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First Living Building Challenge & Reuse Primer Projects - How PlanetReuse Helped - FALL '10 Newsletter

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November 10, 2010
There have been many successful projects that have incorporated reclaimed materials into the buildings.  Recently, an announcement and a publication helped document the process, the successes as well as the challenges.

Announcement:
Cascadia’s first three Living Building Challenge (LBC) Projects were announced recently.  PlanetReuse had the pleasure of working with the design/construction teams on 2 of the 3 projects.  We helped source many materials from areas throughout the United States for the Tyson Living Learning Center in Eureka, MO and the Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, NY.  For more information on the LBC and the press release describing the details and the teams, visit the LBC site.

Publication:
The 15 diverse projects in the Design for Reuse Primer demonstrate new models of “building green.” Material reuse is always integral to a sustainable vision of how to tread lightly on the earth, be economically pragmatic, and nurture a community. From a school for children with learning differences to a center for holistic living, these case studies are intended to provide insights about the material reuse process in a wide variety of context. By discussing the challenges and demonstrating the benefits of reclaimed materials, they hope to demystify and inspire reuse.

The Design for Reuse Primer publication and website are the latest resources of Public Architecture's ongoing efforts to demystify and promote building material reuse.

There are many great projects that are reviewed in the Primer.  PlanetReuse enjoyed working on two of the fifteen projects:
- Omega Center Center for Sustainable Living
- Operation Comeback 5200 Dauphine Street

Both the LBC projects and the Reuse Primer are great proof that reclaimed materials are successfully being used in commercial and residential projects throughout the United States and that PlanetReuse provides services that are very beneficial in sourcing, documenting and coordinating reclaimed materials.

All of the projects had amazing owners and design teams that really pushed the boundaries in incorporation of reclaimed materials. We take our hats off to you – congratulations!

Design for Reuse Primer Released

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September 22, 2010
Here's a great newly released publication for the material reuse industry.  With a real need to showcase the success stories seen in the increasing number of projects incorporating reclaimed materials as well as discuss the process, this Primer is a must read.

Funded by the US Green Building Council, this free publication shares the stories of fifteen innovative projects, from across the United States and Canada, which have successfully incorporated reused materials.

The 15 diverse projects in the Design for Reuse Primer demonstrate new models of “building green.” Material reuse is always integral to a sustainable vision of how to tread lightly on the earth, be economically pragmatic, and nurture a community. From a school for children with learning differences to a center for holistic living, these case studies are intended to provide insights about the material reuse process in a wide variety of context. By discussing the challenges and demonstrating the benefits of reclaimed materials, they hope to demystify and inspire reuse.

The Design for Reuse Primer publication and website are the latest resources of Public Architecture's ongoing efforts to demystify and promote building material reuse.

Download Public Architecture’s newly released publication, the Design for Reuse Primer

There are many great projects that are reviewed in the Primer.  PlanetReuse enjoyed working on two of the fifteen projects:

- Omega Center Center for Sustainable Living
- Operation Comeback 5200 Dauphine Street

Both projects had amazing owners and design teams that really pushed the boundaries in incorporating reclaimed materials.

Visit www.designforreuse.org to download the primer and learn more.

Continue the Earth Day Commitment with LEED/Living Building Challenge Radius Requirements- SP'10- Newsletter

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April 28, 2010
Last week’s Earth Day celebration marked a wonderful upsurge in attention to sustainable activities. Many cities planned week-long activities to increase awareness of recycling and energy efficiency, offering significant opportunities to educate youth and shift mindsets for daily routines.

The official holiday is also a good time to consider your personal and professional goals for aiding the planet throughout the year. The Earth Day mindset can certainly apply to the professional world, specifically in how projects are conceived and constructed. A major way to think sustainably in the building process is to source and specify local and regional materials. This cuts down on the fuel consumption and pollution necessary to truck materials long distances.

The USGBC’s LEED requirements have successfully promoted this practice by establishing criteria that encourages sourcing materials within a 500-mile radius. Cascadia’s Living Building Challenge Project requirements raise the bar by requiring all materials to be sourced from within a more restricted radii based on material weight (250, 500 and maximum of 1,000 miles from origin/source and project site). But even projects that aren’t pursuing certification can benefit from local and regional sourcing.

PlanetReuse works with clients to source materials as close to the project site as possible, both for sustainable and financial reasons. “Not only is it good for the environment, it also cuts down on the transportation costs,” said Tim Bensman, PlanetReuse Operations Manager. “Reduced shipping costs, a smaller carbon footprint and landfill diversion all in one makes sourcing local reclaimed materials an attractive choice.”

