Old School Rebuilders Project for Piedmont Biofuels Station

Welcome to our info page about the utility building under construction at Tidal Creek Co-Op in Wilmington, NC! This site will serve as a fueling dispenser of 100% biodiesel (a compostable fuel source) by Piedmont Biofuels Industrial, LLC (PBI, LLC), a NC-based alternative fuel cooperative and B-Corporation. When PBI, LLC contacted us in February 2012 to construct this building, we were told the budget could not exceed $10,000– the amount of a grant given to PBI, LLC by the Clean Cities Initiative.

We knew that a shed large enough to hold a 1000-gallon tank and nice enough to stand adjacent to the building that houses the Tidal Creek Co-Op and the Wilmington Yoga Center would have to be put together with much volunteer labor and materials in order to keep the construction costs under $10,000 — particularly from the general contractor, Old School Rebuilders, LLC, and the architect, Dogwood Design Studio. Further, for philosophical and budgetary purposes, we knew that the materials used to construct this building would need to be of re-purposed and second-hand sources as much as possible.

The inspiration for the exterior appearance of the building came from an article in the February 2011 issue of Dwell magazine. We’ve been looking for just the right project with which to implement the feature design in the article Superuse in Action. The big idea with the exterior of this residential project was to take recycled industrial cable reels, break them down, and employ the resultant lumber as exterior cladding.









I showed this Dwell article to Eric Jabaley of Dogwood Design Studio and asked him to put together a set of plans for the building that incorporated found materials from around Wilmington—cable reels from a local Time Warner Cable lot, leftover storefront glass from Standard Glass, crushed concrete and brick from Wilmington Materials, rebar for the foundation reinforcement from the scrap yard at Horton Iron and Metal, old metal roofing panels bent into new waterproofing flashing from Hanover Iron Works, a green roof from Mott Roofscaping and Highland Roofing, exterior doors from the salvage supply of EW Godwins’ Sons Lumber, and miscellaneous framing lumber from the construction and demolition pad at the New Hanover County Landfill.

Based on the dimensions of some of our found building materials, Eric quickly proceeded to compose a wonderful set of building plans for our structure, and we were on our way. Topping off our unique design is a building orientation that will maximize winter heating of the fuel supply by passive solar, and a robust insulation of the north-facing wall and vegetative roof.




























After receiving our permit approval from the City of Wilmington’s Zoning Department, New Hanover County Inspections Department, and the Fire Services Department of Wilmington, we commenced the project on April 13, 2012, and hope to have a completed building, ready for biodiesel fueling and a special ribbon-cutting event, by May 9.

We would like to express our thanks to the businesses that have come on-board early with this project, and have agreed to donate materials or services at a reduced rate, or else for free:

Polecat Concrete, Horton Iron and Metal Co., Standard Glass, EW Godwins’ Sons Lumber, Hanover Iron Works, Wilmington Materials, New Hanover County Landfill, Mott Roofscaping, Highland Roofing, and Bill Ladd Electrical Services.

-Christopher Yermal
by Old School Rebuilders, LLC

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