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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