Greenbuild Legacy Projects Announced

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC)-Illinois Chapter Host Committee awarded six grants to Chicago area “legacy projects” in conjunction with this November’s Greenbuild Conference. This action advances the Chapter’s goal of developing green building at the grassroots level. The Greenbuild Conference is looking to give ten full conference scholarships to Greenbuild 2010 for those making a difference locally, as a way to encourage diversity within the green building community.

Credit: Kevin Dooley

The legacy project grants are a way to complement the USGBC’s mission and to provide a way of service, education and thanks to the community that hosts Greenbuild each year. The local electrical utility, Commonwealth Edison, matched funds for the grants, bringing the total to $20,000. Commonwealth Edison is an active participant in encouraging green activities. Since 2008, they have provided approximately $23 million in incentives to encourage businesses to use energy more efficiently, reduce electricity usage and save money, through their Smart Ideas for Your Business Program.

The first grant, and the highest award, was given to YouthBuild Lake County in the amount of $5,000. During 2009, Youthbuild began their first green building project to educate students on weatherization and energy efficiency in Chicago homes. The grant money will be used to advance the students’ education in thermal imaging and blower door testing.

Four different recipients each received $3,000: Goodcity’s Food Desert Action, Sunlight of the Spirit Rooftop Recovery Garden, Family Shelter Service and the Academy for Global Citizenship Elementary School. Goodcity plans on rebuilding a city bus into a biodiesel mobile food market to bring fresh produce to areas of the city that lack easy access to it. Sunlight is placing a rooftop garden on a building for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, youth offenders and ex-offenders on electronic detention, not only providing the residents with fresh produce, but a location to train them in gardening techniques.

Family Shelter, which serves people affected by domestic violence, is performing energy audits of family shelter facilities to target areas for energy efficient retrofits. The Academy for Global Citizenship School received the grant to construct a lab to show the students how renewable energy and sustainable living is an economically beneficial financial investment.

Finally, the Fuller Park Community Development Corporation received $2,500 to build a walk and accessible observation point for the native prairie preserve in the Eden Place Nature Center on Chicago’s south side.

USGBC-Illinois

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