The May issue of the Urban Times Newsletter has a story on the new Nature Conservancy building in the Cole-Noble Neighborhood. The paper has a new rendering of the project as well as some new information. Perhaps the most interesting fact is that they are using a large amount of bricks that were salvaged from the NESCO building in their construction. I found it very unfortunate that they bought a building that they didn’t plan on reusing, which is the opposite of green. Salvaging the bricks from the previous building is a pretty smart idea. Unfortunately, it probably doesn’t forgive the original sin. There is a plethora of surface parking lots that they could have built on.
The building has also come under fire for not being urban enough, and in that I agree. The parking lot has a larger footprint than the building, and the building is set back from the sidewalk. It is also a single-use property.
Of course, I must also mention that the building does strive for efficiency and LEED-certification. The juxtaposition between a good green building and a good urban one is interesting to me, and I’m way out of my element to explain it. Perhaps LEED will need to adjust their requirements in the future to place a higher emphasis on land use and reuse of buildings. Otherwise, they might not be encouraging the best practices.