Biggest ever 'recycled' building comes to NY

Developers of a controversial commercial development in New York State have pledged to build the world's largest sustainable structure as part of their plans, using recycled materials and extensive energy efficiency measures in its construction.

Destiny USA is a planned two-site development focusing on the town of Syracuse which will build the largest mall and entertainment complex in America built in the town and, at a second site a few miles north in the town of Salina, the development of a sprawling commercial park designed to house high tech companies.

The project has been dogged by controversy, with community groups and local traders fighting the development from the outset.

Doubters have also raised questions over whether the development, when complete, will attract the predicted numbers of tourists and shoppers or find tenants for its commercial site.

But this week the developers received some much-needed good publicity, with the announcement that they had signed an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency promising a variety of environmentally sustainable practices.

The developers, the Pyramid Companies group, have agreed to used more than 3,000 tons of recycled coal ash in the concrete being used in the construction, in keeping with the EPA's current drive to persuade industry to do away with huge amounts of unnecessary waste (see related story).

As well as using the recycled materials they have also agreed to employ green building techniques, retrofit over 100 construction trucks to reduce their emissions by 85%, incorporate an unspecified number of hybrid and biodiesel vehicles into their fleet, encourage commuters to car share or use public transport and sign up to EPA best practice initiatives on waste, water and energy use.

"Destiny USA's pledge is the first of what we hope will be many similar commitments to use recycled industrial materials and promote other environmentally sustainable practices in major construction projects," said Susan Bodine, assistant administrator of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

"Increasing the use of recycled materials preserves our natural resources, protects the environment, conserves energy and saves money."

Sam Bond



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