The Tennessee Recycling Coalition recently awarded Skanska its 2018 Government Recycler of the Year Award for the project team’s successful waste diversion program during the historic renovation of the Cordell Hull State Office Building.

According to the contractor, the 1950s-era building was on the chopping block for demolition as its original form was considered potentially obsolete. The renovation project, designed by Nashville-based Centric Architecture, salvaged the historic building, converting it into the new home of the Tennessee Legislature.

Over the course of the roughly 20-month-long project, Skanska says project contractors recycled more than 10,000 tons of metal, wood, concrete and masonry, drywall, carpet and other materials for a landfill waste diversion total of 94%.

“Working sustainably is a priority for our company, and it’s an honor to be recognized for the extensive recycling program we were able to implement during the historic renovation of the Cordell Hull,” said Dennis Georgatos, Skanska executive vice president. “By recycling and salvaging so many materials, our team was able to reduce the project’s carbon impact compared to what it would have been if the building were built from the ground up.”

Added Beth Heider, Skanska USA’s chief sustainability officer: “Energy-efficient buildings save a little bit of operational carbon every year. Renovated buildings and material reuse saves a lot of embodied carbon all at once. This project punches above its weight by saving so much embodied carbon now, when it really matters on the timeline to arrest climate change.”

Additionally, Skanska and its team salvaged marble walls, terrazzo floors and stairs, statues and even the Cordell Hull building sign. In total, the project included 366,000 sq ft of renovation, 7,000 sq ft of new construction, five new elevators, six renovated elevators, a new foot tunnel and parking garage.

The Cordell Hull State Office Building recently won an ENR Southeast Best Projects award in the renovation/restoration category.