The company helped source and coordinate many reclaimed materials for the first two projects slated for Living Building Challenge certification in the Omega Center for Spiritual Living and the Tyson Research Center at Washington University. “Providing regional, reclaimed material options can go a long way in helping design teams hit their goals,” said Nathan Benjamin, PlanetReuse’s Principal + Founder.

Sourcing materials locally reduces your projects carbon footprint, an admirable goal whether or not you plan to pursue certification. Committing to this practice keeps the purpose of Earth Day—to promote a more sustainable world—active year round.

Salvaged Materials Find a Home in America’s Greenest Building Project - F'09 Newsletter

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October 28, 2009
When one of America’s greenest projects opened its doors this summer, the world learned that many of those doors were salvaged. The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) in Rhinebeck, New York debuted on July 16 as one of the world’s best showcases for reclaimed building materials. PlanetReuse was privileged to coordinate much of the salvaged building material used in the project.

The OCSL, an environmental education center and wastewater treatment facility, is expected to be certified as the world’s first Living Building Challenge project, the highest measurable standard for sustainable design and construction. The award-winning building was designed by BNIM Architects, with John Todd Ecological Design.


“So much building material heads for landfills, when instead it can find new life in new building projects,” said PlanetReuse founder Nathan Benjamin. “As the world’s greenest building, the Omega Center is a perfect showcase for salvaged materials, but it also demonstrates how easily any building can take advantage of material reuse.”

Using reclaimed materials is one of the purest ways to build green, and an important consideration for Living Building certification. To discover effective ways to incorporate these materials into the OCSL, BNIM sought out PlanetReuse, whose focus is linking reclaimed materials with the design community.

With the design team, PlanetReuse identified key areas for the use of reclaimed materials. They worked with six demolition and reclamation contractors (three not-for-profits and three for profit) to procure and test the materials, sourcing close to the project to reduce fuel consumption. The company provided documentation on every step to support the certification process. The architect and contractor valued PlanetReuse’s insight, to that point that both wished the company had been involved even earlier in the process to assist with schedule and incorporate more materials.


Reclaimed materials within the Omega Center include dimensional lumber, plywood, interior doors, beech wood paneling and toilet partitions, among many others. The materials came from warehouses, schools, office buildings and other projects within the source radius. Reclaimed materials typically offer 15 to 20 percent savings over new and their use earns significant points towards LEED accreditation.


Most significantly, reuse keeps tons of building materials out of landfills.

PlanetReuse in KC Star Press Release.

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July 15, 2009

This week, the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) in Rhinebeck, New York will be opening. As the July 16 ribbon-cutting approaches, the KC Star issued a press release explaining the importance of this facility and it's relation to PlanetReuse, BNIM Architects, and John Todd Ecological Design. The article titled, "Salvaged Materials Find a Home in America’s Greenest Building Project," highlights how the use of reclaimed, recycled, or salvaged materials can be some of the purest ways to be earth-conscious in architecture today. The following is a little background from the article about how PlanetReuse got involved in this outstanding project.

"With the design team, PlanetReuse identified key areas for the use of reclaimed materials. They worked with five demolition and reclamation contractors (three not-for-profits and two for profit) to procure and test the materials, sourcing close to the project to reduce fuel consumption. The company provided documentation on every step to support the certification process.

Reclaimed materials within the Omega Center include dimensional lumber, plywood, interior doors, beech wood paneling and toilet partitions, among many others. The materials came from warehouses, schools, office buildings and other projects within the source radius. Reclaimed materials typically offer 15 to 20 percent savings over new, and their use earns significant points towards LEED accreditation. Most significantly, reuse keeps tons of building materials out of landfills."

To read the article in it's entirety, click here! Enjoy!

Omega Institute's Supergreen "Living Building"

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July 05, 2009

Congratulations to the Omega Institute, BNIM and Sember Construction on this great project raising the bar on sustainable design and construction. The project team worked to meet the Cascadia Region Green Building Council's Living Building Challenge requirements as well as met and pushed beyond many LEED requirements.

PlanetReuse enjoyed helping the team by providing the reclaimed materials for the project. Check out this great article about the facility in Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/137/its-alive.html. We look forward to attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 16th.

Congratulations on this great accomplishment!

PlanetReuse featured in KC Star Business Weekly article.

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February 10, 2009


In the Kansas City Star Business Weekly section today, PlanetReuse along with BNIM Architects were mentioned for the reuse of the Inaugural Address stage in their upcoming Omega Institute project. For the entire article, continue reading and be sure join the PlanetReuse Facebook Group so you can check out pictures of the project as work progresses!

"Two KC Businesses Have A Post-Inauguration Link

An Innovative Kansas City firm is helping assure the inaugural platform used by President Barack Obama for his brief swearing-in ceremony lives on in upstate New York.

