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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

2011 Environmental Excellence Awards

For Excellence in Recycling and Reuse

Agencies Awarded:

Innovative Design, Inc.

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Roadside Environmental Unit

Vannoy Construction Company

Project Contributors:

Innovative Design, Inc.
Mike Nicklas

NCDOT, Roadside Environmental Unit
Don Lee and Michael Pettyjohn

Vannoy Construction Company
Doug Moxley

For Excellence in Recycling and Reuse

Wilkes County Rest Area

In 2003, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) set out to construct a rest area on 21 acres of land along US-421 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. NCDOT's goal was to reduce project construction waste by at least 50 percent and earn a coveted Gold or Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating. Opened in 2009, the Wilkes County Rest Area exemplifies recycling and reuse excellence; NCDOT and building contractor Vannoy Construction succeeded in reducing construction waste by 91.3 percent, and incorporated recycled materials into a variety of site amenities. The $10 million rest area includes a 10,030 square-foot visitors center constructed from products that consist of 30 percent post-consumer recycled content. Seven large trees that previously stood on the site now serve as log benches along a nature trail created from shrubs cleared during construction and chipped onsite. To encourage recycling among the general public, the site also features collection facilities for plastic, aluminum, glass, and paper. Due to the success of the Wilkes County Rest Area Project, NCDOT now regularly uses building materials that contain recycled content and requires that all building projects recycle at least 50 percent of construction waste.

Photograph of the Wilkes County Rest Area Visitor Center on a sunny day
Updated: 11/1/2012
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