Hennepin County offering 'Green Grants' to help with cost of deconstruction

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Hennepin County is urging homeowners and developers to consider deconstructing buildings instead of demolishing them. And the county is willing to help pay for it.

"Deconstruction is the dismantling of a building piece by piece, typically by hand," said Olivia Cashman, the county's construction and demolition waste specialist. "It helps keep usable materials out of the landfill. A lot of these materials have high value and a lot of character."

Deconstruction is time-consuming and costs about twice as much as demolition. So Hennepin County is offering new "green grants" to help bridge the gap.

"We are actually one of the first counties in the nation to offer these sorts of grants," Cashman explained.

Homeowners and developers of residential properties in the cities of Brooklyn Center, Edina, Hopkins, Minneapolis and St. Louis Park
can receive up to $5,000 to help offset the additional time and labor costs associated with deconstruction.

Salvaged materials include things like lumber, doors, flooring, cabinets and fixtures. There are a number of local businesses that accept the deconstructed materials, including Bauer Brothers in Minneapolis, where they can be sold for reuse.

"Everything has a new life and it doesn't get wasted. It doesn't add to the pile of garbage," said Melissa John, sales and social media manager at Bauer Brothers. "So when people are remodeling an older home or want to put the charm back into it, we have the resources to help them do that."

Hennepin County has a total of about $100,000 in deconstruction grants available for 2020. To learn more or apply, click here.