Historic Indiana Building Gets a Green Upgrade

As we have discussed in previous posts about energy conservation, here is another example of an Indiana institution that decided to upgrade and update a historic building with a focus on “Green” technology rather than replace it, an extremely environment-friendly decision.

Indiana Tech in Ft. Wayne wanted to preserve the best of the past, the deteriorating 1857 landmark Uytengsu Center, while upgrading it with the best “green” technology currently available. The renovation process was a huge success, and the building received LEED Gold status and a bronze plaque from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The $3.1 million project was approved by the Indiana Tech Board of Trustees on the condition that energy efficient upgrades to the building would pay the school back within 10 years. Now, after just six months of operation, it appears that the payback period for the project will actually be closer to seven years–which no doubt makes everyone happy.

Additionally, a $1.34 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy allowed the university to install an innovative geothermal heating and cooling system as part of the renovation.

The project had an initial goal of achieving LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Level Certification, but has exceeded expectations and has been awarded Gold Level Certification. The renovation earned the higher certification by reducing the amount of water used and minimizing the the heat island effect of the roof, as well as by replacing incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency LED lighting and natural daylighting throughout.

One of the important aspects of this type of green renovation is the recycling and reuse of original materials such as hardwood and brick wherever possible. This project, for example, diverted 550 tons of waste from local landfills.

“LEED” means Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a Green Building Rating System™ developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

We here at Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning want to offer our congratulations to Indiana Tech for helping to make Indiana a great place to live, now and in the future.

For information about how you can get involved by making your home more environmentally-friendly, call Thiele at (317) 639-1111, or visit the Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning website.