Studebaker Plant 8: green redevelopment in South Bend

A former Studebaker facility has been redeveloped into a new transfer/recycling station in South Bend, referred to as Green Tech Recycling (Green Tech). This is a great example of how thinking green for the environment can bring cost savings, new jobs, and community enrichment.

After a long industrial past, the former Studebaker Plant 8 facility sat vacant for 12 years. Mother Earth LLC (Mother Earth) then acquired the property in 2005 and invested $4 million for its demolition, remediation, and redevelopment. The Indiana Brownfields Program provided $45,123 in assessment and remediation grants to Saint Joseph County for the project, and the City of South Bend provided $67,000 in funding from a brownfield assessment grant that it received from the U.S. EPA.

Green Tech demolished 665,000 square feet of the former Studebaker building. The remaining 85,000-square foot building is being reused for offices, a maintenance garage, and a green industry incubator. Concrete and steel material from the demolition was reused as construction materials for the new facilities. Green building materials in the form of recycled plastic were purchased and used as decking, signs, and simulated wood flooring. Additional green building technology for the building and property include: low volatile emission interior paint, tinted windows for energy reduction, skylights and high efficiency lighting to reduce energy consumption, an electric car for site tours, a possible green roof, and collection of stormwater for washing fleet trucks.

Green Tech’s goal is to recycle computers, plastic, metal, brick, concrete, asphalt, and other demolition debris. Combining a transfer station and recycling facility at one location, Green Tech is the only large-scale transfer/recycling facility of its kind in Indiana.

In addition to being a transfer/recycling facility, Green Tech’s property will include a green technology incubator, a natural area with trails and wildlife feeding stations, and an environmental education center for school children. Green Tech has hosted South Bend high school students and German foreign exchange students for presentations and hands-on environmental studies demonstrations.

For more information, please see U.S. EPA Fact Sheet "Value-added Deconstruction in South Bend, IN Generates a $1.4 Million Revenue Stream"