Advancing Circular Economy Principles at the Javits Center Expansion

The Lendlease Turner (LLT) Joint Venture implements on-site source separation of drywall scrap material, partners with hauler and manufacturer to take back material, and purchases gypsum made from material salvaged at the project site.

  • 30 Jul 2020
  • by
  • Eleni Reed

The Javits Center Expansion is a design and build project intended to increase long-term economic impact in New York City and State while also enhancing the quality of life for the neighbouring community. The LLT Joint Venture is leading the expansion of exhibit spaces and meeting rooms to meet the needs of one of the busiest convention centers in the United States. The project, which is targeting a LEEDv2009-Silver certification, will feature a rooftop terrace and pavilion to accommodate large-scale outdoor special events, as well as a one-acre rooftop farm that will support the venue’s catering operations.  

In an effort to reduce construction and demolition waste sent to landfill, LLT is actively managing the source separation of drywall scrap material to direct it back into the manufacturing process to create new gypsum products. The project team has closed the loop entirely by sourcing new Type X gypsum board from USG’s Washingtonville, PA plant that re-used sorted material at the project site for reinstallation on the project. Since January 2020, over 60 tons of gypsum have been diverted from the landfill to date, with more to come as construction progresses.  

This initiative comes on the heels of a closed loop wallboard recycling pilot executed at Lendlease’s Columbia Manhattanville project site in 2015. Lendlease leveraged the existing relationships established within the local supply chain by connect the waste hauler (Cardella) to the scrap processing facility (USA Gypsum) and coordinating the feedstock delivery back to the manufacturer (USG) for creation of new product to be distributed to the suppliers where our subcontractors can purchase gypsum board with recycled content. 

By diverting 62.22 tons of drywall trim scrap from the landfill thus far, 8.09 metric tons of CO2e have being avoided. This endeavor is reducing our environmental impact through GHG emissions avoided that would otherwise be attributed to hydrogen sulfide accumulation that occurs as the gypsum material decomposes at the landfill. Additionally, by installing new product that contains sorted scrap recycled content generated from the project site, LLT is further contributing to the circular economy.  

Diverting gypsum from landfill and purchasing materials manufactured from trim collected at the project site are some of the ways Lendlease conserves natural resources to promote sustainable economic growth. Lendlease continues to explore opportunities to implement this best practice on other projects throughout gateway cities across the US.