Plans for Expansion
Ready, Set, GROW!
CEC announces plans to build a new, sustainable environmental education center to better serve the Whitewater Valley and beyond!
A new facility will expand Cope Environmental Center’s capacity for environmental programs, serve as a community gathering space, and act as a powerful teaching tool for sustainable living in East-Central Indiana. The CEC staff firmly believe that the center’s new facilities must exemplify its philosophy and mission to promote the sustainable use of the earth’s resources. For this reason, CEC is doing everything in its power to have its new building certified under the Living Building Challenge, which has arguably the most rigorous green building standards in the world, even beyond LEED. Currently, only five buildings in the United States have reached “Living Building” certification. CEC hopes to be among the next in line. Thanks to a partnership with our architecture firm, LWC, this dream is on its way to becoming a reality!
In addition, with CEC as the “trailhead” for Indiana’s Bicentennial Legacy Conservation Area, this 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!
We invite you to explore the plans here and learn more about the Living Building Challenge. We hope that your commitment to education and the environment will show in a gift of support to make this building a reality.
Living Building Challenge Pocket Guide
A quick reference guide explaining the philosophy of the Living Building Challenge and outlining the “red list”.
The new facility will be approximately 6,000 sq. ft.
The plans include room for expansion when deemed necessary!
The low profile helps keep the focus on the land, not the structure.
PV panels and other alternative energy systems will help CEC meet the demands
of the Living Building Challenge to be “net zero” in energy usage.
A display hall will greet visitors, teach them about the building,
introduce them to CEC programs, and be the first stop for the
Bicentennial Legacy Conservation Area.
A large multipurpose room will serve several functions including a host site for
summits and community functions (producing revenue for the Center’s operations),
educational space for visitors, and most importantly, space to host large groups of
visiting school children! This room can be sub-divided into three separate areas
holding 50 people each.
Finally, a dedicated classroom! This area will house the technical components
necessary for long-distance learning, water/soil testing, and hands-on learning.
Students will be able to utilize CEC 52 weeks a year!
Each piece of the building will be a teaching tool including the water reclamation system
(see large white tanks), passive solar design, and ultra-high efficiency building materials.