Island Green Offers Free Sustainable Deconstruction Workshops

St. John, USVI – October 22, 2021 – It is likely that 315,000+ lbs. of construction and demolition debris enter the USVI’s waste stream every year, based on data from the 2019 Waste Audit conducted by Caribbean Green Technology Center (CGTC) – material that could potentially be reused and/or repurposed. Island Green Living Association is advancing that practice through professional and community workshops on “Sustainable Deconstruction” taking place Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6 on St. Thomas. The free events are supported by an EPA grant and in partnership with the CGTC.

“We’re very excited to bring this opportunity to the Virgin Islands. It’s a good step towards building up sustainability in the C&D industry of the VI,” said Island Green Executive Director Kelly McKinney.

Sustainable deconstruction is defined as the systematic dismantling of a building in order to recover the maximum number of materials for reuse and recycling.

“Sustainable deconstruction allows ‘waste’ to be turned into a resource and kept out of the landfill. Not only is it good for the environment, it can also create green jobs and has the potential to foster new green business opportunities for enterprising entrepreneurs,” said Harith Wickrema, President of Island Green.

These are IN-PERSON events; masks and social distancing must be maintained and registration is required. The community event and full-day professional workshops take place at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) St. Thomas Campus Sports & Fitness Center, Room 24. Advance registration is required; contact Kelly McKinney at kelly@islandgreenliving.org or 340-998-4446. Details are as follows:

Community Event:
Saturday, November 6 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Members of the community are invited to this abbreviated workshop touching on the elements of sustainable deconstruction and its importance to the territory.

Trade Events:
Friday, November 5 from 8 am – 5 pm
Saturday, November 6 from 8 am – 5 pm

Join either date for a full-day intensive workshop geared to construction professionals and tradespeople interested in learning the core competencies of sustainable deconstruction & opportunities to expand into this green business. In order to offset the costs of potentially losing work to attend the full-day training, stipends are available for a limited number of qualified attendees and in some cases, travel costs can be offset.  Light breakfast, lunch & refreshments provided.

In this workshop, participants will:

  • Learn about the 10 Core Competencies of building deconstruction
  • Understand the vast potential for expanded availability of construction materials
  • Understand the economic value of deconstruction and reuse
  • Gain resources to help you create your own deconstruction team
  • Receive the BRMA manual Introduction to Deconstruction
  • Receive a supplemental manual written specifically for the USVI
  • Have the opportunity for individual coaching from a top Master Building Deconstruction Trainer

Master Trainer Dave Bennink has been brought on for these events. Director of Re-Use Consulting in Bellingham, WA and an award-winning industry leader, Bennink has managed the diversion of 100,000,000+ lbs. of material from landfills. He has held training sessions throughout the US & Canada and completed more than 1,200 deconstruction projects.

Established in 2004, Island Green Living Association is a registered 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization on St. John dedicated to sustainability throughout the USVI.



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