With school back in season, stat-happy football fans would do well to take note of the recycling numbers posted by Eastern Michigan University's Pray-Harrold
building renovation project. The university is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the $42 million redo of the building used by 10,000 students a day, says Sean Braden, planning and design manager at EMU.
This project was the biggest shake-up in the 1969-era building's structural history. Of the 1,200 tons of debris generated, 950 were diverted from the landfill, for a recycling rate in excess of 75%, according to Braden. Off to the recycling plant are 200 tons of masonry block; 30 tons of ceiling tiles; 15 tons of metal; and 3,163 lighting ballasts and 4,317 lamps.
In shooting for LEED certification, Braden says, "A lot of our focus on this was in the recycling of debris created and just trying to use low-maintenance materials or those with recycled content."
The new design includes recycled ceiling tiles, carpeting with recycled content, bamboo doors, low-flow plumbing fixtures, floor tiles made of a lower-hassle polymer composite as opposed to industry-standard vinyl composite, and a bamboo ceiling in the new glass-enclosed student commons area.
The project design also called for using the vast majority of the existing walls and pre-existing layouts of the seven-story, 235,000-square-foot building whenever possible, he explains. "We didn't move every wall in the building; we kept what we could when we could."
And vines will slowly be twining up the second through the fifth stories of its south wall. The intent of the green wall is to temper heating and cooling levels. "[The green wall] will absorb the rays of the sun rather than the building doing it and then from a storm water standpoint it will use some of the water that might otherwise have just been run-off."
A determination on LEED status could take up to a year to receive from the U.S. Green Building Council, says Braden. Meanwhile, students who used to have to sit in hallways between classes are enjoying the new commons area. All 60 classrooms were redone, and two of the four auditoriums were converted from movie theater-style seating to seminar-style designs.
"It's hard to pick one [standout] thing," Braden says.
A Pray-Harrold building open house is set for September 20 at 10 a.m. in the new student commons area.
Source: Sean Braden, planning and design manager at EMU
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar