Consumer Information Energy Telecommunications
Elizabeth S. Jacobs
Nick Wagner
Board Member
Sheila K. Tipton
Board Member

Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate Office Building

On March 5, 2013, the Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate held a LEED® Platinum recognition ceremony in the building’s first floor lobby.  The formal program included remarks from Board Chair Libby Jacobs, Governor Terry Branstad, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller on behalf of his office and the OCA, Rod Kruse of BNIM Architects, and Scott Bowman of the U.S. Green Building Council (Iowa Chapter) and KJWW Engineering Consultants.

The U.S. Green Building Council has established, and the Green Building Certification Institute has verified, that this building meets the highest international standard for leadership, innovation, energy performance, and environmental stewardship.  The building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance in areas of energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Located at 1375 East Court Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, the IUB-OCA building houses more than 90 employees of the two agencies.  The facility is modeled to consume 63 percent less energy than a typical office building of similar size that is compliant with the Iowa Energy Code and an onsite photovoltaic renewable energy source will contribute about 12.5 of its total energy use.  The building features a long list of energy efficiency measures highlighted by a geo-thermal heating and cooling system, which provides the largest energy savings, as well as super-efficient precast concrete wall panels with integrated edge-to-edge rigid insulation, the daylight harvesting solar screens and two long building wings in a V-shaped design for maximum use of daylight.  Other systems include; an energy management system that includes lighting and occupancy sensors throughout the building and special plug outlet controls in employee work spaces, a water management system that reduces water use by about 46 percent, and operable windows for use on temperate days.

The Des Moines office of Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell Architects (BNIM Architects) of Kansas City, Missouri was the lead designer of the building.  General contractor for the building was J. P. Cullen and Sons of Janesville, Wisconsin.  The century old contractor has a number of public building projects to its credit in several states. 

This building project was previously honored with the Top Ten Green Building Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment, the AIA Central States Region Merit Award, AIA Iowa Merit Award, AIA Kansas Merit Award, and the AIA Kansas City Merit Award.  In addition, BNIM Architects, the IUB, and the OCA have been named the commercial winner of the Built Environment Award as part of the Environmental Impact Awards of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Center on Sustainable Communities, and Metro Waste Authority.  The awards honor local organizations and leaders for their sustainability efforts in the Greater Des Moines area.

The new building, dedicated on April 28, 2011, replaces leased space occupied by the two agencies. By state law they are to be co-located. The building is not being paid for with general fund money but is being financed through public bonds. Twenty-year bonds financed the construction of the new building and the bonds are being retired with funds that had gone to monthly lease payments by the agencies.

The IUB and OCA continue to provide tours to the general public, utility companies, utility industry groups, colleges and universities, and other interested organizations.  Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and other State of Iowa employees have also toured the new building.  To schedule a tour, contact Judi K. Cooper at (515) 725-7312.

For additional information:

BNIM Technical Specifications Worksheet.

LEED Platinum Designation (off-site)

National Top Ten Green Building Award News Release  – April 23, 2012

LEED® Platinum Certification News Release   – December 21, 2012