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by Jackie Lewandowski / Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres Blue & Gold Make Green initiative has worked to improve sustainability and recycling within the organization over the last year. Now, the Sabres are asking the fans to reduce their environmental footprint.

Throughout the year, will feature a local cause dedicated to making Western New York a “greener” place, and showing fans in the area how to incorporate conservation in their daily lives.

Take a look at this week’s profile on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's impact on the Buffalo community, and how two local businesses - David Homes and Buffalo ReUse - lent a helping hand.

Photo: Casseandra Seawell
Delores Powell and her children have much to give thanks for this Thanksgiving.

The family has college scholarships, food for a year, a 2010 Ford Fusion, and most importantly, a new home courtesy of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

A little over two weeks ago, deconstruction on the Powell family’s house on Massachusetts Ave in Buffalo began, and the City of Good Neighbors bound together to change the family’s lives forever. 

In an episode set to air in early 2010 on the ABC Network, viewers will see both a green deconstruction of the Powell’s home, and a green construction of the new energy-efficient home.

Buffalo ReUSE, a local nonprofit organization was responsible for the demolition of the house. With the demands of a one-week demolition and construction plan, the organization was given a tight and demanding deadline of less than two days.

“The biggest challenge of taking down the house was the time deadline” said David Bennink of ReUSE Consulting.  “But once I walked into the building, I knew that Buffalo ReUSE and I could pull off this project.”

Within just 17 hours, Buffalo-ReUSE had completed the demolition on the Powell’s home, and was able to salvage many of its materials; such as window and door trim, baseboards, bricks, rock-faced blocks, and the stairwell. 

According to estimates from the company, the home weighed about 80 to 100 tons, not including the foundation or stone porch, and nearly 90 percent of the existing materials were able to be used for the new home. In an unprecedented feat, none of the materials were sent to the landfill.

Once the deconstruction was complete, David Homes began to rebuild. The company works to promote environmentally-friendly homes by focusing on saving energy and building Energy Star Rated homes since 2000.

The company also promotes ‘going green’ outdoors by creating green spaces, planting trees, and even creating hiking trails and wildlife habitats whenever possible. 

The Powell’s home was built to exceed the standard Energy Star Requirements by 40 percent, something that David Homes makes standard for every home they build.  Standard Energy Star Requirements include having effective insulation, high-performance windows, tight construction and ducts, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and efficient appliances, water heaters and lighting.

Photo: Sharon Cantillon
The home is also the first emerald-level home under the National Association of Home Builders green certification program. It is a program that focuses on resource efficiency, energy efficiency, and recycling.

“It’s the highest level under the NAHB, and to do so in five days is something that the skilled labor force in Western New York should be very proud of” said David Stapleton, president of David Homes. “It is something we can show the rest of the country, that Buffalo is on the cutting-edge of green demolition and construction.”

In addition to constructing an energy-efficient home for the Powell family, David Homes also worked to improve other homes within the 10 blocks surrounding Massachusetts Avenue.

“The main goal I had was to inspire people to help their community and take back the street, and I think we did that” Stapleton said.

Approximately 100 residents received new paint, siding, roofs, porches, and concrete driveways during the construction process. Volunteers were recruited to clear debris in both occupied and vacant lots as well as aid in some of the projects listed above.
For more information on how to donate reusable materials for a tax deduction, or to volunteer on deconstruction projects within the community visit

For energy saving tips for you home and more volunteer opportunities visit, or check out the Sabres’ Blue & Gold Makes Green Initiative to sign-up to become a Green Team Member for all the latest news and tips.
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