We closed on the new Complexions building in November of 2007 and immediately began demolishing the existing building. Many – my sons especially – think of demolition as a super-fun activity. If only that were true with Green construction! Long story short – we had to be very very careful every step of the way.
First and foremost, we had to have asbestos specially removed by an independent company. They had to have special air filtration throughout this process. While they were doing their part, my father and I sought out salvage companies that would take some of the construction waste, diverting it from the land fills. They provided the dumpsters and we sorted the waste. We separated electrical wire, electrical parts, lighting fixtures, and steel studs. After it was all sorted, it was weighed and sold. We were able to sell ceiling tiles and the old plumbing fixtures too. For one of our LEED points, we had to measure the square footage of the original walls that we took down. This helped with the point that determined how much of the original building was being re-used. We actually salvaged the entire, original exterior shell of the building and diverted 75% of our construction waste.
The next step was to chop up much of the flooring to lay down the necessary plumbing. The layout of the plumbing was very difficult. We had to mark out all the rooms and walls with spray paint on the concrete slab to determine the proper location of all the pipes. It was like guessing where the pieces of the puzzle would eventually end up. This was especially difficult because of the circular design of our reception area walls and salon. The plumbing had to be laid out very carefully and perfectly. We did have to chop them up a few times to get it exactly correct before we could close the floor and begin to construct the walls. After some re-search, my father located a company where we could purchase the steel studs made from recycled steel. With the walls going up it was very exciting to see the Spa start to take shape. Once the walls were up, the plumbing in the walls was finished, and we could then proceed with the duct work for the heating and cooling and the air filtration system. When all of this was completed, the ceiling went up using ceiling tiles made from recycled material, the walls were sheet rocked, and we moved on to the next design phase.