Today's Nantucket

Nantucket Organizations Study Architectural Salvage & Building Materials Reuse

January 10, 2022 0 comments

Every year on Nantucket, more than 8,800 tons of construction and demolition waste are transported off-island, eventually winding up in a landfill facility in southern Ohio. This includes materials from homes that have been either entirely or partially demolished, much of which has the potential to be salvaged and reused.

Nantucket Preservation Trust (NPT) and ReMain Nantucket have contracted with leading planning and economic consultants EBP, of Boston, to conduct a building materials salvage study. This study will encompass a Market, Impact, and Feasibility analysis, including examining the economic value of materials reuse, the impacts and attitudes on Nantucket towards the deconstruction instead of demolition of buildings, the estimated avoided carbon emissions based on the embodied energy of reusable materials, and the physical possibilities for creating a salvage facility.

Nantucket has a long history of materials reuse – many 19th century buildings were constructed of repurposed 18th or 17th century timbers. According to NPT Executive Director Mary Bergman, “NPT will always advocate for the preservation of a historic resource. Architectural salvage is not an alternative to preservation, but it is an alternative to generating waste that will end up in a landfill. Once the decision has been made by a homeowner and the Historic District Commission to allow a building to be removed, architectural salvage and reuse is one option that should be encouraged.”

Funding for the study is generously provided by ReMain Nantucket. This project builds on NPT’s 2021 Preservation Symposium, sponsored by the Community Foundation for Nantucket’s ReMain Nantucket Fund, which highlighted work at the intersection of historic preservation and sustainability. “Remain Nantucket is pleased to be part of this important study,” said Executive Director Cecil Barron Jensen. “It will offer us insights into how to better use our building and construction resources while having a positive impact on the island’s long-term sustainability.”

Nantucket Preservation Trust is a nonprofit, membership-based organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and promoting Nantucket’s unique architectural heritage and sense of place through documentation, education, and preservation action.

ReMain Nantucket and ReMain Ventures are funded by Wendy Schmidt and her husband Eric to support the economic, social and environmental vitality of the island of Nantucket. In addition to providing grants and sponsorships to support sustainable and cultural initiatives across the island, ReMain Nantucket has worked in conjunction with ReMain Ventures to revitalize the downtown district year-round through the preservation of historic buildings that are home to a mix of nonprofit and commercial businesses.

EBP, formerly EDR Group, is a Boston-based company that provides state-of-the-art economic analysis and research support planning in sustainable transportation, regional development, energy and infrastructure.

For additional information, please contact Nantucket Preservation Trust at (508) 228-1387 or info@nantucketpreservation.org.