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ST. CHARLES, MO-Clayco Inc. should find out within the next couple weeks if their construction and renovation of an office complex here will receive a coveted LEED platinum status. For a new headquarters for Novus International Inc., Clayco spent about $20 million to renovate an existing 42,000-square-foot office/laboratory facility, build another 48,000-square-foot office and add energy-efficient components, such as a 2,000-square-foot solar panel roof. The complex is in the University of Missouri’s 200-acre MRP business park here.

Clayco owns the facility, and is leasing it to the animal feed manufacturer, says Todd Merrill with the developer. “They were already in the smaller building, and had three to four leased offices around the area. Now, they’re consolidated all onto this campus for their global headquarters.”

His firm spent about 18 months doing the project in phases, starting with construction of a smaller laboratory, the 10,000-square-foot Nutritional Research Building. The development was finished in the last couple weeks, he says. “We hope to hear back about our LEED application in February,” Merrill tells GlobeSt.com.

He says the solar roof is the largest of its kind in the state. The state reportedly contributed about 30% of the cost in a tax credit for the panels. Other sustainable efforts at the complex include a central utility plant, restoration of native vegetation and landscaping with zero irrigation and the use of recycled materials.

Like many large companies these days, Novus mandated the LEED status, Merrill says. “They were pushing us on sustainability as much as we were pushing them,” he says. “It’s rare that we see someone that doesn’t want to do it. Companies believe that it will help attract the best employees, people want to be working in a building, and for a company, that has really set the bar higher on being responsible. This environmental attitude continues even through these hard economic times.”

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