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More than 96 percent of Winkler Hall demolition debris recycled

BOONE—It took only seconds in early June to reduce the 11-story Winkler Hall at Appalachian State University to dust and rubble. Now the former residence hall site provides temporary green space for students after 96 percent of the debris has been recycled.

View larger imageThe former Winkler Hall site, to the right of Eggers Hall, pictured, is being converted to greenspace for students to enjoy following a June implosion that reduced the building to rubble. The debris was recycled for gravel. (Photo by Marie Freeman)

When renovation costs proved to be impractical, the decision was made to raze the aging building. Hundreds of spectators lined Stadium Drive June 1 or watched via a video stream when the building was imploded.

During planning for the demolition, Physical Plant Director Mike O’Connor set a goal of diverting between 60 and 80 percent of the demolished materials from the landfill. Once the dust settled and the materials were hauled away, a total of 96.4 percent of the debris, which was concrete brick and block, was crushed for reuse as gravel. According to reports from D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company, the Winkler Hall recycle project diverted a total of 7,057 tons of material from the landfill.

“Although the nature of a demolition project is much different than a construction or renovation project, one of our goals during the design and bidding of the demolition contract was to maximize the amount of materials that would be recycled,” said David Sweet from Appalachian’s Office of Planning, Design and Construction. “The base bid contract required 60 percent recycling, and we included an additive bid item to increase that to 80 percent. However, we were thrilled to learn that D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company had surpassed that by recycling more than 96 percent of the materials removed under their contract.”

Falcon Engineering of Raleigh managed the demolition. Zachary Lyon, structural engineer with Falcon Engineering, arranged the removal and recycling of demolished materials with Appalachian alumni Travis Clayton and Brian Alexander, both with D. H. Griffin Wrecking Company.

Debris removal was completed and the site backfilled, graded and hydroseeded July 30 with a second seeding Aug. 12 prior to the start of classes. The site will be available for general use in October. Plans for future construction of another residence hall at the site are under consideration.

To view a video of the Winkler Hall implosion, visit



Donna Presnell, Office of Sustainability
828-262-2664; 917-657-2261