AECOM, one of the world’s largest design firms, recently relocated two of its offices into one. Prior to the relocation, the interior of the new space, which had been vacant for six years, had to be gutted. Instead of sending demolition waste to a landfill, however, the firm wanted to recycle as much of the discarded materials as possible.
As part of its demolition process, AECOM decided to participate in the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program. “As soon as we learned that Armstrong offered such a program, we knew it was the ecologically sound step to take,” states Valerie Morhaime Curtis, Project Manager for AECOM.
Ceiling tiles are usually removed from a space and stacked on a pallet, shrink-wrapped for shipment to an Armstrong plant, or picked up by a local Armstrong Recycling Partner for consolidation.
At AECOM, a new process was utilized. Ceilings were removed and collected in loose containers by E.L. Harvey & Sons, a local Armstrong Construction & Demolition (C&D) Processor that consolidated the tiles and processed them at its recycling center for shipment to Armstrong.
Working in conjunction with E.L. Harvey and General Contractor, Tishman Construction, AECOM recycled over 90,000 SF of ceiling tiles, all of which contributed to LEED® MR Credit 2.1, Construction Waste Management.
Even though this was their first time recycling ceiling tiles, Curtis reports, “Compared to palletizing, this method is much faster and easier for the demolition contractor, and, as a result, is definitely the way to go if there is an Armstrong C&D processor nearby,” she states.
Tishman Project Manager, Jim Formisano, agrees. “The collection method takes only half the time or less as that for palletizing, which also means the cost is much less.” He also notes less equipment is needed. “There’s no need for pallets and wrap, and because the mechanics can work from the floor, no ladders or lifts.”