Chicago Codes -- Know the Code

Hubble Middle School: Designing for the Future

December 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

When School District 200 approached Legat Architects seeking a firm to design a new middle school for the Wheaton/Warrenville area, they had specific requests and parameters. What school officials didn’t expect was to have the tables turned on them. “If you were to design your own workspace or classroom, what would you design it to be?” That’s the question Legat’s Patrick Brosnan, who served as principal on the project, put to the faculty and staff. “In fifty years, how would you be using the classroom? Because it will still be there in fifty years.”
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Greenbuild 2010: Redefining Leadership

December 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

It’s no secret that the current recession has hit few industries as hard as the building sector. As architects, designers, manufacturers, contractors and other related trades look for a way forward, the event held mid-November at McCormick Place should prove to be a beacon. For the first time since 2007, the USGBC hosted their annual Greenbuild conference here in Chicago. With hundreds of exhibitors, dozens of educational seminars and over 25,000 attendees from more than a hundred countries, it could be deemed a success in any economy, let alone this one.
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Geothermal Energy: Operating 24 Hours a Day

November 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Drugstore giant Walgreens announced yesterday the opening of the nation’s first pharmacy chain location to make use of geothermal energy for facility heating and cooling. The store in suburban Oak Park is expected to reduce its energy usage by about 46 percent as a result of the geothermal system.
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Local Legislator Among Greenbuild’s 2010 Leadership Award Winners

November 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has named the recipients of its 2010 Leadership Awards, including one local legislator, recognizing organizations and individuals who signify vision, leadership and commitment to the evolution of green building design and construction. The awards, which will be presented during the Closing Plenary on Friday, Nov. 19, during USGBC’s 2010 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo held next week in Chicago. The 2010 awards recognize leadership achievement in the private, public and non-governmental organization sectors.
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Chicago’s Aqua Makes Cut of Elite International Skyscrapers

October 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The internationally-acclaimed mixed-use Aqua tower (previously) that anchors Chicago’s rising Lakeshore East neighborhood has been selected one of five finalists for an International Highrise Award. It is the only U.S. representative. The Aqua tower, designed by Studio Gang Architects for developer Magellan Development Group was, selected by an international jury of architects, engineers and property specialists by the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt, Germany. The residential highrise was also recently honored as Skyscraper of the Year by Emporis, the international building database.
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Comprehensive Plan for Chicago Region Put Into Motion

October 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Last year, Daniel Burnham was as celebrated here in Chicago as at anytime during his life in recognition of the Plan of Chicago’s centennial. The 1909 Plan supplied Chicago with Navy Pier, Grant Park and Northerly Island, among other public amenities. Today, leaders from across metropolitan Chicago’s seven counties voted unanimously to adopt a new plan, GO TO 2040, designed to guide development and investment decisions through mid-century and beyond.
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Solar Panels Return to the White House

October 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

“A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.” So said President Jimmy Carter at the dedication ceremony for the 32 panels he had installed atop the White House in the summer of 1979. His comments proved prescient, as the panels ended up in the Carter Library, the Smithsonian and other places around the country that weren’t the roof of the presidential residence.
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DePaul’s Proposed Architecture School Bridges Streets, Minds

September 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A bold new design to adjoin the DePaul University campus at State and Van Buren with a student housing tower across the street makes use of two very visible trends in green building: the use of air rights and vegetated roofing.
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DOE Announces $20 Million for Geothermal Advancement

September 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday announced $20 million for seven projects aimed at researching and developing cutting-edge geothermal technologies. These seven projects will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of non-conventional geothermal energy technologies in three research areas: low temperature fluids, highly pressurized geothermal fluids and geothermal fluids recovered from oil and gas wells. This funding will help demonstrate and commercialize innovative technologies to lower the high initial costs of geothermal development and help make the operational deployment of low temperature geothermal units more economical.
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Gold Raises Tenancy, Lowers Bottom Line at Prudential Plaza

September 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Prudential Plaza is a two building office complex on prime real estate overlooking Millennium Park. Prudential One (or as tenant and staff sometimes refer to it, Pru 1) was constructed in 1955. At forty-four stories, it was the tallest building in the city at the time and featured an observation deck, now closed. Prudential Two (Pru 2) was built in 1990. With its recessed chevrons and pyramid topper, the fifty-eight story younger sibling received several design awards, including Best Structure from the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois.
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