About 200 people attended Neyer Properties’ “It’s Easy to be Green” Earth Day panel discussions on innovations in green building April 22 at Keystone Parke in Evanston.
Three panel discussions on “Building LEED in Greater Cincinnati;” “Green Infrastructure in Southwest Ohio;” and “Green Means Green Commercial Broker Presentation” were led by experts from Neyer Properties, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), design, construction, and commercial properties professionals, and the University of Cincinnati.
“We see the panel discussions as an integral part of educating the public and the local development and building community on how green, sustainable construction and design enhances our ability to create cutting-edge projects that save energy, the environment and money,” said Dan Neyer, president of Neyer Properties, which organized the events.
Chad Edwards, LEED AP at emersion DESIGN, LLC , event presenter, and vice chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in Cincinnati, said long-term building owners such as corporate leaders, higher education institutions, and local, state, and federal governments are most engaged in sustainable building practices right now.
“We have found that the sustainable design and construction projects have continued to move forward and expand despite the economy,” he said.
The American Red Cross building, which is being designed by emersion DESIGN at Neyer Properties’ Keystone Parke, is an example of an owner with the right mentality about sustainable building, he added. “They are incorporating sustainable design solutions with a payback of 10 years or less, and are on track to achieve LEED Gold Certification.”
The city of Cincinnati offers a tax incentive for owners incorporating sustainable building practices into their projects, abating property taxes up to 15 years on LEED-Certified projects and major building improvements.
“It’s Easy to be Green” event presenters included: Charlie Jahnigen, vice president and owner of SHP Leading Design; Chad Edwards, architect and urban designer; Don Glardon commissioning project manager at Heapy Engineering; Chukwuma Ekwueme, assistant project manager at Megen Construction; Charlie Pond, director of building development at Neyer Properties; Michael Chapman, landscape architect; Virginia Russell, landscape architect and associate professor of architecture in the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati; Michael Kady, project manager with Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.; Brett Kordenbrock, development project manager at Neyer Properties; Kaniz Siddiqui, program manager for Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati; and J Glasgow, senior vice president at Colliers International.
Chuck Lohre, Cincinnati Regional USGBC board member, said the Earth Day programs were crucial to raising regional awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of implementing sustainable, green design and construction and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation into the way we build and renovate structures.
“This has been a terrific event,” said Lohre. “Dan Neyer has been way out front of other commercial developers in helping educate the whole building and development industry.”
Neyer Properties headquarters at Keystone Parke in Evanston is the tri-state’s first green office campus, and has achieved LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold from the USGBC for its commercial interior space. It attained LEED® Silver status for its Phase I Core and Shell office building.
Vendors at the event included: RetroFoam; Baker Concrete Construction; Shaklee; DayLeit; the American Red Cross; Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired; The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, Inc.; Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities; Perfection Group; Pro Touch Janitorial Service Supply, Inc.; SaveWithInsulation; Hamilton County Environmental Services and Go Green Challenge; t.a.c. by Schneider Electric; Tremco; and the Cincinnati Regional USGBC chapter.