The reuse of materials makes sense. The downside? Designers more often than not design before sourcing materials, which makes reuse tougher. It’s not always possible to find the exact steel beam you need for a space already configured. Wood is usually the easiest reuse material to work with, as it can be cleaned up and easily modified to fit the situation. Also, there are a number of existing salvage businesses that source, mill, sell, and deliver larger timbers and engineered lumber (wood I-joists, glu lams and the like).
For other materials, we recently came across Planet Reuse. (PR has reused timber too, but we’ve got local sources for that already.) While we have yet to use them, we are pretty sure it will be a simpler way to integrate reused materials into future commercial projects. Need some steel I-joists from a temporary road bridge, say 36″ deep? How about hundreds of feet of wrought iron fencing that looks like it came from the set of a Tim Burton movie?
While we enjoy climbing around salvage yards as much as the next person, not every client is as smitten with greasy hands and twisted ankles. Planet Reuse might be a simpler way to find the steel web joists we used in this kitchen. These were sourced in a Minneapolis salvage yard, two feet longer than what we needed, which required us to change the design to fit the material. Not such a big deal in a residence, a bigger headache in a larger building.
Biking home from downtown last night on the Cedar Lake Trail, I rode over a wee rubber tube just under the I-394 overpass. It looked something like what you might see on a highway for counting cars and as it turns out the tube is just that, but calibrated to count the much lighter weight of a bicycle.
Arlene Birt, the designer behind the mobile counting machine, explained that the stats collected throughout the day are projected every evening at 9 p.m. during bike walk week. The display includes not only the number of bikes that passed by, but also their cumulative carbon off-set and financial savings in comparison to driving. The counting will continue alongside Locus’ Tread Print station and the Greenway Glow this Saturday as part of Northern Spark.
Bicycling Counts is sponsored by the Center for Energy and Environment.
Happy bike walk week! Locus loves two wheel travel all year long (especially in the summer) and this week is just one of many with amusing excuses to cycle around the cities. Sunday for example is the Urban Assault Ride – an obstacle race benefiting MORC, MOCA and the Midtown Greenway Coalition.
In addition to co-hosting Tread Prints with ARTCRANK at Northern Spark on June 9th and Lyndale Open Streets on June 10th, Locus just got wind of the Midtown Greenway Community Bike Festival on July 14th (12-5 pm). The 3rd annual, kid friendly event will include live music, give-aways, refreshments and Nice Ride Bikes.