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. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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