$11.5M Red Cross HQ would add flexibility, sustainability

Cincinnati City Council's Economic Development Committee will consider today changes to the Keystone Parke planned development district that would make way for a new headquarters and disaster operations center for the Cincinnati chapter of the American Red Cross.

The changes would add 8.8 acres of property located south of Evanston Park to the district, allowing developer Neyer Properties to construct the new three-story, 50,000-square-foot building.

Jim Cheng, principal and project architect at emersionDESIGN, says that the $11.5 million building give the American Red Cross more flexibility than their current downtown location, including such features as:

  • A Disaster Operations Center, which rapidly expands as required into adjacent training and multi-purpose areas to sustain an operation over five times larger in floor space
  • New Training Rooms and Disaster Action Team facilities, which increase support for both disaster preparedness and response readiness
  • Open, flexible work space, with plentiful daylight and views to the adjacent park, houses both staff and volunteers
  • Building systems and materials that integrate consideration of appropriate first costs as well as long-term ownership, reflecting a commitment to responsible stewardship of both operating dollars and natural resources

"The Cincinnati chapter of the American Red Cross is one of the top performing chapters in the country," Cheng says.  "They are very focused on a cost effective, quality facility that advances their mission."

Like the rest of the Keystone Parke campus, the new building will be built for LEED certification – this one LEED Silver.

Cheng says that they have received a grant from the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) for the design of innovative stormwater mitigation methods, which could be funded by MSD if the designs are approved.

"Strategies including a green roof and landscaping or bio swales, will actually deal with all stormwater on site, with zero contribution to the metropolitan storm sewer system," Cheng says.

Cheng also says that the building will be designed to optimize energy performance, incorporate recycled and regional materials, and divert building waste from overtaxed landfills to recycling or reuse.

The developer plans to break ground on the building this spring, with occupancy scheduled for spring 2010.

Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: Jim Cheng, principal, emersionDESIGN

Rendering provided by emersionDESIGN

Photo by Scott Beseler

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