Deconstruction Works


Year Founded: 2014
Years of Employee Ownership: Since 2014
Headquarters: West Dummerston, VT
Additional Offices: Bristol, VT
Number of Employees: 3 worker-owners
Line of business: Green demolition; salvage and reuse of homes and commercial buildings

Deconstruction Works is a Vermont-based team that offers an alternative to demolition services and seeks to create a vibrant recycling and reuse culture. The team has experience in commercial interior gutting, partial residential deconstruction and tear-outs, whole-house and outbuilding deconstruction, and commercial structure dismantling.

The cooperative is co-owned and -run by Erich Kruger, Michael Weitzner, and Tom Shea. While the co-op itself is relatively young, Shea and Kruger have a combined 30+ years of experience in deconstruction.

In 2005, Kruger founded Renew Building Materials and Salvage Inc., a nonprofit with the goal of directing building materials away from landfills while providing local jobs. Following the financial imploding and closure of the nonprofit in 2013, Kruger decided to reinvent the ReNew concept and mission through a worker co-op startup.

Deconstruction Works offers assistance at every stage of the deconstruction process. The team works directly with architects in the specification stage, and also coordinates the deconstruction timeline with homeowners, contractors, and demolition companies when appropriate.

While the cost of deconstruction can be higher than in cases of demolition, Deconstruction Works also helps clients determine whether tax-deductible donations of salvaged materials may be sufficient to offset those costs. In some cases, the value of the salvaged materials themselves can also partially offset project costs.

"That could be anywhere from $50,000 up to $100,000," Kruger said in an interview with Okemo Valley TV in 2020. "It all depends on how the building is built and how we take it down. And that's sort of an offset to the deconstruction cost, so we're cost-competitive with demolition when schedule is not the issue."


Get an in-depth look at the deconstruction process in this video: