VCU Cary Street Gym: Richmond, VA

New Again, and Again

Maylone Photography

The structure that houses Virginia Commonwealth University's (VCU) Cary Street Gym could be a poster child for the concept of adaptive reuse. VCU transformed an 1890s-era building that had been used in a variety of ways into a student gymnasium in 1979. The building was renovated again in 2009 with three times the square footage added, wrapping around two sides of the original building. Using the existing gym's façade permitted designers to conserve resources that would have been consumed had they chosen a new location. The building team improved roof insulation and fenestration U-factor of the existing building within historic preservation requirements. But, most of the building's energy savings come from the mechanical and lighting systems.

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