Two architecture firms used the need for new workspace as an opportunity to introduce their staff to green building. The firms jointly purchased a former tractor trailer manufacturing facility and junkyard near downtown San Antonio. The property had been regarded as an eyesore to some in the community; however, the architects saw great potential and wanted to celebrate the history of the place.
As much as possible of two existing structures were adaptively reused and reclaimed materials from on-site were incorporated to retain the industrial feel of the past. There were literally heaps of scrap materials laying around from property’s junkyard years, which were selectively woven into the building and landscape designs. For example, scrap steel was reused as entry gates and trellises, overhead doors became workstation partitions, clerestory frames were converted to stair guardrails and courtyard fencing, a large culvert now holds a koi pond, and salvaged concrete was transformed into stepping stones for a pathway. In the end the salvaged materials totaled 16% of the value of materials used. The project is now a model for San Antonio’s burgeoning green building movement.
Reclaimed Materials (by application): Concrete/Masonry, Furnishings, Metals
Location: San Antonio, TX
Year completed: 2007
Architects: Alamo Architects & O’Neil Conrad Oppelt Architect
Client: Alamo Architects & O’Neil Conrad Oppelt Architects
Contractor: Malitz Construction Company
GreenSource Magazine Article