Deconstruct the City

Sara Turner is currently working as a Sustainability Analyst at Purpose Building Inc. She has been contributing to the green building industry since 2017, through previous roles that include building science engineering, energy modeling, and renewable technology analysis.

Sara is passionate about decarbonization, sustainable development, and the circular economy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Waterloo, where she enjoyed leading innovative sustainable housing projects in partnership with Canadian Indigenous communities and Habitat for Humanity.


Deconstruct the City aims to reduce construction waste and embodied carbon emissions by increasing building material reuse in new construction and retrofit projects in the Vancouver region.

Materials from existing buildings can be salvaged through the deconstruction process, diverting up to 80% of materials from landfills. Reusing existing materials can significantly reduce the embodied carbon of new build projects as emissions from raw material sourcing and manufacturing are avoided.

Our goal of reducing embodied carbon emissions through material reuse aligns with the Climate Emergency Action Plan’s Big Move #5, which targets a 40% reduction in embodied carbon emissions in new buildings by 2030.

Deconstruct the City will host multiple round-table workshops with industry stakeholders (investors, designers, builders, operators, occupants) to identify opportunities to design for deconstruction at each stage of the development process. The workshops will also serve as a platform for creating relationships with the industry, improving our understanding of barriers to material reuse, and catalyzing supporting initiatives.

Using findings from the workshops, an implementation plan will be developed that outlines how designing for deconstruction can be integrated into local policy. Planning for deconstruction will provide tangible pathways and incentives for construction material reuse, lowering Vancouver’s embodied carbon emissions.