The Cardinal Campus of Highland, Indiana is the brainchild of renowned veterinary surgeon Dr. Claude Gendreau, a leader willing to translate his views about the direction the world should go into immediate action. In 2011 Dr. Gendreau wrote What You Must Do For Your Country which clearly laid out the urgency of the climate crisis and a path to decarbonization through sustainable development. Then he decided to put his money where his mouth is by developing a high-performance, carbon-free office and hotel district. 

The ten-acre Cardinal Campus is emerging as Northwest Indiana’s premiere business development as well as the region’s most sustainable development, a potent synergy. The master plan features a single through-street that connects two adjacent streets that “T” into the site. The pervious-brick-paved “stormwater street” is the organizing spine for seven two-story Class-A office buildings totaling 130,000 square feet, a 3-story boutique hotel and gardens, and the beautifully landscaped ”Fountain Square.”

Traversing the street end-to-end is a slow-speed visual and spatial delight, thanks to beautifully-composed brick facades and clever urban design moves such as deflected and terminated vistas. Projecting cornices, lit at night, identity and shelter building entrances. Edison lights span a side street creating an event space. Stormwater is celebrated across the site in various ways: all the streets and parking lots feature pervious pavers, the path of rainwater from “roof to root” is designed to delight the senses, including cardinal-inspired scuppers and cross-sidewalk runnels leading to bioswales. Native species chosen to thrive with the flow of water create sustainable microhabitats.

On top of all that, the project is a sustainability exemplar of regional significance. The anchor building, a veterinary surgical facility, will attain LEED Platinum certification, establishing the level of specifications for the remaining buildings. Building scale sustainable design features include renewable electricity provided by rooftop photovoltaic arrays, and high-performance mechanical systems and building design. Upon completion the project will the first built project in the state to achieve LEED for Neighborhood Development certification, with Cardinal Campus helping to make Northwest Indiana the greenest part of the Hoosier State!

Cardinal Campus - building 1.jpg

Client: Gendreau Realty

Location: Highland, IN

Year: 2020


  • LEED ND Goal

  • LEED Platinum for Vet Clinic Building

Cardinal Campus Website

2018 Project Update