The Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA) is a 8,600 square foot laboratory complex used by the students and faculty of Grinnell College, as well as by the public for the study of nature and the environment. In keeping with the building's environmentally conscious purpose, the project followed LEED certification requirements in both design and construction and was the first LEED Gold Certified project in the state of Iowa. As part of this effort, the native prairie grass habitat in which the building is located was preserved during construction. Features of the project included an exterior of 50/50 block-glass and a sheet metal roof. The center also includes a 2,200 square foot Butler building that houses maintenance equipment. Post occupancy of the CERA complex, Neumann Brothers was invited back to the site to erect a wind turbine which today supplies the majority of the building's electricity.