Sustainable Education Center




[The details] The new facility expands Cope Environmental Center’s capacity for environmental programs, serves as a community gathering space, and acts as a powerful teaching tool for sustainable living in East-Central Indiana. CEC firmly believes that the center’s new facilities exemplify its philosophy and mission to promote the sustainable use of the earth’s resources. For this reason, CEC decided to participate in the Living Building Challenge, which has arguably the most rigorous green building standards in the world, even beyond LEED. Currently, only 12 buildings in the United States have reached “Living Building” certification. CEC hopes to be among the next in line.  Thanks to our partnerships with LWCHeapy Engineering, and Ball State’s CERES, this dream is becoming a reality!

In addition, with CEC as the “trailhead” for Indiana’s Bicentennial Legacy Conservation Area and Children of Indiana Nature Park, the building will be a launching point and orientation space for the thousands of students and visitors from across the state coming to CEC to learn about conservation and sustainability starting in 2016. This public/private partnership between CEC, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Whitewater Valley Land Trust and Indiana Nature Conservancy is a keystone project of Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration!

[The virtual tour] Click the links below to give yourself a virtual tour of our building! All products and labor were chosen carefully. Their composition and proximity were all taken into account. The Living Building Challenge demands that products be produced as close to the building site as possible. This makes this project intensely local and comprised of mostly American-made products! It was extremely hard to do especially since the products needed to be free from toxic chemicals as well. This process has made us big believers in the Living Building Challenge, because as we often say, it should not be this difficult to build a non-toxic building that does not harm the environment! As more and more buildings utilize programs such as LEED and the Living Building Challenge as their guides, manufacturers will respond with more toxin-free products and increase their focus on energy efficiency. Make sure you are doing your part by seeking out these products when doing projects at home and work. Now go explore the fruits of local labor!