Examples of policies that incentivize reuse of (E) buildings?

Are there any examples of code or policy incentives/mechanisms (in N America or elsewhere) that directly quantify and credit “avoided impacts” related to reuse of (E) structures and buildings? So far, what I understand about Buy Clean and other low carbon legislation is that they seem to operate based on procurement of new materials (i.e. concrete with low-carbon cement replacement). Thank you!

Hi Laura. I don’t know of any re-use policy that explicitly uses LCA. Portland has a deconstruction ordinance that requires buildings of certain era to be deconstructed so materials can be re-used which would indirectly encourage building re-use. @lstrain - do you know of specific policies focused on incentivizing building re-use?

Thank you Kate! I’ll look into this and also Amsterdam’s circular city policies to compare their approach.

The City of Vancouver’s Embodied Carbon Strategy mentions reuse multiple times. It does not specifically require it, but it admits that reuse is an effective strategy for embodied carbon reduction. Checkout Vancouver Climate Action Plan.

    Reusing more building materials will create new jobs in the growing salvage and deconstruction industry. By designing buildings to be long-lived and reused, and treating building materials as capital rather than waste, our buildings will be stores of value and an asset for our future.”

  • Appendix K, Page 11, SECTION 3. THE PRINCIPLES
    Healthy materials and buildings:
    “Materials that are … safe to reuse at the end of their life…”
    Circularity: “… Our actions should reduce, reuse, and recycle building materials and create a more circular, high-value and local construction and deconstruction economy.”

San Francisco has yet to draft policy, but our draft Climate Action Plan update does establish the foundations for honoring the existing assets throughout our city (buildings/materials)… You can view it here: Full List of Strategies & Actions | San Francisco Climate Action (Click on Responsible Production and Consumption >> Strategy 1. Achieve total carbon balance across the building and infrastructure sectors.)
Also: check out https://doughnuteconomics.org/

This is a great reference, thank you. In RPC 1-2 it specifically notes “adaptive reuse of existing buildings” which is a step beyond (or just different from) repurposing existing materials after demolition.

Thank you Zahra, I will read through this!

This is a bit off the original topic of building reuse, but at least somewhat related (incentivizing deconstruction/reuse of materials). Hennepin County, Minnesota offers Deconstruction Grants available for homeowners: https://www.hennepin.us/deconstruction.

Hennepin County has funding available for building projects that use deconstruction techniques instead of standard demolition to remove materials from the destruction, alteration, or renovation of a building. Homeowners and developers of residential properties can receive up to $5,000 to help offset the additional time and labor costs associated with deconstruction.

Applicants must be a homeowner or developer in Hennepin County and the work must be on residential properties. Projects must meet the reuse and disposal criteria, the structure being demolished or renovated must have been built prior to 1970, and the size of structure or area of renovation must be 500 square feet or larger.

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Thank you Eric for this reference!