Ecotech Institute has one focus: preparing America’s workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainability. This Virginia College off-shoot provides 2 year tracks in areas like solar and wind energy technology and energy efficiency. Their newest campus just outside Austin, Texas will feature active training labs including wind turbines and solar panels. Join us as we chronicle the construction of this dynamic education facility.
Selective demolition of the structure removed all of the interior walls and improvements. New metal stud framing for the classroom and lab space is being installed. The existing ballasted EPDM room is being removed and replaced with a new TPO white membrane roof, which has a higher solar reflectance value and contributes to improved energy conservation.
All of the construction and demolition debris that leaves the site is taken to a staging location to be sorted for recycling. More than 90% of the material to date has been diverted from a landfill. This includes crushed concrete for road building, steel recycling, wood that is ground and used for industrial fuel, and roofing materials that are processed back into asphalt material.
Before we consider recycling, we consider reuse. In an adaptive reuse project, the first step is to evaluate which parts of the building can be left in place and repurposed. Keeping existing structure, walls, even building materials in place prevents us from having to procure and construct new building materials, saving energy, waste, and best of all – money.