When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans over 10 years ago, it displaced residents and decimated the building stock in dozens of neighborhoods. Many buildings were damaged beyond the point of rehabilitation. These buildings were typically demolished and their materials landfilled. While such buildings can be replaced with new ones, their lost cultural legacy cannot. The 5200 Dauphine project involved the deconstruction of a condemned building and the construction of a new, but similar, building using the deconstructed materials. It demonstrates an alternative to demolition in cases when rehabilitation is not possible.
The new 5200 Dauphine building will serve as a community center and headquarters of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, an organization that, among other things, teaches residents of the neighborhood about salvaging and repurposing the materials found in the numerous destroyed buildings in New Orleans. In the design of 5200 Dauphine, Wayne Troyer Architects looked for opportunities to make the history of the reclaimed building materials, as well as the 5200 Dauphine site, visible. For instance, the original building’s front step, which reads “Ruiz Sandwich Shop,” was left in place and reused as a relic of a previous area that gives people a taste of the site’s history.
The 5200 Dauphine project goes beyond simply rebuilding the physical infrastructure of neighborhoods. It serves as a model for building which retains the community’s cultural, historical, and architectural legacies and it does so in an affordable, sustainable way.
Reclaimed Materials (by application): Doors and Windows, Wood/Lumber
Additional Reuse Highlights
— The Preservation Resource Center (PRC) was able to start a materials workshop with graduates from their job-training program that taught millwork as well as traditional crafts like plastering. Because the vernacular architecture of New Orleans is esteemed around the world, the preservation of these traditional skills has a real value.
— In the PRC workshop, workers cleaned and remilled the wood from the deconstructed building. They also fabricated new components, including windows and exterior doors made from both new and used materials. The original exterior windows and doors could not be reused as-is because they don’t meet today’s building code requirements.
— The architect noted all the reclaimed materials as well as components made with reclaimed materials in their specifications.
— Reclaimed materials included old-growth cypress exterior cladding re-milled to be used as interior wainscoting, structural framing lumber milled into wood flooring, counter tops and casework made from wood scraps, and an old ceramic tile floor and entry stair left in place and incorporated into the design of a new outdoor courtyard. Where the tile could not be removed under the new building, a window was built into the floor to give a glimpse to the past.
— The way in which the reclaimed materials were used was influenced in part by the LEED Green Building Rating System. The Material Reuse credits are calculated in a manner that favors using reclaimed materials for finishes instead of for structural purposes because it is based on replacement value. Using reclaimed material for high value finishes made it easier to earn the credits than using them for lower value structural components. Based on this strategy, the project team expects to earn both Material Reuse credits, MR 3.1 and 3.2.
— An estimated 60 percent of the original deconstructed building—including the framing lumber, wood flooring and cypress siding—was salvaged and stored for reuse in the new building.
Location: New Orleans, LA
Year completed: In Progress
Architect: Wayne Troyer Architects
Client: Preservation Resource Center/Holy Cross Neighborhood Association
Contractor: Insight Builders
Design for Reuse Primer