Home » Preservation » A Historic New Orleans Building Deconstruction

A Historic New Orleans Building Deconstruction

Original StepThe property at 5200 Dauphine St. was once a store and popular place for 9th Ward neighbors to meet and catch up with each other. But time and hurricane Katrina took its toll on the historic New Orleans building. To honor its history, the Preservation Resource Center purchased the property after the storm, and with funding formed the plans to remake the space into a community center.

Part of the project’s mandate to receive the funding was to renovate to the LEED Platinum Rating, the most efficient rating in the LEED Rating system. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system.Historic Building prior to reclaimation It provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance in all of the most important metrics: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Deconstruction of historic building
Collums Construction was hired to deconstruct the building (demolish it to salvage the materials for reuse). As the photo to the left shows, the building was in an advanced state of disrepair. The structure was so unstable that it was a severe safety hazard. We actually had to reinforce and brace the building to safely begin our deconstruction.

The deconstruction process for LEED required a comprehensive accounting of all materials including their eventual re-usage or land field destination. Even a count of all dumpsters taken to land fields with a description of the materials and the condition that resulted in their disposal was included in the accounting.

Cleaning & sorting materials down to the foundation

Cleaning and sorting materials down to the foundation


Attached photos show scenes during the deconstruction from the initial condition, bracing the structure, removal with boom extension forklift, boom man-lift, separation of all different types of materials, sorting of all different salvaged materials, and a thorough recording of materials removed.

This project is featured as a case study article in Design for Reuse Primer, published as a free downloadable document by the public advocacy organization PublicArchitecture.org. Below is a quote from the case study:

Deconstruction complete; site ready for reconstruction

Cleaning and sorting materials down to the foundation



The new home of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association in New Orleans will be a model for how communities devastated by natural disasters can rebuild sustainably.

Central City Millworks is the mill shop currently involved in this historic preservation project by reusing the salvaged materials. Read their article about the fabrication of new energy efficient custom windows on their web site.

Project Sponsor: Preservation Resource Center
Sponsor Preservation Resource Center

Project Sponsor: Historic Green New Orleans
Sponsor: Historic Green New Orleans