American Family Insurance says it plans to help solve the Madison area’s social problems — as well as foster entrepreneurship — in its new building, Spark, on the Near East Side.

The Madison-based insurance company is creating The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact “to strengthen our company while tackling some profound social issues facing our communities, schools and governments,” chairman and CEO Jack Salzwedel said at grand opening ceremonies for Spark on Wednesday.

Spark, at 821 E. Washington Ave., has eight floors of offices and a ninth floor that houses the building’s mechanical systems. Its special features include a 10,000-gallon rooftop container that will be used to collect rainwater and use it to help heat and cool the building, and sun shades that raise and lower automatically, depending on the amount of sunlight. Read the full story here.