IBJNews

City-County Building 'greening' project to cost $8 million

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The city predicts it will save $250,000 a year through energy- and water-system upgrades in the 48-year-old City-County Building, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said Tuesday afternoon.

While most of the $8 million project to “green” the 28-story downtown tower consists of fairly conventional retrofits, one of the more radical projects will involve installation of a geothermal heat recovery system. It will use water already pumped from the lower floor of the parking garage to provide heating and cooling.

The city also plans to install solar thermal panels on the roof to heat hot water for the 25th floor.

Lighting of the southern plaza of the City-County Building will be powered by photovoltaic panels and by small wind turbines, as a publicly visible portion of the initiative that “will serve as an example to other building owners,” said Ballard.

About a year ago, the mayor announced plans to study how to extract energy and resource savings from the city’s considerable real estate portfolio, which includes about 70 buildings being examined for retrofits. The city worked with a team of local experts and with the not-for-profit Rocky Mountain Institute to come up with the greening plan.

It is “something that should have been done a long time ago,” said Ballard.

All told, the upgrades should shave the City-County Building’s energy consumption by 35 percent, officials estimated.

The upgrades will be funded under an energy savings contract, primarily through Indianapolis-based Performance Services Inc.

Under the contract, the city won’t pay directly for the cost of the building upgrades, which are expected to produce $750,000 a year in energy and water cost savings.

Rather, $500,000 of that amount saved will be plowed toward paying for the upgrades, with the city pocketing the remaining $250,000 a year in savings.

The $8 million in upgrades will be paid for in about 15 years, after which time the city gets to keep full amount of the annual savings.

Other upgrades include low-flow faucets and toilets, which have already been installed on 18 floors of the building. More energy-efficient lighting will be installed throughout the government complex, including sensors that will turn lights on and off depending on whether rooms are occupied.

City officials also are trying to make employees more sensitive about energy usage, said Karen Haley, director of the city’s Office of Sustainability. An employee survey was recently conducted to learn more about their habits and to generate new conservation ideas.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • No savings
    The only true winner here is Performance Services as they will make as much as a 50% profit on this savings contract. Great if you're them or own the company, as the company owner is the only winner

    These "savings" never materialize as great as they say, but it's so difficult to audit and prove it didn't save, and then it's years down the road when all who signed the contract are out of office, or working for one of the energy savings companies directly
  • Wrong Math
    Not sure how the last person came up with 32 years. It will take 10-16 years to pay off the loan or break even. 10 if you figure ultimately you have $750,000 in savings per year, or 16 if you base it on the $500,000 that will be used to pay the loan. Either way, I am more than excited that the city is finally making some progress on being environmentally conscious. It sets a great example and it is nice to see environmental progress from the top down for once in Indy. Instead of the grass roots folks caring the load. Everyone should be proud and quit griping!
  • Projected Savings
    Projected savings have a way of evaportating when experiencing actual savings. What if actual savings are $450k/yr?
  • Poorly written
    The article is poorly written then and should state more explicitly that the $8 mil is a loan which it currently does not.
  • Read it
    Read the full article before commenting. The savings will be $750,000 per year, but $500,000 of it will go towards the loan payment to make the changes. So the city has to put no money up and walks away with a net savings of $250,000 annually.
    • Economics
      How is this economically feasible? $8 mil to save $250,000 a year? So in 32 years this will break even. By then this building will need to be torn down. What a great way to spend the taxpayers' money...
      • Great!
        Sounds like a great plan that is a win for everyone...except the energy companies.

      Post a comment to this story

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT

      facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
       
      Subscribe to IBJ
      1. Yes sir keep cashing those 300K a year checks direct to IMS, while millions disappear from the teams like Rahal's. Guess there wasn't enough ka- ching going around to keep Sarah Fisher in business without their "merger". LOL._____.Meanwhile back in Realville the series with the "best racing in the world" drew what appeared to be about 5000 live spectators ( and probably 1500 of those Target "freebies", and was beaten in the ratings by a series that reportedly consists of "parades" and aired while most people are still sleeping. That will generate those big ka-chings for sure. :-). But, hey, as long as the Speedway gets the cash who gives a damn about the teams?

      2. Welcome to PETERSON LOAN AGENCY Company (A Personalized Service for All Your Financial Needs) We, Liberal Investment Company Providers offers loan at a very low interest rate of 2%, we offer Personal loans, Debt Consolidation Loan, Venture Capital, Business Loan, Educational Loan, Home Loan, and Loan for any reason and urgent needs!. with a maximum duration of 30 years. Have you been turned down by your bank? Do you have bad credit? Do you have unpaid bills? Are you in debt? Do you need to set up a business? Worry no more as we are here to offer you a low interest loan. Our loan ranges from $5,000-USD (Five Thousand US dollars) to $50, 000,000.00.(Fifty Million US dollars). We also lend in USA DOLLARS EURO and POUNDS ! Fill in this form and forward it to our email: PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM 1. Your Full names:_______ 2. Contact address:_______ 3. Country Of Residence:______ 4. Loan Amount Required:________ 5. Duration:_____ 6. Gender:_____ 7. Occupation:________ 8. Monthly Income:_______ 9. Date Of Birth:________ 10.Telephone Number:________ 11. Purpose of loan:_________ Yours In Service, MR PERRY, PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM

      3. If I could actually get the prices...I would do this on my own. We need laws that force provides to publish the costs they will charge. Everyone else gives you the price in advance...except hospitals.

      4. I was under the impression that fencing is not allowed on a front yard and that on a corner, both sides are considered "front" yards, therefore can't be fenced without a variance. Also impedes the visibility for drivers at the intersection. Am I understanding this correctly? Might be why a fence was not included in the plans and a request for a variance will have to be made?.

      5. I was a big fan of Cowards and Carrots, which I got a chance to see at the show. It's currently on Kickstarter, but the designer also put out What's He Building in There last year, which got a fair amount of buzz.

      ADVERTISEMENT