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Dinwiddie Project Opens Doors for Green Builders

August 04, 2010 5:15 AM
Kathryn Hobgood Ray

Dinwiddie Hall, which has been under renovation since June 2009, is slated to open next month. Faculty and students will find themselves in a fresh, light-filled space that still seems familiar, because features from the original 1923 structure have been reused wherever possible.

Dinwiddie Hall

Dinwiddie Hall, built in 1923 on the uptown campus, will open for the fall semester with fresh, light-filled space. The renovation preserved the building's historic attributes while making strides in energy efficiency. (Photos by Tricia Travis)

Dinwiddie Entrance

Fifty-one percent of the building's interior elements have been reused in the renovated Dinwiddie Hall, including doors and transoms, window frames and glass.

“Fifty-one percent of the existing building interior elements have been reused, including doors and transoms, window frames and glass, plaster walls and hardwood flooring,” said campus planner Amber Mays Beezley. “The majority of the patching and repairing of hardwood floors was accomplished by reusing wood from flooring that was removed within the building.”

Beezley also noted that 94 percent of the existing building's structural shell was reused, such as concrete floors, roof elements and exterior stone.

This reuse of materials as well as the recycling of construction waste are notable features of the Dinwiddie renovation. It is the first construction project at Tulane to pursue the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Local firms Waggonner & Ball Architects and Citadel Builders have been instrumental in the process.

“We think that the Dinwiddie renovation will be the first Louisiana building to receive the LEED credit for recycling 75 percent of the construction waste generated,” said Liz Davey of the Office of Environmental Affairs. “In other words, it will have done the best job recycling of any construction project in the state.”

Joey Ruiz of Citadel Builders, who has been in charge of quality control and LEED during construction, said that finding Louisiana companies that could recycle certain materials was challenging.

“Before this project, I didn't know of a landfill company that could recycle drywall,” said Ruiz. “But after calling around and talking to several companies, Pot O Gold and Riverside Recycling were two companies willing to help us. They grind up the drywall and it gets used for road bedding. This project has certainly opened a door for green rebuilding in Louisiana.”

Dinwiddie will be home to the Middle American Research Institute and the Department of Anthropology. The reopening will be a reunion for anthropology, whose offices have been scattered in multiple locations for several years.