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EcoBuilding Bargains relocates to larger facility

Date: 11/21/2011

Nov. 21, 2011

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Editor

SPRINGFIELD — Thrifty homeowners and conscientious contractors now have a more convenient place to shop for affordable and recycled home building materials.

On Nov. 14, EcoBuilding Bargains, formerly known as The ReStore, hosted the grand opening of its new, expanded facility at 83 Warwick St., in the former distribution warehouse of Kavanaugh Furniture.

“We saw a couple of years ago the demand for what we do was growing so quickly that we needed to open up a larger facility,” John Majercak, executive director of the 35-year old nonprofit Center for EcoTechnology, which oversees EcoBuilding Bargains, told Reminder Publications. “In this economy there are a lot of people who are looking for a good deal on materials to remodel their homes.”

According to press materials provided by the Center of EcoTechnology, the store’s move to the new, 20,000-plus square foot space, coupled with the site’s large outside yard for lumber and other building materials, means EcoBuilding Bargains is now “the largest operation of its type in New England.”

To facilitate the move, the center made $3.3 million in green renovations to the 100 year-old building, transforming it into a high-performance site that will, according to the release, use “one-third of the energy of a typical building of its size.”

Majercak said the business model behind EcoBuilding Bargains is both old-fashioned and simple — the facility gives homeowners and contractors who donate used building materials in reusable condition a voucher for a tax deduction equivalent to the fair market value of the products being “recycled.” Those products are, in turn, made available for purchase by homeowners and contractors looking to match a specific building style or timeframe, or for a bargain on a contemporary piece that has come in as surplus.

“Materials range from stuff many decades old to stuff that is new. People come in looking for [building materials] that match their homes,” Majercak observed. He added that EcoBuilding’s relocation to the Warwick Street site, which has a larger loading dock than the previous store, should make it easier for individuals to bring in building materials for recycling.

“If you look at how much stuff is thrown away, we are just scratching the surface. We think there is so much more that could be saved,” Majercak said.

The store, he continued, also offers a free pick-up service to individuals and contractors unable to deliver materials in person.

“We go throughout Western Massachusetts and beyond,” he said. “We work with contractors, homeowners and retailers in the area to provide the free [pick-up] service.”

As an added service for bigger recycling projects, EcoBuilding offers to connect homeowners with contractors who will carefully deconstruct anything from a kitchen space to an entire house, preserving all reusable building materials. Majercak said in this case the project does include a cost, but “the homeowner is going to have to hire a contractor anyway; if they hire us they know the maximum is going to be saved.”

He added that homeowners who use the deconstruction service get a tax voucher for the reusable materials recovered, but there is no discount offered on the contractor’s services booked through EcoBuilding Bargains.

Beyond the “green” aspect of expanded materials recycling at the new facility, Majercak said the new location also has enough room to allow EcoBuilding Bargains to begin providing education to its customers.

“One of the great things about our new facility is that we have classrooms now, and we will be offering a series of seminars on home improvements and green home topics,” Majercak said.

EcoBuilding Bargains is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 788-6900 or visit

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