Currently, the only LEED Platinum (non-home) project in Kentucky is a visitor center, and this commercial building, The Green Building, could just become the next. Located in the East Market District of Louisville Kentucky, an area increasingly being referred to as “NuLu,” or New Louisville, The Green Building is a major renovation of an old building. Originally built 110 years ago as a dry goods store, the 14,000 sf masonry structure now houses a café, gallery, record label, book store, and more. Its owners are Augusta and Gill Holland, transplants from New York who fell in love with the distressed East Market District.
Augusta holds an MA in Urban Planning from Columbia University and Gill is a film producer; they teamed up with architect Doug Pierson from (fer) studio for the green project. Construction began in 2007 and finished a short year later in the fall of 2008; the project cost was $2.2 million, and if everything goes as planned, it will received LEED Platinum certification.
The owners took impressive steps to reuse materials. A workshop was set up in the back where a century of dust and smoke was planed off of the old timbers. The old ceiling and floor substrates also were milled and reused as finished floor material. They even made new furniture out of the framing. When original bricks were removed, they were assembled in different locations, and when cinder blocks were used, they opted instead for “Mineshaft Blocks,” which are solid and made of coal slag and Portland cement. Some other green elements include:
- Solar panels that generate 17% of the building’s electrical load.
- Three collection tanks on the side of the building that collect up to 240 cubic feet of storm water.
- A cylindrical ice storage system that freezes during off peak hours and generates cool air a fraction of the normal energy cost.
- Twelve geothermal wells that provide renewable energy to the building.
- Energy recovery units in the highest and lowest points of the building to redistribute hot and cold air throughout the building.
- A green wall with drought tolerant sedums in the courtyard.
But the Holland’s don't want to stop here. With The Green Building as a hub, they're planning to create a two-acre downtown marketplace with produce and food products from local growers and vendors. The marketplace will be known as Jefferson Public Market.
Photo credits: (fer) studio.