PlanetReuse LLC, a one-year-old firm based in the Crossroads Arts District, is brokering a deal in which lumber salvaged from the inaugural platform will be used in building a waste-water treatment and classroom facility for the Omega Institute. The holistic healing center occupies 200 acres in the scenic Hudson Valley near Rhinebeck, NY.

And in another local connection, the new Omega facility was designed by BNIM Architects. The goal is to make it the most environmentally friendly project build in the U.S.

If all goes according to plan, the 6,200-square-foot structure will be the first to receive the Living Building designation from the Cascadia Green Building Council. It's a chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council that runs the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program known for its platinum, gold and silver rankings.

"We're a guinea pig for the nation," said BNIM architect Laura Lesniewski. "A key piece is the materials. That's where PlanetReuse comes in."

An important element contributing to the LEED status of a building is the amount of reclaimed materials included in its construction. PlanetReuse has found a niche in linking architects with "deconstruction" firms that carefully dismantle structures to save building materials.

"We take the guessing out of the game," said Nathan Benjamin, co-founder of PlanetReuse. "Deconstructors like it because they don't have to mess with architects. Architects like it because they don't have to drive around the country to find materials."

Benjamin, a former construction industry professional, teamed with Brad Hardin, a former architect, to start the company in March 2008. At first, the pair tried a business model selling reclaimed materials on the Internet. When that proved cumbersome, they decided to instead be a broker, linking architects with salvagers, and certifying the materials.

"We're connecting dots not otherwise connected," Benjamin said.

"When BNIM got the commission for the Omega project, it reached out to PlanetReuse. As part of the energy-efficiency equation, reclaimed materials for a green project should come from a 500-mile radius. That is how Benjamin found the non-profit group in Washington, D.C., that was slated to receive the inaugural platform lumber -- it's still being dismantled.

"The stage was built very well," Benjamin said. "Obviously, somebody important was on it."

The 10,000-square-foot, 40-foot-tall platform was built from entirely new lumber and was obviously used only once. It's yielding 24 dumpster loads of reclaimable material.

Lesniewski said the fact her project's lumber component comes from such a historic structure is a "cool factor, an add-on" to the overall environmental quality of the $1.65 million building.

Benjamin said: "This stage was only used a few minutes. This will be part of a building that will last many years."

--Written by Kevin Collison

PlanetReuse to provide reclaimed material for the Omega Center For Sustainable Living Project (OCSL)

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November 24, 2008

PlanetReuse is working with BNIM Architects and Sember Construction to provide reclaimed materials for the Omega Center for Sustainable Living project (OCSL). PlanetReuse will source framing, structural steel, exterior siding and sheathing for the project to help meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum standards and achieve certification as a "Living Building", an ambitious project designed with total sustainability in mind.

You can read more about the OCSL project in the attached PDF here


About the OCSL

An innovative educational center, the OCSL will be the first of its kind in the United States to combine the most sophisticated green building and wastewater treatment technologies under one roof. It will serve as the heart of Omega's ongoing environmental sustainability initiatives and will include the Eco Machine™ (a water garden and constructed wetland to treat our wastewater), and a classroom for visitors—students, teachers, activists, corporate executives, elected officials—who want to learn more about green building and sustainable living.

The building will be self-sustaining, featuring the latest technology in the sustainaiblity field; it will be heated and cooled by geothermal systems and use solar and photovoltaic power. It is being built to exceed both the LEED Platinum standard and achieve certification as a Living Building. It will be a model of environmental sustainability that can be seen, understood, and replicated locally and globally.

The OCSL will protect our local ecosystem, preserve our freshwater resources, and serve as a community resource, demonstrating sustainability, ecological responsibility, and green alternatives, reminding all of us that if we take care of the Earth, the Earth will take care of us.



About BNIM Architects and the Omega Insitute

In 2006, the Omega Institute commissioned BNIM Architects to design a new 6,200 square foot facility to serve as a new and highly sustainable wastewater filtration facility. The primary goal for this project was to overhaul the organization’s current wastewater disposal system for their 195-acre Rhinebeck campus by using alternative methods of treatment. As part of a larger effort to educate Omega Institute visitors, staff and local community on innovative wastewater strategies, Omega decided to showcase the system in a building that houses both the primary treatment cells and a classroom/laboratory. In addition to using the treated water for garden irrigation and in a greywater recovery system, Omega will use the system and building as a teaching tool in their educational program designed around the ecological impact of their campus. These classes will be offered to campus visitors, area school children, university students and other local communities. Preliminary engineering work was done for the project by John Todd Ecological Design (wastewater engineer) and Chazen Companies (civil engineer). This early investigation was invaluable to the full design team in the early design phases for the building and site.

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