The Union South building, a new student union for the University of Wisconsin at Madison, will replace the former student union, built in 1971 on the same site. Much of the impetus for the project’s ambitious sustainability goals came from the students, who were highly involved in the design process from the very beginning. The students emphasized the desire for locally sourced, green materials and a building that “tells our story.” Material reuse became a significant instrument through which the project team could achieve these goals.
In order to locate reclaimed materials from within the vicinity of the project site, the University took a unique approach. It issued a press release which called for material donations from residents across Wisconsin. This call yielded a number of reclaimed materials, including salvaged elm wood from old barns which will be used to create an 11,000 square foot ballroom floor in the new building. As a core component of the project’s sustainability strategy, material reuse is not only helping to capture the students’ support but also engage the larger Wisconsin population.
Reclaimed Materials (by application): Wood/Lumber
Location: Madison, WI
Date of Completion: In-progress (anticipated completion 2014)
Architect: Moody•Nolan, Inc. and Workshop Architects
Client: University of Wisconsin, Madison
Contractor: CG Schmidt