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New house stands tall on old timbers, at REX Project home

'House Recycling' Progress Report
by: David F. Ashton, Daniel Barone and Daniel Sanchez from Green Building Construction take a brief break from framing, to point out the old and new lumber being used in Shannon Quimby’s REX Project house.

On the site of Shannon Quimby's new Westmoreland house on S.E. Rex Street, there's lumber, nails, and the sound of workmen hammering, as they frame this new two-story home. We've been reporting on this unique house recycling project for months in these pages, and the new home is starting to take shape.

But it is not the new house but the way that it is being built that continues to draw attention. In place of massive construction dumpsters, there are just two huge steel storage containers. 'This is the first house in the nation to be built without a dumpster on-site,' says Quimby, the nation's leading renewal expert and star of HGTV 'Q-Renew' shows.

As we walked through the now-mostly-framed house, Quimby reminded us, 'We deconstructed the dilapidated old house that stood here. We saved every board, every nail - even the toilet and the kitchen sink - everything. We're determined to reuse everything from the old house in our new home. That's why we call it our REX project - Reuse Everything eXperiment!'

On the second floor, Quimby pointed out some of the older 2x4's used in the construction. She explained that the crew has carefully selected old, seasoned wood that best fits the wall they're framing, to minimize waste.

'The great thing about my framing crew,' grinned Quimby, 'is that they took the time to plane down the old boards to match the dimensions of the new ones. The new lumber for sale now is actually 2' x 3.75'.

The house, at the corner of S.E. 21st Avenue and S.E. Rex Street, will be featured as part of the Portland Home Builder's Association's 'Ultimate Open House Tour' later this month, Quimby revealed. 'Although the house won't be finished, we're an 'educational stop' on the tour. We want to encourage builders and remodelers to reuse and recycle building materials, instead of sending them to our overflowing landfills.'

To learn more, and to follow the 'REX Project' as it proceeds, check online at: www.shannonquimby.com.