The Nature Conservancy sets green example with new HQ

November 6, 2009
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The Nature Conservancy's new headquarters has several first-to-Indianapolis green features that help it qualify for the highest level of LEED certification. Check out my tour of the building:

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  • thanks
    Thanks Cory, great update. I love the "live walls' that let light into the basement.
  • All nice, but does the LEED standard not take into account that a structurally sound building was demolished, all of the debris if which was taken to a landfill? Not to mention the energy and carbon created to create new materials to replace the old ones that were removed? Seems the LEED Cert should look at what was there as well as what is being built.
  • Here we go again
    The existing building issue is a non-issue. The "embodied energy" argument does not work for every project, especially one that has a building not fit for even it's orginal function, much less a completely new program. Some would argue that there would be less energy spent over the life of the project using better methods and materials vs. the expensive, time-consuming and material consuming process of basically rebuilding the guts of the building while leaving a shabby, albeit existing, facade just to please a few people who know nothing about the process of the manifestation of the program.
  • Info on Building Design
    For anyone interested in seeing some of the specs and story behind the "green" aspects of the new building, the SustainIndy site has a page up. On the Sustainable and Recycled Products section it discusses what was reused from the old building on-site.

    Also, please note that the owners were interested in reusing the building but a structural report found the original building unsafe. In this case Nature Conservancy went above the call of the duty, designing the new building to LEED Gold specs and salvaging the old brickwork.

    The Nature Conservancy building deserves LEED status and Indianapolis should feel comfortable that this is indeed a green and sustainable design.
  • Former Conservancy Member
    The Conservancy could have and should have found a different location for their "green" building.
  • Give it a rest!
    Ok, everyone out there whining about how they tore down a "structurally sound" building need to just stop. The building was NOT structurally sound! Could they have built somewhere else? Yes - would you prefer a corn field? Would the site they're on have remained empty for years if they had not bought it? Yes. The Nature Conservancy are trying to do the right thing and you people are trying to cut them down for it. I can't believe it.
  • LEED
    Yes, LEED certification for buildings governs site prep like tear down and responsible disposal or reuse of old materials.
  • Sustainable pedestrian infrastructure
    I still say they should've rebuilt the sidewalk back from the curb with a tree lawn and/or on-street parking like the Maxwell project did. It's not very sustainable for pedestrians if they trip on the sidewalk, fall in the street and get run over. Also, not very sustainable for your wardrobe if you walk along there during or after a rain and get drenched by the passing cars driving through the standing water that doesn't drain properly. But instead, they needed to maintain that grassy area behind the sidewalk to plop down their ugly, prop windmills (which probably will produce less than they cost to build), which they could've put on the roof. Rant over.
  • Don't be an idiot
    Ok, in response to that last comment (East Sydah):

    1. Would you rather look at parking asphalt or green, landscaped space? On street parking would have pushed the sidewalk up against the building (ala Maxwell). I'll take a landscaped area over parking any day.
    2. Trip on the sidewalk? Are you serious? Pick up your feet when you walk and if you're afraid to walk downtown because you might trip on the sidewalk you shouldn't live in a city.
    3. I believe they are doing something about the drainage along that street, but that's a City problem, not a Nature Conservancy problem. There are no storm sewer inlets in Ohio St. That problem was there before they bought the land.
    4. Who said anything about "prop" windmills? They're vertical axis wind turbines. Their location is actually the best spot for producing energy. You know that big building called the Maxwell you love so much. It would create a huge wind shadow for air traveling down Ohio St. and putting the turbines on the roof would be idiotic because they won't get any wind. That's not to mention the vibration they would cause and structural support they would need to be up there. (read - way more expensive)

    Ok, I'm done.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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