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. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

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  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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