Vision Equities, a full-service real estate development and asset management firm, recently acquired the former 15-building corporate campus of Alcatel-Lucent in Whippany, NJ. As part of its redevelopment plan that will transform the site into a high-end, mixed-use project, the firm plans to attain LEED® certification.
“We have a corporate initiative and belief in sustainability practices that includes the desire to see as much construction waste as possible being recycled and remanufactured rather than being sent to a landfill,” states Ross Chomik, Vice President of Acquisitions & Development at Vision Equities.
As evidence of that belief, Chomik notes that nearly one million square feet of discarded ceiling tiles will be recycled at the former Lucent site as part of the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program.
The program enables building owners to send ceilings from demolition and renovation projects to the nearest Armstrong ceiling plant as an alternative to landfill disposal. The discarded ceiling tiles are then used to manufacture new ceilings.
“Redevelopment is where we see the most opportunity for sustainable practices, and it commences with the demolition process,” Chomik says. “Our target is a recycling rate of 75% or better on our projects. At this site, we anticipate being above 90%.”
Chomik explains that another driving force is tenants’ desire to be in sustainable buildings. “In today’s environment, tenants are stressing the desire to lease space in buildings that adhere to the requirements of LEED certification. This requires developers to react, not just in terms of an interior fit-out, but the core and shell as well.”
In that regard, Chomik notes that, “The recycled ceilings from this site will be installed in the interior of a newly renovated or constructed building somewhere, so the tiles will have come full circle, from demolition back to new construction.”