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Old Growth: The Rebuilding Exchange Broadens in Size and Mission

December 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Deconstruction—the art of carefully dismantling a building rather than demolishing it—has been expanding over the past few years. Also expanding is the local hub for this practice, the Rebuilding Exchange. What once was merely an exchange for repurposed building materials is now also an exchange for deconstruction ideas.

Since first opening back in February of 2009, it has been the mission of the Rebuilding Exchange to create a market for reclaimed building materials. Initially, this was manifest simply in a Brighton Park warehouse where contractors and the DIY community could donate or purchase salvaged building supplies. A recent move to the northwest side has given the nonprofit venture more room for stock. But perhaps just as exciting are the expanded endeavors such as educational seminars and even a furniture line.
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ANEW Life for Office Furniture

September 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

It may not happen often, but inspiration sometimes comes in the form of furniture crashing to the pavement.

Having found success as an interior designer, Rose Tourje began to have conversations with a group of others like her who wanted to give back. What came of this effort was a look at industry processes from beginning to end. With the green movement underway, plenty of front end improvements were being implemented, in great part to the leadership role of the USGBC.
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Innovation Incubation: A Look Inside the Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center

June 10, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Carl Sandburg wasn’t abusing his poetic license when he referred to Chicago as “Hog Butcher for the World, / Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, / Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler.” Situated at the midway point between production to the west and consumption to the east, the City of Big Shoulders functioned as middleman to the nation. This gave rise to miles of new rail, acres of factories and the highest concentration of butcheries anywhere. The slaughterhouses were so extensive that the stew of methane and other gases belching to the surface of the Chicago River’s South Branch from discarded, decomposing offal provided the waterway a new nickname, “Bubbly Creek.”
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