By Linda F.
As a BioBelt
leader in animal health and nutrition, Novus International determined
their new global headquarters would be no less. Recently, they
welcomed Gov. Jay Nixon and 450 other guests to their ribbon-cutting
ceremony for the new building in Missouri Research Park. It is
a facility that carries a Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design) certication, the highest designation
available to buildings demonstrating energy efciency.
is the fourth in Missouri to achieve this distinction and one
of fewer than 150 buildings in the United States to receive the
designation, which is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
facility combines the Novus headquarters with its International
Research Center into a single building.
for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for our headquarters was Sustainable
Culture, Global Vision. For our team at Novus, true sustainability
is a culture that begins on an individual level, offering the
opportunity for people, the environment and businesses to benefit.
When you tour our headquarters facility, you see many examples
of our sustainable culture, from access to healthy food and exercise
to a Research and Development team that delivers products and
services that empower our customers to build their businesses
both profitably and responsibly. This facility is an expression
of the culture we aspire to each day,” says Thad Simons Jr., Novus
president and CEO.
Novus became interested in pursuing LEED certification when plans
were put into motion to join the headquarters, which was then
located in Maryville Center, and the laboratory at Missouri Research
at Maryville Center was coming up in October of 2008, and I thought
we should start planning for a new building,” he says.
Don Vondriska, director of business development, management of
the project and brought up the idea of LEED certification.
“We both went
out and educated ourselves on the process,” Vondriska says. One
of the first things they did was tour the Alberici building, the
first Platinum LEED certified building in Missouri.
“We knew our
building was going to be different for a number of reasons,” Vondriska
says. “First of all, we would be in St. Charles County, not an
industrial area. We would not have the luxury of the space they
have indoors, and we would have to be more creative with our use
of the Novus International Inc. Global Headquarters facility
which contribute to the achievement of Platinum LEED certification,
second largest array of solar panels in Missouri (5,000 square
of the total materials cost came from salvaged materials.
of the total materials cost came from recycled content. Examples
include countertops made from recycled milk jugs and scrap
aluminum, fitness room floor made from recycled tires, and
carpet containing recycled yarn.
air distribution system; this state-of-the-art system is extremely
using Missouri native grasses and plants designed torequire
no irrigation, equating to thousands of gallons of water saved
storm water system that will greatly reduce the environmental
impact of runoff and improve water quality to receiving streams
and eventually the Missouri River.
and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize the use of natural
parking for low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles.
Merrill, P.E., LEED AP, director of sustainable construction for
Clayco, says that Clayco has “always identified with green building
and practiced sustainable measures in our buildings. We just didn’t
call them green.
“How you handle
a site to build a building, whether it’s a green field site or
a previously-developed site, how you either haul off or bring
in dirt, how you place a building on the site, and what you do
with storm water—we were doing that anyway,” Merrill says. “It
just so happened that it fell in line with the sustainability
He says materials
used by Clayco have always had a high recycled content. “We’ve
been putting in energy-efficient lighting, and heating and cooling
systems, so we like to say we’ve been practicing sustainability
since the company started 30 years ago.”
project, he says, was a unique situation. “We had a client who
was definitely driven by issues regarding ecological design and
intergenerational justice. They have corporate missions within
the organization where they’re really trying to change and transform
the world from a global perspective.
an international company, they really brought to us a lot of perspectives
that we have not heard from many of our clients before,” Merrill
says. “It’s more than just points on a LEED chart. It had more
to do with how they had been running their business and what they’re
transforming their whole company into from a very holistic approach.
They are looking at things from a cradle to grave perspective.
Where are these materials coming from? How are we impacting the
was a challenge in that the new building had to connect with the
standing research building, which had been at Missouri Research
Park since 1993.
in right before the 1993 flood,” Simons says, adding that transporting
personnel from Maryville Center to the laboratory proved to be
quite a challenge.
its magic and integrated the research building with the new one,
adding open spaces that compliment Novus’ holistic goal.
justly proud of the new building. Visitors approach through a
wide expanse of light-colored concrete that reflects the light
rather than attracting heat. A fountain with the Novus logo centers
the entrance. Rock walls flanking the building will soon be covered
with ivy, as will a pergola at the entrance. Native Missouri plants
make up the entire landscaping.
have to irrigate this site,” Simons says. “We had to obtain a
waiver from Missouri Research Park because tenants are required
to do irrigation and lawn maintenance, but we have no lawn. Our
site uses native grasses and flowers as the primary landscaping.
These plants thrive in our climate and will provide the Park and
our facility with a unique look in the coming years.”
floor is made from bamboo, and countertops in the reception area
are made from recycled bottles and wood shavings.
and visitors can relax on benches in a Zen garden with bamboo
and a waterfall off the first floor. The second floor features
a rock garden with more native plants and a sitting area.
“We have been
able to complete a beautiful building that improves our productivity
and encourages innovation,” Simons says.
Novus employees go to work, they drive through winding wooded
hills of St. Charles County to a building nestled in trees.
They eat a
low-fat, low-cholesterol and low-sodium catered lunch, while gazing
out large windows to a pond surrounded by large trees. For relaxation,
they can walk the nearby hiking/biking trail that will eventually
connect to the Katy Trail. Or they can go to the fully-equipped
gym. Or they can get a massage. Or take a Yoga or Pilates class.
space promotes employee collaboration with large open common areas
including coffee bars, lounge areas as well as meeting spaces
ranging from large conference rooms to “huddle spaces” for small,
credenzas with hanging lights divide the cubicles giving the feel
of a library, and natural lighting infuses the work areas.
part of Monsanto, Novus became its own company in 1991 when Mitsui
and Nippon Soda acquired Monsanto’s MHA and ALIMET.
“We are an
animal health and nutrition company,” Simons says. “Our products
and programs address production and health concerns facing producers,
veterinarians and animal nutritionists. When producers feed animals
a diet, such as soybeans, it’s deficient in protein. Different
species require different types of feed enrichment to address
the animals’ nutrition requirements to maintain optimal health.
“In the United
States, we feed corn and soybeans. In Canada they feed a lot of
wheat, and in Europe a lot of sunflower seeds. Our scientists,
field technical staff and employees help the industry find the
right diet, and our supplements help to balance the nutritional
requirements. So it’s in terms natural production, we assist with
growing the animal efficiently without the use of drugs helping
creating a sustainable culture through our global vision.”
goal of meeting the growing global need for nutrition and health,
the company is walking the talk with its new global headquarters
and providing its employees with a working environment that reflects
its mission statement.