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Roosevelt University Eyes the Future

March 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Edward Sparling was president of the YMCA College in Chicago in 1945 when he refused to provide the school’s board with student demographic information, fearing a quota that would limit the enrollment of women and minorities. When the board insisted, Sparling resigned in protest and many of the school’s faculty and staff joined him.

This group of educators without a school voted to create a new college and, according to legend, purchased the Auditorium Building—the arguable masterpiece of Adler and Sullivan—from the city for $1. “They picked up buckets and mops and literally scrubbed the building back to habitability,” said Lesley Slavitt, Vice President for Government Relations and University Outreach at Roosevelt University. “We have lovingly tried to not just repair, but restore it to its historical elegance.”
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Tax Rebates May Be Gone, But Utility Rebates Remain

March 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Jon Sedey

What would you do if major utility companies like Nicor, ComEd and Peoples Gas would pay you to change your energy consumption habits? If you knew you could get free money out of these companies, would you modify your behavior now, to fix things today? The obvious answer is yes, you would change. And in a depressed economy where contractors, builders and homeowners are seeking alternative methods to save money and spend less on everything, more utility providers are making free and easy money a reality.
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The Green Exchange Comes to Life

March 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

As spring arrives and the region shows signs of life renewed, new vigor is coming to the Green Exchange as well. Imagined as a microcosm of sustainable businesses, the Green Exchange made much fanfare five years ago with the announcement of plans to refurbish the former Cooper Lighting factory in Logan Square into a localized venue for purveyors of green products and services. And then the floor fell out of the economy.
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The Superior Wall System That You’re Not Using

March 15, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

By Matt Baker

Slice any single-family house built in the last hundred years in half and you’re likely to find the same thing again and again: dimensional lumber and fiberglass insulation. It has been the standard way to build for so long, it seems at times like it may be the only way.

But stick-built homes have many flaws. they don’t hold up to powerful storms, for example, and are susceptible to termites, mold and fire. And it’s not just safety issues. They are hard to effectively insulate and guard against air and moisture infiltrations. Even if you are able to put in stellar insulation, every stud is a thermal bridge that allows unwanted heat to seep in or out, depending on the season.
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Mayor Emanuel Announces Chicago Infrastructure Trust

March 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the creation of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, an innovative way to leverage private investment for transformative infrastructure projects. Mayor Emanuel was joined at the announcement by President Bill Clinton, who has been helping strengthen the country’s infrastructure for decades, most recently through the Clinton Foundation’s work with large cities like Chicago on energy efficiency initiatives.
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Chicago’s First LEED-Gold Certified Dental Office Opens in Wicker Park

February 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

There’s now one less reason to fear going to the dentist: the air you breath will be free of VOCs. ORA Dental Studio, which promotes “Ecofriendly Dentistry,” is now also Chicago’s first dental office to be certified for green building. The company’s new Wicker Park office on Division was recently awarded LEED Gold certification by the USGBC for its eco-friendly and high-performance design, construction and operation.
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BOMA Chicago Announces Winners of 2011-2012 TOBY Awards

January 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago) announced the winners of “The Outstanding Building of the Year” (TOBY) Awards at an awards gala over the weekend. The TOBY Awards are designed to recognize excellence in office building management across several categories based on building size and type. The buildings were judged on tenant relations, commitment to environmental sustainability, emergency preparedness, budgeting, work order systems, security standards, staff experience and continuing education opportunities.
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Illinois Among the Top for New Green Space in 2011

January 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Wrigley Building, which the USGBC highlighted in their report, after the iconic structure earned LEED Silver in 2011.

A new ranking of US states by green buildings finds Illinois in the top ten. The USGBC’s list ranked states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita. The District of Columbia lead the nation, with more than 31 square feet of LEED-certified space per person last year.
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O’Hare Goes Green. Big Time.

December 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Courtesy Chicago Department of Aviation

Ten years ago, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley announced a plan to renovate the area’s overtaxed, international airport. The O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) advocated new and extended runways, a reconfigured layout and a newly-constructed western terminal.

The project was designed to reduce delays and increase capacity at the airfield. Spend some money now, the thinking goes (the current OMP budget is estimated at $8 billion), and make more later once O’Hare’s prominence as a transportation hub is carried on into the 21st century.
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Chicago’s Nine Largest Green Roofs

December 15, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

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#1 Millennium Park

Spanning roughly 24 acres, the 1,067,220 square foot Millennium Park is considered one of the largest green roof projects in the world. Completed in 2004, the $475 million project includes landscape art, full grown trees, interactive water fountains and a skating rink in the winter. What many people forget is that the roof actually covers two parking garages, a transit center and the 1,525 seat Harris Theater.