center to serve as model for green redevelopment
By JOE MILICIA
The Associated Press
-- An 84-year-old bank building that's been vacant for
more than a decade is about to sprout back to life.
say a "green roof" of dazzling wildflowers is one of many
features that will make the $3.5 million Cleveland Environmental
Center a unique integration of ecological principles and
the best of the old and the new," said Ed Small, president
of Cleveland Urban Properties, a real estate company involved
in the project.
the former Cleveland Trust Bank branch is costly, the
projected energy savings are $500,000 within 20 years,
said Sadhu Johnston, director of the Cleveland Green Building
Coalition, a nonprofit group that promotes green development.
By January, the
five-story building a mile west of downtown will provide
office space for at least eight environmental groups and
be a national model for green redevelopment, Johnston
to bring ecological design to life in an older industrial
city," he said.
Located in the
heart of Cleveland's Ohio City, the building has a high
ceiling and marble flooring on the first floor and a basement
with ornately colored columns reminiscent of an Egyptian
"People are starting
to realize the value of old buildings and decide that
there's some worth," Johnston said.
He wants to show
that historic buildings also can be environmentally friendly.
The bank's architecture
will be blended with green features that seek to save
energy, improve air quality and provide natural lighting.
roof will be covered by wire mesh and 3 inches of soil
where wildflowers will be planted. Aside from natural
beauty, the green roof will last longer and cut air conditioning
costs by staying cooler than a standard black rooftop,
in the city can be 4-to 8-degrees higher because of black
rooftops and concrete," Johnston said.
Other green features
include a geothermal heating system, double-paned windows,
solar panels and motion sensors that will turn on lights
when people enter rooms.
About 10 percent,
or 350 million square feet, of Germany's roofs are green,
according to David Beattie, director of the Penn State
Center for Green Roof Research.
But despite some
high-profile U.S. projects, including Chicago's City Hall
and a Ford assembly plant in Dearborn, Mich., green roofs
haven't caught on much in the United States.
"There are progressive
people here that are trying to create an environment for
progressive-minded people," Small said of the Cleveland
The city of Cleveland
has provided $900,000 for the project with the rest of
the money coming from numerous foundations.
The city invested
in the project to help attract professional jobs and preserve
the character of the neighborhood, said Greg Huth, Cleveland's
acting economic development director.
"It shows that
you can recycle an older building not only to make it
environmentally friendly but make it useful for modern
office uses," Huth said.
On the Net:
Building Coalition: http://www.clevelandgbc.org/