The sustainability of a site is improved when an existing structure can be reused. Searle Chemistry Laboratory was renovated from the former lab building, using 95% of the existing walls, roof, and floors which both minimized waste and the need for new materials.
Materials reused from the existing building are best but reusing materials salvaged from other sites is also a good choice. The Midway studios are a recent example. They were partially deconstructed during preparation for construction of the Logan Arts Center. Materials from the deconstruction of the studios went to reuse and resale. Another example is the slate pavers from former walkways that are now used for a variety of landscaping projects on campus such as the planters in Regenstein Library’s entry garden and in front of Crerar Library.
Recycled Content and Recycling
Many building materials can be made of recycled content. Everything from drywall containing a high content of recycled gypsum, to glass and many types of flooring use recycled content. LEED certification includes both recycling collection within the building as well as recycling of construction waste.
In the Illinois Bell Building carpeting is made from recycled nylon fibers. Staff furniture was all regionally sourced and made from recycled materials. Use of flexible and reusable office and wall construction for offices and conference rooms in both the Illinois Bell Building as well as Searle Chemistry Laboratories make future renovation easy and less wasteful.