the floor plate with salvaged material; avoiding energy-intensive removal and recycling while saving the owner approximately $400 in material costs and disposal fees (accounting for the additional labour for salvaging).
The less-savoury salvage will be used to construct temporary stairs, blocking, and possibly rustic accent pieces in the finished home.
By Steven Gray, Greening Homes’ Construction Manager