The Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids is being recognized for its efficient use of energy and water.
It’s the first building in Iowa — and one of just 31 around the world — to earn the Living Building Petal Certification. Center director John Myers says the exhaustive process meant incorporating sustainability into the building plan, using renewable and recyclable materials, and designing for energy efficiency and sunlight.
Myers says, “As a nature center, as a social service organization, it becomes our responsibility to do those innovative practices where a business wouldn’t, so that we can help ultimately drive down costs and help show that these types of things are possible.” The center met a list of metrics, including on-site water filtration and relying on solar panels for net-positive energy production.
Myers hopes other groups in the state will adopt some of their practices. “We know and are fully aware that at this given point in time, not every building is going to be a living building,” Myers says. “But even if they take one or two or three practices that we’ve done here, think about the impact that’s made on the environment because of those changes.”
While the better-known LEED certification also promotes energy efficiency, the Living Building program requires that buildings actually regenerate natural resources.
(Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)