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New Barnes Building Built With Recycled, Reclaimed Materials

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The new home of the Barnes art collection being built on the Ben Franklin Parkway is harvesting elements from the past, and incorporating features of the future, to achieve LEED Platinum Certification. Construction crews are working to finish the project for a mid-May opening.

Barnes Project Manager Philip Ryan says the floor in the primary event space incorporates endangered South American boards that could have wound up in a landfill.

“We found a reclaimed material, which had been previously used as decking boards for the Coney Island boardwalks.”

He says the boards act as a giant rug under a 350-foot long glass canopy.

“It’s a large diffusing volume that allows us to be in the light court under wonderful natural light conditions.”

The natural light features and a photovoltaic solar array on the roof will help cut the electric bills.

They also recycled 98% of the available materials from the former Youth Study Center, which gave way to the Barnes site.

Another feature is a 60,000 gallon rainwater cistern, harvesting water from the green roof and groundwater to fully irrigate the outdoor garden.

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