Amazing Space

Indian Creek Nature Center

The Amazing Space building at Indian Creek Nature Center recently earned an amazing designation when the facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa received Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal certification.

The Amazing Space achieved six of the seven available LBC Petals, including the Energy Petal for producing more on-site energy than the building consumes. This Net Zero Energy status is the result of on-site solar energy production and energy efficient building components that include EcoFlex electromechanical locks and hardware from ASSA ABLOY.

Living Future Institute’s Net Zero Energy Certification requires the total amount of energy used by the building to equal the amount of energy created onsite. To attain this certification, the building was designed to be 52% more efficient than if built to standard energy code. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC), which consume the majority of power in the building, were optimized for energy efficiency. But other building components were also considered. Since a large number of the building’s interior doorways were hardwired for electronic access control, special consideration was also given to the locks and hardware.

ASSA ABLOY products, including electromechanical mortise locks and exit devices from Sargent, were chosen for their embedded EcoFlex technology that dramatically reduces power consumption by up to 96%, as certified by GreenCircle. 

Other ASSA ABLOY products are used throughout the building: Curries hollow metal door frames, HES electric strikes, Norton door closers and low energy operators; McKinney red list free hinges; Pemko red list free gasketing and accessories; Rockwood pulls, kickplates, door stops and accessories; Rixson door stops and holders. These products have Declare labels and other transparency documentation that help facilities attain LBC certification by listing the materials and ingredients of the products.

Amazing Space opened in September 2016 and achieved LBC certification in 2019. Attaining LBC certification is an extensive process that requires annual documentation to prove the facility meets the operational criteria in the certification guidelines.

“We knew we were trying to be a petal certified project,” said project architect Darci Lorensen AIA, NCARB, from Solum Lang Architects. “You have to prove what you are going to do and go through an audit process. It was a whole design team effort and required a lot of upfront cooperation and research.”

Amy Musanti, Director of Sustainable Building Solutions for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions, says sustainability is a key component of the ASSA ABLOY product development process.

“Designing and constructing today’s sustainable buildings means taking into account their overall impact on human health and the environment,” Amy said. “ASSA ABLOY is committed to sustainability through our material ingredient reporting initiatives, product energy efficiency improvements, manufacturing transparency and corporate responsibility practices. ASSA ABLOY takes pride in helping facilities achieve their sustainability goals.”