Deconstruction for the new library

In 2001, the College's old science center was deemed structurally impractical for priority building needs of the campus and was slated for removal to make room for a new library.

Instead of traditional demolition, the College took its environmental commitment to new heights by diverting over 97% of the former science facility from the landfill through salvage, reuse and recycling. According to the Construction Materials Recyclers Association (CMRA), only 25% of North American construction and demolition waste is recycled.

In the deconstruction of the old science building, over 1350 tons of materials -- concrete, copper, rebar, stainless steel, limestone, and science equipment -- were diverted for new uses. Only thirty-six tons of roofing and composite materials were disposed of in a construction and demolition landfill.

The contractor hired by the College (TREX Corporation of Derry, NH) achieved the deconstruction at a cost equivalent to that of a traditional demolition process, based on cost analysis provided by the contractor of the two approaches.  In addition, the College saved four houses for renovation by moving them to neighborhoods of similarly-styled homes in the Middlebury community.

The State of Vermont recognized Middlebury's innovative approach to conserving resources by honoring the College with a 2002 Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention for "its ambitious building deconstruction and recycling project."