Home / 2010 Newsmakers of the Year / Recycling the past

Recycling the past

Big Diverter, Demolition

KM Development Corp. and The Brewery project

Pictured: (left to right) Jim Theusch, Kevin Mantz, Dennis Stapleton and Gary Condon (Photo by Corey Hengen)

A decaying Milwaukee relic gave way to energy conservation for the future as developers reimagined the former Pabst Brewery site for The Brewery parking structure.

The 282,000-square-foot building, with 8,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and space for 880 cars, is a cornerstone for the 6.5-acre Milwaukee site. It also demonstrated several ways contractors can incorporate environmental techniques into their work.

Remnants of four buildings torn down at the historic site were incorporated into the new structure to help the $14 million project achieve a 92.9 percent recycling rate for construction waste and earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification, said Dennis Stapleton, an architect with Milwaukee-based KM Development Corp., which designed The Brewery project.

“A large piece in (achieving) this was the four tall buildings that were there before,” Stapleton said. “They came down to make way for new buildings. The crushed concrete and brick was stockpiled, and we used that for backfill for the building.”

In addition to boosting the project’s recycling rating, Stapleton said, the backfill shaved about $230,000 off the project cost.

And nearly 8,000 tons of metal were salvaged from the project, said Jenna Kunde, executive director of WasteCap Resource Solutions Inc., Milwaukee, a nonprofit waste management group that helped with The Brewery project.

Reducing the project’s environmental footprint was a driving idea behind the design and construction of the eight-story parking structure, Stapleton said. In addition to the recycling programs instituted at the site, project designers used light-emitting diodes on the parking structure that are expected to last longer than traditional lights and reduce energy consumption by 75 percent.

For construction materials outside the recycled demo debris, project organizers followed LEED requirements and only used regional materials from within 500 miles of the site. The distance limitation reduced energy use associated with longer transport.

And now that the project is complete, the developers plan to keep recycling, Stapleton said. Any debris or construction waste from a build-out or add-on in the retail section of the building must meet a 50 percent recycling guideline, he said.

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