Aug
2009

GBBN Instrumental In Recycling 99% of Building's Materials

It's one thing to preach reuse and recyle, but it's a whole other story when you can back it up with numbers. And when that number is 99%, there's little room for disbelievers.
Clark Montessori High School located in Hyde Park (OH), originally built in 1967, was recently demonlished making way for a new structure. The project team of GBBN, Glaserworks, Turner Construction and Solid Rock Construction worked together to find uses for the tons of materials that included brick and block.

GBBN was responsible for the documentation of the recycling efforts to obtain US Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The original goal of recycling 75% of the 135,000 square foot building was set, but was soon thought to be surpassable.
"The closer we got to 75%, the more we thought we could maybe hit even 95%," said Marcie Kinney, GBBN's project manager. By the end of the process, 99% of the materials found new uses. And numbers don't lie:
$150,000 worth of gravel, or 5,100 tons, found a new home
$85,000 was saved by not taking the masonry to the landfill
1% of materials sent to the landfill included some plumbing fixtures, insulated window glass and tar impregnated roofing
9,635 total tons of materials recycled

"We were convinced there had to be projects out there that could benefit from the materials," said Kinney. After much disucssion and a lot of questions asked, it was determined that there were a number of local projects in need of the materials available. "Local churches were able to use insulation, cabinets and event chalkboards," said Kinney. Some of the materials didn't have far to go. "We were able to use 37% of the school's old masonry in a retaining wall system, and for the gravel base under the new parking lots," added Kinney.

With the success of recycling and reusing materials on the Clark Montessori project, it's Kinney's hope that those working on future school projects will keep this particular project in mind and look for ways to use materials in other ways and places.

"This was definitely an eye-opening project that took on a life of its own," said Kinney. "Materials were reused and that equated to money saved, hopefully this is the beginning of another piece of the building design and construction process."