Western Living Magazine
This Calgary Spec Home Is an Ode to Colour
Great Spaces: Inside a Buzzy and Beautiful West Vancouver Coffee Shop
6 Beautiful Black and White Kitchens to Inspire Your Next Renovation
Recipe: Pineapple-Stuffed Gougères Are Perfect For The Super Bowl
Recipe: 4 Ingredient Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie Truffles
The Prettiest Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day
Editors’ Picks: The Best Trips We Took in 2022
Victoria Might Just Be the Perfect Pre-New Year’s Getaway
Discover the Perfect Winter Getaway in Penticton
Hot List: The Best New Furniture and Homewares of February 2023
I Tried It: What It’s Like to Sleep On a Wall Bed
Protected: The Endy Hybrid: The Best of Both Worlds
Submissions Now Open! Enter Western Living’s 2023 Designers of the Year Awards
Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architects of the Year 2022: Measured Architecture
The Vancouver salvage experts make sure every last piece of a demolition or renovation is put to good use.
Vancouver's red-hot housing market means development is inevitable. But the construction of shiny, brand-spanking-new buildings comes with a lot of waste: wood, drywall, steel and other demolition debris that's sent to the incinerator or landfills. It was really bothering me as a builder, a woodworker and an environmentalist, says local contractor Adam Corneil.
The solution? Unbuilders, a team of salvage experts founded by Corneil that works not to demolish decades-old homes in Vancouver but, like its name suggests, unbuild them. Unlike the traditional, machine-aided demo process, the team takes spaces apart by hand, recovering everything from roofing and siding to cabinetry, appliances and moulding. The materials are then donated to and sold at charitable outlets like Habitat for Humanity, for which the building owner receives a tax receipt.
Perhaps most significantly, Unbuilders rescues an extensive amount of old-growth wood, which comes from ancient trees that were clear-cut from B.C. forests in the past century. Some of this prized lumber, which is stronger and more stable than that used in construction projects today, will be repurposed at two design-forward installations at this year's IDS Vancouver. We don't only feel like we're salvaging used building materials, notes Corneil, we feel like we're salvaging our local history.
Are you over 18 years of age?