August 23, 2010
In continuing their educational outreach to help grow the local chapter presence and to educate it's members, the USGBC Central Plains Chapter - USGBC for Wichita, will be hosting Nathan Benjamin of PlanetReuse on August 26, 2010. He will provide an overview of the company, discuss their services for the design and construction community, and review ways they promote reclamation of building materials nationwide to increase landfill diversion opportunities.
As a follow-up to his presentation to the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) -Wichita on June 15th, 2010, PlanetReuse continues its outreach efforts with design and construction professionals in the Wichita and Central Kansas region.
Please join for the luncheon at Water Center, 101 East Pawnee Street Wichita, KS.
May 11, 2010
This past weekend, the Kansas City Star featured the local sustainable furniture designers of Edwin Blue on the front page of the House and Home section. This environmentally-conscious company was able to turn their designs into a reality with a little help from PlanetReuse. We supplied Edwin Blue with enough sinker cypress to complete their entire first collection, 'Rise' which will be released in New York City at the 2011 International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
Two other local outdoor furniture companies mentioned in the article are Acronym Designs
which both share a work-space in Overland Park. Founders Jared Foster of Studiobuild and Andrew Dickson of Acronym explain more about their re-purposed materials of choice in the article which you can find in it's entirety here
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.
April 28, 2010
While it’s the most common reclaimed material, the terminology used to define wood for sustainable projects is among the most confusing. While many wood terms have been used interchangeably, the differences can make a significant difference a project’s ability to obtain valuable LEED credits.
To qualify for MR Credit 3 Materials Reuse, your material must have been previously used. Wood from buildings count, of course, but it can also be reclaimed or salvaged from bridges, telephone poles, street pavers, ocean boardwalks or another definable function. Wherever it came from, it must have been used prior to your project’s installation to qualify.
River reclaimed materials—like sinker cypress—may be harvested from sunken trees that are several hundred years old. Though this wood often offers incredible beauty and reduces environmental impact, unfortunately these materials don’t qualify for Materials Reuse credits.
The same goes for urban reclaimed materials, which typically refers to urban growth trees removed for development. While these materials may qualify for the Regional Materials credits, they don’t meet the criteria for Materials Reuse or Certified Wood.
While reclaimed materials can legitimately carry a claim of FSC Recycled or FSC Reclaimed, these materials cannot qualify for the Certified Wood credit 7, since only new, permanently installed wood applies. However, if you empower the use of reclaimed materials on your project, they can actually help with the Certified Wood credit, as reclaimed materials are not counted towards the overall wood cost calculation.
Some also claim that reclaimed materials can count for MR Credit 4 Recycled Content, but today this is not applicable under previous or current GBCI and LEED Standards.
As a rule of thumb, if materials are applied towards the Materials Reuse credit, they cannot qualify for MR credits 1 Building Reuse, 2 Construction Waste Management, 4 Recycled Content, 6 Rapidly Renewable Materials or 7 Certified Wood (anything other than Materials Reuse and Regional Materials). And even when some materials found on an existing site are used on a new project, those materials may not always qualify for the Material Reuse credit depending upon the material, the prior use and the new use.
It seems complicated, and it can be. That’s why PlanetReuse is there, to share their in-depth knowledge and experience with these requirements in order to maximize the credits your project can receive at the lowest possible cost.
November 24, 2008
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 hereAbout 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 InsituteIn 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.