Salvage and Building Material Reuse

Are we throwing away our heritage?

For most of Nantucket’s history, salvage was a way of life. Materials were scarce, buildings were moved and reused, and even shipwrecks were scavenged for reusable materials. Today, Nantucket sends more than 17,000 tons of building material waste to off-island landfills.

Communities across the country are exploring deconstruction as an alternative to mechanical demolition, salvaging what can’t be saved. Deconstruction diverts framing materials, fixtures, windows, doors and cabinets, and other building materials from the landfill and creates a circular economy.

In 2022, NPT commissioned a two-part feasibility study about salvage and reuse on Nantucket, completed by consultants EBP.

Salvage and Building Material Reuse Workshop

Join us Wednesday, September 27, from 3-6 PM, at the Nantucket Whaling Museum, 13 Broad Street, for an afternoon of presentations and discussions on the history and future of salvage.

Missed the workshop? Click here to view the recordings!

Speakers Include:

Mae Bowley, Executive Director of Re:Purpose Savannah

Re:Purpose Savannah is a women+ led nonprofit establishing a sustainable future through the deconstruction and reuse of historic buildings. Re:Purpose Savannah advocates, educates, and provides a climate-conscious alternative to conventional demolition that mitigates environmental and public health impacts. They connect best practices for structural removal with historic preservation, emphasizing research and documentation to preserve the diverse histories in their communities. They train women+, including women-identified, trans, non-binary, and other underrepresented women, for careers in construction.

Mae moved to Savannah in 2015 and became enamored of the city’s historic buildings and romantic tree canopies. When she enrolled in Historic Preservation courses at Savannah Technical College (just for fun) her interest in buildings turned into a passion for building materials. Now, in her role as ED for Re:Purpose, she is professionally obsessed with old-growth lumber.

Before she got bit by the historic building bug, she was creative director for a manufacturing firm, market manager for an urban farm, and principal in her own marketing consultancy for creative startups, Bowley Creative. Mae holds a Bachelor of Art in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Art in Classical Archaeology from Florida State University along with a Master of Art in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

John Livermore, Principal for Sustainability Services at EBP

John is a creative sustainability professional with 30 years experience and a proven track record of success designing and implementing award-winning energy efficiency and clean transportation programs, and sustainability projects, in collaboration with utilities, federal and state agencies, municipalities, clean energy stakeholders, and private clients. Having worked at architecture and engineering firms, solar energy companies, energy and environmental non-profit organizations, as a private consultant, and having founded two mission-driven sustainability organizations, John has had the opportunity to address sustainability challenges from multiple perspectives. He enjoys working collaboratively with clients and bringing my experience to bear to solve wicked problems.

John’s team completed a two-phase feasibility study about construction and demolition waste on Nantucket and its potential for salvage and material reuse.

EBP US is a Boston-based company that provides state-of-the-art economic analysis and research to support planning and policy in multimodal transit, regional development, energy, and infrastructure.

Mary Bergman, Executive Director, Nantucket Preservation Trust

Mary Bergman is the executive director of the Nantucket Preservation Trust and a writer living on Nantucket. Originally from Provincetown, Massachusetts, she received an MA in Public Historic from American University and bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Smith College. She has a certificate in historic preservation from the Boston Architectural College. Mary’s preservation and writing work is dedicated to documenting the unique ways of life of people living by the sea.

The Nantucket Preservation Trust is a nonprofit historic preservation education and advocacy organization.

Holly Backus, Preservation Planner, Town of Nantucket

Holly has been a land-use planner for more than 15 years. However, in November 2019, she was promoted as the first Preservation Planner for the Town of Nantucket. In addition, she is the Town’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Coordinator and successfully managed the project to update the plan for FEMA approval in March 2019. She is highly involved with the Town’s Resiliency and Sustainability Planning efforts. In addition, she is a staff liaison to both the Nantucket Historic District Commission and the Nantucket Historical Commission and occasionally participates with the Town’s Coastal Resiliency Advisory Committee.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Historic Preservation and Art & Architectural History from Roger Williams University and a Graduate Certificate from the University of Florida’s Preservation Institute Nantucket. After college she became a Land Use Planner for Berkeley County, South Carolina; a fast-growing county outside Charleston, South Carolina for approximately 10 years. Holly is a Nantucket Native and is happy to be back home helping her island plan appropriately for the protection of the island’s historic and cultural resources with the changing climate.  

Vince Murphy, Sustainability Programs Manager, Town of Nantucket

Vince is a former Environmental Consultant, has a an M.Sc in Ecosystem Conservation and Landscape Management from University College Cork, Ireland, and is now and proud Irish-American. He has lived in several parts of Europe and north America including Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Finland and Arizona before settling on Nantucket with his family. For 7 years Vince worked as an environmental consultant in Ireland, which involved surveying for sensitive habitats and species prior to site developments. As plans developed, his consultancy was also involved overseeing project implementation and insuring projects maintained environmental regulation compliance. His time and experience of environmental practices in these varied countries, most notably including Netherlands and their flooding issues has given him the required experience to work on flooding and erosion issues on Nantucket.

Andy Buccino, Energy Division Director, Stephens and Company, Inc.

Andy Buccino is Director of the Energy Division at Stephens and Company, INC. He is a Home Energy Rater (HERS) and a Passive House Rater.  A builder since 1998, he began as a residential framer in San Diego, then ran Buccino Enterprises, Inc a General Contracting firm for 15 years on Nantucket. Focused on remodeling, BE retrofit cellulose insulation on dozens of renovations projects. Currently a member of RESNET’s Emerging Leadership Council and the Northeast HERS Alliance Board, he Co-Chairs the NEHERS Embodied Carbon Committee – this team developed the concept and language around a RESNET/ANSI/ICC Standard for Embodied Carbon.  This national standard was approved for adoption August, 2023 and is currently in development.

On June 26, NPT welcomed Stephanie Phillips, Deconstruction and Circular Economy Program Manager for the City of San Antonio, to the island for a presentation about her experiences planning an implementing San Antonio’s deconstruction ordinance.

Stephanie Phillips, AICP,is an urban planner and policymaker working at the intersection of heritage conservation and the circular economy. In her role as Deconstruction and Circular Economy Program Manager for the City of San Antonio, she administers the largest deconstruction ordinance in the United States and the first implemented by an Office of Historic Preservation. Her role also focuses on strategic local partnership development, which has helped forge the Material Innovation Center at Port San Antonio; a research partnership with UT-San Antonio; and the integration of deconstruction contractor training into City workforce initiatives.

With thanks to ReMain Nantucket for their generous support of Nantucket Preservation Trust.

Missed a Symposium? Videos from our 2020, 2021, and 2022 events are available to view on our YouTube channel.

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