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City flush with energy-saving ideas for building

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Water-conserving sinks—lots of them—will be a component of a massive energy-efficiency upgrade of the City-County Building, to be announced Tuesday afternoon by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

The 48-year-old City-County Building is the centerpiece of the mayor’s green-buildings effort, which aims to reduce city government's total energy consumption by 15 percent to 20 percent.

The effort could generate business for area vendors and building contractors.

Among the measures to be announced are “touchless” faucets for the dozens of restrooms in the high-rise building, said Karen Haley, director of the city’s Office of Sustainability.

She said the devices are part of a plan to slash water usage in the building by 40 percent.

Under the energy services concept, the cash outlay by the city should be minimal, with energy savings applied toward the cost of the upgrades.

The city previously tapped three firms to conduct building-energy audits and implement the improvements: Indianapolis-based Performance Services, Newburgh, Ind.-based Energy Systems Co. and Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls.

Many clean-energy advocates have suggested the city deploy other cutting-edge green technologies at the City-County Building, such as lining its outer skin with thin-film solar panels.

But city officials said the energy-saving solutions announced Tuesday are likely to involve less-exotic upgrades, such as better regulated lighting, heating and cooling.

 

 

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