Habitat for Humanity Partners, Azorim Launch Houston Deconstruction Project

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorHouston–Habitat for Humanity Northwest Harris County and Azorim, a Boymelgreen Holdings development company, have partnered to deconstruct the office building and low-rise commercial structures located at San Felipe Street and Woodway Drive, in Houston’s Memorial Villages area. In its place, Azorim will build a 223-unit LEED certified condominium project, which is expected to be ready in spring 2011.The luxury residential development, currently unnamed, is expected to break ground in July 2008, will consist of two 28-story curvilinear towers designed by Ziegler Cooper Architects. Construction cost for project is estimated to be $180 million. Deconstruction is the hand demolition of buildings in the reverse order of their construction in order to carefully remove materials for reuse and recycling. “Habitat either uses the salvaged materials to construct new affordable housing or sells the material to support the construction of new Habitat homes,” Sara Mirski, managing director of development for Boymelgreen Developers, tells MHN. “At this point in time, there is very little, if any, deconstruction occurring in Houston and even though this process is much more time consuming and costly than mechanized demolition, we felt this was the right decision for our project and is in line with our company’s goal to only build green projects going forward.”Mirski says this project is a win-win for Azorim because it allows the company to divert materials from going into landfills, as well as to contribute to a charitable organization.“Deconstruction allows us to recycle and reuse a significant portion of the materials from that location that would otherwise be placed in local landfills,” says Lee Schnell, executive director of Habitat NWHC.The condos, with an average space of 2,300 sq. ft., will be priced from $1 million and up.