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. Only half a million TV Viewers? And thats an increase? I knew Indycar was struggling but I didn't know it was that bad. Hell, if NASCAR hits 5 Million viewers everyone starts freaking out saying its going down hill. It has a long way to before Indycar even hits NASCAR's bad days.

      2. IU has been talking that line for years with no real progress even with the last Dean, Dr. Brater. Why will an outsider, Dr. Hess, make a difference? With no proof of additional resources (cash in the bank), and a concrete plan to move an academic model that has been outdated for decades with a faculty complacent with tenure and inertia, I can count on IU to remain the same during the tenure of Dr. Hess. One ought to look to Purdue and Notre Dame for change and innovation. It is just too bad that both of those schools do not have their own medical school. Competition might wake up IU. My guess is, that even with those additions to our State, IU will remain in its own little world squandering our State's tax dollars. Why would any donor want to contribute to IU with its track record? What is its strategy to deal with the physician shortage for our State? New leadership will not be enough for us to expect any change.

      3. How do you think the Bridges got approved? I spent a couple days researching PAC's and individual contributions to some city council members during that time. My printouts were inches thick on the two I concentrated on. Finally gave up. Was disgusted with all the donations, and who they were from. Would have taken me days and days to compile a complete list. Tried to give it to the Star reporter, but he thought it was all just fine. (and apparently he was treated well himself) He ended up being laid off or fired though. And then of course, there was land donated to the dad's club, or city, as a partial payoff. All done in the shining example of "charity." No, none of these contributions are a coincidence.

      4. I agree what kind of help or if any will be there for Dr. Ley's patients. I was a patient myself.

      5. What about the hundreds of patients who sought this doctor for the right reasons, to quit drugs. what option do these patients now have, experience horrible withdrawl or return to heroin?? those are the choices. what about the children of these former addicts who's parent(s) WILL not b able to maintain their job, for @ least 2 weeks.. There needs to b an emergency clinic opened for these patients.

      ADVERTISEMENT