Cincinnati LEED Platinum office - LEED Platinum Plaque

Marketing master goes green on the cheap

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Cincinnati LEED Platinum office - LEED Platinum Plaque

Chuck Lohre owns Lohre & Associates, a marketing communications firm with a targeted interest in green marketing and energy efficiency. His green building consultancy firm, a division of Lohre & Associates, is Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy. Bruce Crippen/Cincinnati Business Courier
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By Hannah McCartney, Cincinnati Business Courier Feb. 22, 2014
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The UpTake: Chuck Lohre wanted to go green. That usually costs plenty. But he was able to convert his offices to LEED certified for just $9,500.

Cincinnati LEED Platinum office - Washington Park

There’s a good chance you might miss marketing communications agency Lohre & Associates’ Cincinnati office the first time you pass it.

The rugged, three-story brick row house could easily be mistaken for another trendy rehabbed residence primed for Cincinnati urbanites.

What’s inside, though, is the environmental brainchild of the agency’s president, Chuck Lohre. It’s just one of the green building projects that meld his architectural background with a genuine fascination with sustainability.

What’s exceptional about Lohre’s office, however, is that he only spent around $9,500 on the overhaul – including the $3,000 LEED certification fee. The bulk of the project, he said, was eased simply by “knowing how LEED works and enjoying the process.”

Cincinnati LEED Platinum office - Frank Lloyd Wright Boulter House

It’s no surprise, then, that Lohre finds respite in another beacon of architectural excellence: the Boulter house, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed 1950s home. The house is what motivated him to seek to match Wright’s architectural innovation with his own creations.

“It’s what inspired me to learn more about green building,” he said. “I was trying to discover what happened to Mr. Wright’s organic architecture principals.”

Cincinnati LEED Platinum office - Redtail hawk

What’s your earliest memory of being an environmental fanatic?
Probably getting my falconer license in Kentucky when in high school. No guns, just you and your hawk doing it the old-fashioned way.

Cincinnati LEED Platinum office - Pellet Stove

What’s the most unusual way Lohre & Associates conserves energy in its offices?
Our sawdust pellet stove is an approved way to demonstrate renewable energy. The carbon from sawdust would be released in the atmosphere anyway by decay. Using wood to provide building products is sustainable, and it’s renewable to heat with it.

And you and your family in your home?
The Boulter house is a passive solar design built in 1956. During a sunny day in winter when it’s 15 degrees out, we can enjoy it in our living room in our short-sleeve shirts.

How do you like to spend your money?
I like not spending money by getting 100 mpg in my 2000 citrus green Honda Insight, the first car to receive an environmental award from the Sierra Club. Seriously, I race gliders as a hobby. Normally we fly about 200 miles in a 2 1/2-hour race window.

Cincinnati LEED Platinum office - Soaring Glider

Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
A mile high playing with the clouds

What’s one thing you absolutely have to accomplish before you die?
Achieve LEED certification on my Frank Lloyd Wright home. It will be the second in the world.

What’s the most terrifying thing you’ve ever done?
Almost getting my hand cut off when I was working as a deckhand on Ohio River towboats. I wasn’t cut out to be Mark Twain.