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Rethinking Your Building’s Waste Infrastructure

Whetstone Park DumpstersWe often think of waste in our buildings as a burden, as something that must be dealt with. A better way to think about waste is to understand it as a material flow. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more one recycles, the less that material things cost because it’s much more expensive to extract virgin materials and manufacture something, not to mention all the embodied energy entailed with that.

Climate Corps: The War on Climate Change Hits the Ground

EDFThere has been a battle cry repeated more often than any other, especially in the green building community: energy efficiency. Renewables can cut greenhouse gas emissions, but during the wait for lower prices and more efficacious technologies we can reduce the amount of energy we consume now. This strategy often promises a quick return on investment, handy for persuading those who oversee the funding. If improving energy efficiency makes so much sense, however, why does it often seem so hard to implement? Enter the EDF Climate Corps.

Recycling Our Cities: Cook County’s Demolition Debris Diversion Program

DiversionNationwide, about 40% by weight of material that goes into our landfills comes from buildings? Cook County has only one remaining open landfill, which will close soon, meaning our communities will pay more to transport trash, and cause more diesel emissions into our air.

Harper Court, Hyde Park and the Essence of Community

thumb_harperIn its previous incarnation, Harper Court was a deteriorating remnant of past urban renewal. Evoking a 1960s strip mall vogue, two levels of retail were split off the plaza, with stairs leading down to shops below grade and another set of stairs going up to the second level. Trends in retail have changed, however, and it was proving difficult to retain tenants.

Energy Benchmarking: What it Means for You

BenchmarkLast October, the City of Chicago passed an energy benchmarking ordinance, requiring buildings of a certain size and function to track and report their energy use. It can be a confusing, and even controversial, topic. Five industry experts spoke at the Building Green Chicago conference in an effort to explain the ordinance, help building owners and managers discover what steps they need to take and, ultimately, how benchmarking can be a benefit to them and the city.

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