By Alex Dryer ’18
Various sustainable building materials were incorporated throughout the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies during construction. But do you know the difference between repurposed and reconstructed building materials?
Repurposing means reusing materials for a new project, and is often done using materials that would otherwise be scrapped and sent to a landfill.
Remember how Huxley Avenue cut through campus and was lined with sidewalks on either side? The sidewalks are made of concrete while the curbs are made of granite.
Generally, both would be sent to a landfill, but in the interest of reducing waste, the granite curbs were saved and repurposed. First used as curbs, the granite slabs were cut and reused in the bioswales, or rain gardens, around campus.
Instead of demolishing Dore Hall, sending all the destroyed materials to landfills, and using brand new building materials in the construction of the Ryan Center, Providence College along with the SMMA architecture firm decided to repurpose Dore Hall.
The inside of the building was emptied out, the interior walls were demolished, and the exterior was left intact. Essentially, a new building was created within the existing walls of Dore Hall.
Reconstructing means building or forming products from damaged or destroyed materials.
Wherever you see wood in the business building, know that behind the thin veneer sheet, is reconstructed wood! This means that wood scraps were shredded, steamed, compressed, and glued back together to be reused rather than discarded and thrown in a landfill.
Know that PC is working to be more sustainable and to reduce our waste by incorporating repurposed and reconstructed materials in construction on campus.