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LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost sustainability rating system identifying buildings that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

Guidon’s new office at 1221 Pennsylvania Street, originally the city’s FBI headquarters, was built in 1968 and sat abandoned for almost 40 years. The new design displays a highly modern aesthetic and is one of the most sustainable buildings in Indianapolis. The 22,000 square foot building was constructed for a total budget of $2.6 million and includes offices for Guidon, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site’s administration, as well as structured parking.

Guidon’s achievement of LEED Platinum certification is even more impressive considering the building’s conservative budget. The team achieved the highest level of certification through smart design and implementing practical strategies aimed at achieving high performance in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, daylight and indoor environmental quality. Additional hard costs to the $2.6 million project needed to achieve LEED Platinum certification were $8,880 including an EV charging station, enhanced commissioning, and renewable energy credits. (Guidon benefited from a committed owner and a talented team that set project goals early and followed through.)

“LEED is a transformative tool that ensures a building is designed and operated to achieve high performance, improve human health and protect the environment,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “By prioritizing sustainability, Guidon is leading the way in their industry and helping USGBC continue towards our goal of green buildings for everyone within this generation.”

Strategies used in the various aspects of design and construction include:

Achieving very low energy use intensity (EUI=energy used per square foot of building per year): This was a key goal of the project and was accomplished through an air-tight and well insulated envelope. Early energy models to select an HVAC system that uses an air cooled Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) system paired with an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) to reuse all available heating /cooling in the building. The addition of a photovoltaic system includes 92 panels that provides 32 kW of power. This provides 40% of the building’s projected energy use. Guidon Headquarters performs 85% better than an average office building and 50% above ASHARE 90.1 2010.

·         Daylighting: As another goal identified early in the design process, a lightwell with a vegetated roof turned the most unattractive portion of the building into the place with the best light and views. To provide daylight at interior offices solatubes (high tech skylights) were incorporated.

·         Reuse of materials: Over 50% of the original exterior building surface (exterior brick) was reused. Over 75% of the existing structure was reused and the original 1962 terrazzo stair was restored at a fraction of the cost of a new stair. All the materials in the building were carefully selected based on the amount of recycled content, regional content, availability of a product lifecycle analysis, availability of an environmental product declaration, and emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

·         Alternative transportation: Guidon provides bicycle storage both inside and outside the building. Providing secure bicycle storage encourages employees to incorporate alternative transportation options into their personal lifestyle.

 About Guidon Design

Guidon Design is a sustainable architecture + engineering firm based in Indianapolis with over 45 staff. As a veteran owned small business Guidon improves lives + empowers people through dynamic and collaborative architecture and engineering design. For more information, visit www.guidondesign.com

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