The greenest building in Derby City

Louisville is home to the first Platinum LEED-certified building in Kentucky.

Brick building with a lit atrium at night.

The Green Building features the original facade in the front and a modern atrium in the back.

Nestled between Royal’s Hot Chicken and the soon-to-be-open Hotel Genevieve is Kentucky’s first commercial Platinum LEED-certified buildingThe Green Building.

The three-story NuLu building, now home to Galaxie bar and a law office, was the brainchild of Augusta and Gill Holland in 2007. They took on the adaptive reuse project with the idea to turn the vacant, 100+ year-old building into a mixed-used development using environmentally responsible and resource-efficient practices — which they successfully did in 2008.

LEED — aka Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — is the most widely used green building rating system around the world. It features four certifications based on a point system: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

To achieve a certification, a project earns points by following prerequisites and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, and indoor environmental quality. The Green Building scored 80+ points denoting its Platinum status — which is the highest rank in the system.

Brick building under construction

The Green Building under construction at 732 E. Market St.

Photo provided by Gill Holland

The resurrection of the 19th-century structure, which was done by architectural company (fer) studio, included restoring the brick shell and modernizing the inside with a 40-foot tall lobby, renewable energy systems, and recycled blue jean denim insulation — to name a few features.

Let’s take a look at the key characteristics that make The Green Building, well, green.

💡 Energy efficiency: 81 solar panels, a 1,100-gallon ice storage system, and 12 geothermal wells 225 feet below the building save ~30,000 pounds of CO2 a month.

♻️ Recycled materials: 100% of the flooring, 70% of the windows, and 80% of the insulation, which was made from recycled blue jeans, used recycled materials — plus, the elevator shaft utilized mineshift blocks made from coal mining byproducts rather than regular cinder blocks.

🧱 Reuse: Original wood and bricks were used in the flooring, furniture, and facade.

🚰 Water-efficiency: Storm water is either absorbed by the green roof, collected in rain barrels, or directed into a rain garden.

Learn about other LEED certified places in Louisville including the Northeast Library and AC Hotel Louisville.

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