Kraus-Anderson and Veit Companies Partner to Create Unique Drywall Recycling Program for Hospital

Kraus-Anderson and Veit Companies partner to create unique drywall recycling program for U of M Amplatz Children’s Hospital’s construction

MINNEAPOLIS – An estimated 30 billion square feet of gypsum wallboard is manufactured each year in North America. According to waste management specialists, approximately one pound of waste is generated for every square foot of construction area. That translates to about a ton of wasted scrap per home.

Now imagine how much scrap wallboard is created when building a seven-story, 235,000-square-foot hospital building.

To re-use the gypsum, while addressing the enormous wasted scrap, Veit Companies and Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (KA) have partnered to create an innovative drywall recycling program for the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital construction project in Minneapolis.

Gypsum recycled from drywall can be used for fertilizing fields and studies have shown that gypsum can increase crop yield. However, the process requires separating the gypsum from the paper backing, which can be costly.

“A drywall recycling program isn’t readily available here in the Twin Cities and it took some hard work to find a gypsum processor that could handle the amount of drywall scraps that come from a seven-story-high construction project,” said Rachael Oelke, KA’s assistant project manager.

Veit’s Russ Reger worked diligently to find a suitable recycling outlet for the material. He began working with Menomonie, Wis.-based Enviro-Services of Wisconsin, which grinds the drywall and applies the gypsum as soil amendment for fertilizer.

Reger worked with Oelke to come up with a drywall recycling solution that would help their green sustainable objectives. Together, they took the idea to the owners.

“People have been asking about drywall recycling ever since the LEED movement began,” said Reger. “California has been doing this for some time but it’s very new to this area. Amplatz is among the first few local projects using this process.”

To date, the Amplatz project has recycled 106 tons of gypsum during construction—material that would have otherwise ended up as landfill. To learn more about recycling dry wall, go to

The green hospital will incorporate an environmentally sensitive design, eco- friendly materials and green spaces, such as a planned vegetated roof and a heat-reflective, energy efficient thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing system with a high Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). The project’s design and construction is applying GGHC (Green Guide for Health Care) standards, the healthcare sector’s sustainable design toolkit integrating enhanced environmental and health principles and practices into the planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance of their facilities. Construction is expected to be finished by December 2010 and to open in 2011.

Established in 1897, Kraus-Anderson® Construction Company ( is one of the nation’s premier commercial general contractors and construction managers. Leading the charge in sustainable design and construction for the last 20 years, the company has managed dozens of national LEED projects and has been ranked consistently among the top Green Contractors in the U.S. by Engineering News Record. Kraus-Anderson is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and has regional offices in Phoenix, Ariz., Madison, Wis., Kansas City, Kan., and Duluth and Bemidji, Minn.


Posted August 11, 2010

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