For some Ogden residents, the historic American Can complex looked like a candidate for the wrecking ball. Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey, however, viewed the abandoned factory as the cornerstone of Ogden’s downtown renaissance. Godfrey’s vision got a boost last October when Amer Winter & Outdoor Americas announced its move to Ogden and expressed interest in becoming the complex’s anchor tenant. Working with developers, the City of Ogden and Amer Sports-which has agreed to lease 59,000 square feet-are now turning the abandoned factory into a regional showcase of green redevelopment.

“As a wintersport and outdoor business, we moved to Ogden to be close to these incredible mountains,” explains Mike Dowse, President and General Manager of Amer Winter & Outdoor Americas. “As a responsible member of the community, we want to preserve and enhance the quality of life here. We’re starting with the green redevelopment of the Wasatch Mountain Center, and we’re continuing with green initiatives that will improve the way our employees work and live.”

By revitalizing existing structures, the project is minimizing the need for new building materials, while preventing thousands of cubic yards of old material from becoming landfill. Many materials that can’t be reused are being recycled. Workers, for instance, are salvaging several tons of sheet metal from the factory’s floor.

To mitigate heat loss and absorption, crews are painstakingly replacing old windows throughout the complex with Low-e double-insulated glass. Heating and cooling efficiency will be further improved by an intelligent climate control system, automated interior solar shades, and high R-value blow-in cellulose insulation (made of recycled newspaper).

In the department of wise water use, xeroscaping will emphasize drought-tolerant plants, with water sparingly dispensed by drip irrigation. Thirsty sod grass will have at most a token presence on the Wasatch Mountain Center campus.

“Thanks to Amer Sports’ leadership, the new Salomon, Atomic and Suunto headquarters in the historic American Can building will stand as a model for green development,” says Mayor Godfrey. “This city could not ask for a better environmental partner.”