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March 20, 2016, 08:09 PM

Decon 16 - NY, OR, Belgium, London, and donation appraisals

By David Bennink

IRS Publication 526

North Carolina, USA - The Building Materials Reuse Association held its biennial conference on building material reuse from February 29th to March 2nd. The conference was held in Raleigh, NC, and was attended by reuse professionals from all over the United States. Two interesting keynote speeches were provided by Jonathan Orpin of Pioneer Millworks in New York and Oregon, and Maarten Gielen of Rotor Deconstruction in Belgium.

Individual sessions included talks on running a reuse store, building deconstruction, health concerns regarding building demolition, and the problems with 'disposable buildings'. Other talks included a group from Portland discussing their success in passing a City Council measure to require deconstruction on homes within the city limits that are from 1916 or older. Speakers included representatives of government, the military, architects, and those using an array of business models in the reuse industry. Daniel Bergsagel of London traveled from the United Kingdom to speak on the barriers to deconstruction and reuse in that market. Those in attendance commented on how entertaining the charrette-style session was.

The topic that garnered the greatest level of interest was that of appraisals of materials being donated to non-profit organizations. Many people in the reuse industry are very concerned about rogue non-profits working with corrupt appraisers resulting in fraudulently high donation values being assigned to salvaged and deconstructed materials. Several examples of this were brought up during the conference. One such example was a home that had a fair market value (once deconstructed) of approximately $36,000, but its deconstructed parts were appraised at $360,000. Another attendee mentioned that after referring his client to a well-known appraiser, the resulting appraisal was so impossibly high, that the building owner, a well-known public figure, fully rejected the fraudulent appraisal, stating that they wanted no part of this sort of activity. Clearly, it seemed that many attending consider these non-profits and appraisers to be an embarrassment to the industry, as was shown at the BMRA members meeting. BMRA members overwhelmingly voted to ask the BMRA to help rid the industry of these potentially illegal and fraudulent activities, and to create a resource that shows everyone how to correctly appraise building material donations.

The event wrapped up with several interesting tours of local reuse operations and projects, and workshops on value-added wood shops and OSHA 10. To find out more, visit the BMRA.

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A Report on the Building Materials Reuse Association's Decon '16 conference by Dave Bennink, owner, Re-Use Consulting. Title and image by Salvo


Council votes 5-0 to mandate deconstruction of older homes

RE-USE Consulting

Building Materials Reuse Association

Pioneer Millworks

Dept of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service 526 Charitable contributions

Story Type:  News

ID: 94214

Date Modified: March 21, 2016, 01:46 PM

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