Organizations: Lifecycle Building Center
In 2009, architect Shannon Goodman worked on an extensive renovation of a building in Midtown Atlanta.
With sustainability on her mind, she salvaged 125,000 pounds of building materials, which she then donated to 11 nonprofits – saving the groups $400,000.
“That’s when I got the idea to do this kind of repurposing,” says Goodman, who is now the executive director of the Lifecycle Building Center (LBC), an organization that assists nonprofits and the general public with best-practice green building-related concepts. “The idea is to reduce solid waste disposal, promote resource efficiency and empower every citizen to improve their own built environment.”
The staff of nine operates a West End Atlanta warehouse where consumers can drop off or purchase building materials at a discounted rate. It also offers “deconstruction” services – dismantling doors, cabinetry, lighting and every other aspect of demolition – with the goal of finding a new use for the items. “I estimate that so far we have saved the community more than $1.6 million, and we’ve kept 3 million pounds of refuse out of landfills,” Goodman says.
Among the 110 nonprofits assisted by LBC are the Friends of Refugees in Clarkston; Redeem, a transitional housing facility; and the Cumberland Academy for special-needs students. “Donations are more meaningful when we can tell the donor where they’re going,” she says.
LBC also works closely with Georgia’s film industry. “Our first customer for building materials was The Walking Dead,” Goodman says.
The Lifecycle Building Center is supported largely by corporate sponsorships and volunteer work by firms such as Skanska, J.E. Dunn and Holder Construction. The group is growing, she says, and is currently fixing up a new warehouse in a 100-year-old building.