• Catherine Holliss

If You Love This Planet - Design A Recycling Center

Updated: Apr 7


The season of chocolates and hearts has blown through and left us with candy wrappers and, hopefully, happy memories. We loved watching our son tape lollipops to handmade heart-shaped cards to give out to every single one of his classmates. Each card was personalized. Love is in the details.

At Sander Architects, we love this planet. We do our best year-round to make that the foundation for how we design. Our practice has included eco-friendly strategies and materials for decades. Perhaps that is why we have such a soft spot for the next project:

A RECYCLING CENTER

For more information on this project, please click here.

The project is rewarding and challenging. The reward comes from working on a building that is dedicated to taking construction trash and sorting it into materials that can be reused.

The challenge? There are several:

  1. The recycling center is in constant operation 24/7 and construction of the facility has to work around that schedule.

  2. The size of the project. When done 260,000 square feet will be enclosed.

  3. The project sold mid-stream and so all of the branding has changed while the building was already underway.

It all comes down to being nimble and having a passion for the detail. Details, logistics and design come into play every single day in our studio.

Solving the logistics of how to build a 260,000 sf enclosure while the business is in full production is definitely part of what makes this project so fun for the nerdy side of our studio. It seems obvious that architects need to have an artistic bent in order to design effectively—and to bring beauty into the world.

Less obvious, in every single project, are the hours spent slaving over every detail; from getting the drawings through plan check to confirming construction details with the contractor. What is the perfect detail to use where a window meets a wall? How to attach the walls to the foundation? What does the detail look like for an exterior door jamb that connects to cement plaster? There are so many ways to make each one work—and each choice has ramifications for the timeline, the budget and, yes, the aesthetics.

Calling our profession a labor of love is not an exaggeration.

Add to this a responsibility to the planet. Each choice needs to be considered in context of its impact, its carbon footprint. For this project, we were hired because our hybrid system was the answer to almost every challenge the project faced. The frames used in the system are light on resources. Each piece of steel is already sourced from recycled materials such as old cars—and then, at the end of its use can go right back into the stream to be reused elsewhere. The spans achievable are enormous, perfect for enclosing the massive space. The construction style is efficient in time and budget, whether working on a house or a quarter-million-square-foot recycling center.

With so much going for Sander Architects Hybrid Construction ™ we have made it our priority to become experts.

If you are curious, or have questions about how our approach might work for your project please give us a call.

Wishing you a wonderful spring filled with passion projects.

From all of us at

Sander Architects, LLC

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