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Not many details provided: Mutual of Omaha and Heritage Omaha say their development projects will be environmentally sustainable

OMAHA, Nebraska — Mutual of Omaha and Heritage Omaha representatives assert that their development projects would be ecologically friendly, but that it is too early for many specifics.

Mutual of Omaha spokesman Jim Nolan asserts that the company’s downtown Omaha skyscraper project is devoted to environmental sustainability.

“We are deep into the design of the tower, and sustainability is one of our core principles,” he said in an email  on Thursday. “But we don’t have details to share at this point in terms of specific designations or certifications… Design and development of a building like this is extremely complicated and it takes some time to nail down these kinds of details.”

Heritage Omaha, the non-profit organization proposing to build and give Omaha’s new central library, echoed the statement, but provided further details.

Sustainability was highlighted as a pillar during the June presentation showing the specifics of the central library project, and a speaker stated that this encompassed environmental sustainability.

The president of Heritage Omaha, Rachel Jacobson, stated in an email this week that the library “should be as efficient as possible” and will pursue LEED certification. However, she stated that the project is still in the conceptual design phase, so “there are still more decisions to be made as we move closer to opening.”

A common standard for green buildings, LEED certification includes a grading system. The TD Ameritrade headquarters, visible between I-680 and Dodge, is an example of a LEED building in Omaha.

She said that they intend for the structure to survive a century. She stated that the areas would be adaptable so that they can accommodate changing demands throughout time. And although she noted that the intersection of 72nd and Dodge Streets is a car-centric location, there would be an entry on the west side for walkers and transit riders.

“We’re trying to model and imagine a more sustainable, multi-use, and human-scale environment for the future,” she said.

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