Construction Underway on New LEED Silver Nebraska Innovation Campus Building

By Rachel Leber

LINCOLN, Neb. — Construction is currently underway on the The Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC) in Lincoln on a new multi-tenant building. Like the other buildings on the campus, the new building will be constructed to LEED Silver standards.

The 80,000-square-foot building had a budget of $15.3 million, with The Clark Enersen Partners in Lincoln as the architect on the project. Hausmann Construction in Lincoln is the construction manager on the project, and the Tetrad Capital Group of Omaha, Neb., is the owner.

The new building was announced on Aug. 30 and is projected to be complete by July 2018, in time for the 2018 fall semester. The new building is the next step in the 25-year buildout plan for Nebraska Innovation Campus, with 380,000 square feet already constructed, according to Kate A. Engel, director of communication & culture at NIC.

The new building was announced on Aug. 30 and is projected to be complete by July 2018, in time for the 2018 fall semester.

“We’ve started construction on the next building at NIC because we’re almost out of space in the current completed constructed space,” said Dan Duncan, executive director at NIC. “NIC is 100 percent leased with a few small areas available for sublease. Space in this new building is starting to fill up.”

The new building will be made of structural steel with a metal panel and masonry exterior, and is designed with “open architecture” that allows multiple build-to-suite options, according to Engel. The plans include a common dining area and meeting rooms intended to facilitate interactions between the buildings inhabitants, with a community garden and recreation areas surrounding the building.

The three-story structure will feature a planned business “incubator” and will contain common spaces built to spur collaboration. In addition, there will be a basketball court on the west side of the building for campus use, and three balconies — one on the second floor and two on the third floor — for general tenant use.

“The design is a modern take on office space,” said Josh Berger, director of operations for Tetrad Property Group. “The amenities we’ve included in the building reflect what we have learned about what the next generation of the workforce wants in their working environment.”

As part of its sustainable design, the new building will be connected to a centralized renewable energy system (CRES), giving the building a low carbon footprint. The CRES leverages its proximity to the City of Lincoln’s Theresa Street Wastewater Treatment Plant to provide year-round heating and cooling to NIC without the use of steam boilers and water chillers. As such, the CRES will allow the building to sustainably warm and cool the building through the exchange of thermal energy from treated wastewater.

Additionally, the building will feature a three-bin waste system, which includes single-stream recycling, organics collection/recycling and landfill trash. Organic waste collected from NIC will include food waste, disposable hand towels, compostable disposable service-wear, and used napkins and tissues and cardboard and paper, which will be picked up by the local Prairieland Dairy.

One of the biggest challenges on the project was working to develop an efficient floor plan that would be cost effective while also providing the right mix of amenities to help recruit companies to occupy the building, according to Berger.

“Balancing the needs of the campus with the cost of the building and market conditions is always a challenge,” said Berger. “But, what we do know is that the more thoughtful and cost effective we are when it comes to design and build projects, the easier it is to recruit and continue to build the culture, which is the ultimate goal of the campus.”