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ALTERNATIVE CONSTRUCTION

DRYWALL IS NAUGHTY… AND SO ARE THE STUDS AND WIRING
It’s a method of construction first introduced in 1833. Here in the 21st century our fast changing businesses mean Conventional Construction creates unnecessary waste. It is built on-site. Materials arrive in a certain order and must be cut to fit. When a ceiling height is 9’ 2”, ten-foot sheets of drywall have to be paid for and cut down. For each transom, bulkhead and column, drywall and studs are cut. For every square foot of drywall built brand new – one pound is disposed. Once in the landfill it’s exposed to the elements – making it a hazardous waste, as it releases deadly hydrogen sulphide gas. Of course all this is exponentially multiplied during renovations and the inevitable demolition. 10 – 15% of landfill construction waste is drywall.

The same goes for the wiring of the space. In every project there is at least a 10% contingency fee for all the cut-offs and mistakes. For moves, adds and changes wires are cut and new wire installed in homerun cabling methods. That cut wire isn’t as valuable as it was just a couple of years ago. To even get to the copper you have to strip lead-based jackets off the data cables. When changes are made during installation, those homerun data cables that were cut from the old layout can’t be left in the ceiling anymore. The National Code determined the danger to those in the building and fire fighters due to the lead and toxins in cabling is too big a risk. All unused cable must be removed. (Every 1000 linear feet of data cable can burn for 20 minutes with as high a BTU as gasoline.) There are an estimated six billion feet of cable and wiring in the ceilings of the United States.

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