$69M in upgrades planned for Bayh Federal Building

June 28, 2010
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green roofGovernment officials and construction contractors today unveiled several planned upgrades for the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse north of Ohio Street between Meridian and Pennsylvania streets. The $69.3-million project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is slated for completion by August 2012. It will employ between 90 and 150 construction workers from 23 contractors, most based in central Indiana. The trickiest part of the project is to modernize the 1905 building while preserving its historic character, said Matthew Chalifoux (pictured above), a principal in New York-based EYP Architecture & Engineering. The general contractor on the project is locally based Shiel Sexton. Among the planned inprovements:

  • Install a system to harvest rainwater from the roof and divert it from the city's stormwater system. The water will be collected in five 2,000-gallon tanks, which will be used to supply water to the building's toilet fixtures. That should reduce the building's water use by 30 percent.
  • Grow a green roof. The plans call for a mix of drought-resistant plants that cover 30,000 square feet of roof space, making it the largest green roof in the city. The GSA says the plants will double the roof's life and add as much oxygen to the air as 18 trees.
  • Install 3,725 sprinkler heads served by more than 10 miles of sprinkler line to protect the entire building. The installation, which will preserve the structure's historic decor, should improve life safety by 74 percent.
  • Switch to digital controls for the building's heating and cooling systems. The switch could save 10 percent on utility bills by streamlining from 300 manual controls to one keyboard.
  • Other federal building
    Also interesting to note that the Minton-Capehart Federal Building -- Indy's other federal building on Pennsylvania St. -- also is being renovated/repaired. I think it's just exterior work. Any details on that?
    • Minton Capehart
      Similar type project. Includes installation of automatic sprinkler system, New fire alarm/mass notification system, and upgrades to HVAC and lighting to update building and save energy.
    • Emmett J Bean Federal Center
      The Bean Center on 56th and Post is installing a large roof top photovoltaic system and understand it will be the largest roof top photovoltaic installation in the US.
    • 74% more safe?
      I'm really interested in how one calculates that the installation of a sprinkler system improves life safety by 74 percent. Or why we need that calculation for that matter.

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    1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

    2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

    3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

    4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

    5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing