Conrad Hotel, CBRE Development Management Services | Ceiling Recycling Program

Project: Conrad Hotel, CBRE Development Management Services

Location: Chicago, IL

Products: Ceiling Recycling Program

The Challenge:

When converting an 18-story office building into a 284-room Conrad Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago, CBRE Development Management Services wanted the five-star, luxury hotel to meet the high green building standards required for LEED certification.

The renovation required that the interior of the existing 227,569 square foot building be demolished. In order to earn the maximum number of LEED credit points available for Construction Waste Management, CBRE needed to find ways to divert most of the construction waste away from landfills. 


The Solution:

A large part of the construction waste consisted of old ceiling panels. Leveraging its existing partnership with Armstrong through its FUSION preferred vendor program, CBRE was able to meet one of its waste diversion goals by recycling the old ceiling panels through the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program. The program enables building owners and contractors to salvage ceiling panels that are removed during renovation and demolition projects and return them to the nearest Armstrong plant instead of landfill disposal. Armstrong uses the reclaimed ceilings to make new ceiling panels in a closed-loop manufacturing process.

The demolition crew placed the old ceiling panels in containers provided by Independent Recycling Services, an Armstrong recycling partner in Chicago. “This process with Armstrong and Independent Recycling was as easy as our regular demolition,” says Brian Duddy of BreakThru Demolition. “We removed the ceiling panels, loaded them in a designated dumpster, and they were taken away. Nothing additional needed to be done for processing or pick up.” 

By the time the demolition was complete:

  • 220,000 square feet of old ceiling panels were returned to Armstrong for recycling
  • Roughly 110 tons of construction waste was diverted from landfills
  • Three weeks of demolition time were saved
  • LEED credits were earned for waste diversion

“The key benefit is waste diversion cost savings,” says CBRE Development Director Michael Tobin. “It’s a long term value to save money on demolition, but it’s also nice for the environment.”