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Builder and engineer Peter Mason, of Dunedin, said the salvage work he had undertaken at St Martin’s Hall, in Northumberland St, over the past two days was "extremely" worthwhile despite an early assessment the untreated Oregon timber trusses in the building were "full of borer".
"Ninety percent of the building was borer-ridden," Mr Mason said.
However, the second reason to be interested in salvaging material in the vacant building was the ironwork, which he said could be re-used in his restoration work at the All Saint’s Anglican Hall, in Cumberland St, he said.
Mr Mason also took away about 2 tonnes of rimu and pine for minor projects.
But the 100-year-old Oregon timber trusses originally destined to be firewood had already been spoken for, for the production of smoked meat and smoked ham, he said.
The church received a quote of $50,000 to strengthen the hall, which it considered too high when it had other facilities to use.
Once built, the Habitat for Humanity housing will add to those the parish already owned, in Cumberland St next to the All Saint’s Church.