Ft. Campbell Deconstruction Analysis


Over 50 million square feet of surplus World War II buildings must be removed from Army installations. When demolished, a typical two-story barracks building becomes about 160 tons of debris that occupies diminishing landfill space on Army installations. The same barracks building, however, could also be “deconstructed” to produce approximately 12,000 board-feet of lumber, as well as windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, and mechanical and electrical components.

The pilot project “Optimizing Building Deconstruction Techniques for Army Buildings at Ft. Campbell, KY” was initiated to develop deconstruction strategies for wood frame buildings, evaluate the strategies in terms of cost, time, and material recovery rates, and to develop criteria to optimize deconstruction strategies within project-specific cost and time limitations.

During May, June, and July of 2002, Fort Campbell, KY made 20,000 to 25,000 square feet of surplus World War II wood-framed buildings available for this pilot deconstruction project. The Austin, Texas Habitat for Humanity affiliate, with labor provided by teams of Americorps volunteers, deconstructed 5 buildings at Ft. Campbell. The University of Florida’s Powell Center for Construction and Environment (PCCE) was onsite to provide supervision and guidance and to collect and evaluate data describing deconstruction duration, deconstruction cost, and quantities of recovered materials. PCCE was also to provide lessons learned and recommended revisions to each deconstruction plan, as well as conclusions about safety, efficiency, management, and other project performance parameters.

This document contains descriptions of the deconstructed buildings, narratives detailing the process and methods of each deconstruction, and analysis of the duration of each deconstruction task culminating in documentation of deconstruction labor rates for the various materials and assemblies encountered in the course of the pilot project. This report also discusses the lessons learned during the course of the project, suggestions for future research, and a general discussion on deconstruction safety and project management.

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