Deconstrucion material to be re-used locally

By Emma Gallegos

The rapidly approaching deconstruction of the Athletic Facility will join the green roofs and other ongoing efforts to make the campus more sustainable, planners say.
Mark Dickinson, Director of Facilities Management, said that McGough Construction, the general contractor for the project, has subcontracted the deconstruction, recycling and re-use of the building to a firm called Veit.
In their proposal to the college, the company estimated that they could divert 96% of the building waste from the landfill. The company also estimated that 136 million tons, or 25 to 30 percent of the total waste stream in the United States, comes from construction and demolition debris.
Dickinson said that this is one area where the construction industry is beginning to make their practices more sustainable.
“There’s the economic incentive to make it work now,” Dickinson said, adding that the college has specified that it wants to make the demolition as sustainable as possible, and firms like Veit can profit from re-using and recycling the materials from the structures that they tear down.
“It’s a no-brainer,” said Timothy Den Herder-Thomas ’09, who has lobbied the school through MacCARES to make the project more sustainable. According to Den Herder-Thomas, it’s the perfect compromise because the college avoids paying a fee for dumping material and someone else gets to use the material.
However, the college is paying a slight premium for the deconstruction rather than demolishing the entire building, according to Dickinson.
“Deconstructing costs more than just demolition because you’re trying to save the materials,” he said.
In its proposal to the college, Veit said that it plans to salvage the columns, beams and other materials to be re-used for the Maple Hill Stables just north of the Twin Cities in Monticello, Minn.
Dickinson said that it ends up being more cost-effective for the subcontractor to use the salvaged materials on other projects, such as the horse stables, than to reuse the materials in the new facility. This way the college avoids having to pay a fee to haul and then store the materials off-site.
Select pieces of the old facility will also be preserved to be displayed in the new facility as memorabilia, Athletics Director Travis Feezell said. He said that there are tentative plans to use the old gym floor and scoreboards in the juice bar that is being planned for the new facility
The display cases, photos and other memorabilia that are a part of the current facility may be used in the Hall of Fame Meeting Room that Feezell said will “celebrate the heritage of Macalester.”
Dickinson said that he and planners have tried to incorporate as many suggestions as possible to make the project more sustainable, taking into account how cost-effective, feasible and functional the proposals are.
In fall of 2006 the college hired Joel Schurke, a consultant with the planning firm Intep through a grant from the Kresge Foundation. Schurke has worked to oversee the sustainability of the project from deconstruction to construction.
Den Herder-Thomas also said that, under the leadership of Richard Graves ’06, students in the group MacCares advocated ideas that would make each phase of the project more sustainable.
Not all of the suggestions have been integrated into the plan. Den Herder-Thomas said that he was hoping that the new building would have a green roof like Kagin and the fishbowl between Doty and Turk halls. But Dickinson said that a green roof would dramatically increase the cost because the building would have to be restructured to carry the weight of a green roof.
However, those advocating for a more sustainable facility have enjoyed successes in other areas besides the deconstruction and demolition of the project.
“I think we have been finding an appropriate balance,” Feezell said.
Dickinson said, “[Many of the changes] will not be very visible but will be important to the project.”
Last year, planners revised the shape of the structure of the entire facility to make it more compact, which makes heating more efficient.
Dickinson said that the ventilation system and the electricity will rely on “occupancy sensors” so that when certain areas of the facility are not in use, they will automatically shut off.
Additionally, Dickinson said the insulation used on the new roof exceeds code and far exceeds that of the current facility.
Den Herder-Thomas said that because of these changes, the new facility will use less energy than the old one even though it will be larger.
Despite the fact that the outside looks mostly unchanged, Feezell said deconstruction of the field house has already begun. Everything in the inside has been removed including curtains, floors and basketball hoops.
Within the next two weeks, the outside structure of the Field House will start to be taken down. According to the current timeline, Feezell said the deconstruction of the entire complex should be finished before spring break.
Construction of the new facility should begin by April and be ready for use by the time students return in August 2008.