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Changing Standards: What it Means to Be Green

December 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

On May 1, 1893, before a bustling crowd in Chicago’s Jackson Park, President Grover Cleveland pressed a button, activating the hundred thousand incandescent lamps strung about on thick cables. They were to illuminate the “White City,” the neoclassical buildings of the World’s Columbian Exposition, and bespoke a new era of technology.
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Energy Efficiency Grants and Getting the Coconut

December 16, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Josh Greenfield,
Energy Services Manager, Primera Engineers

Like the old energy adage goes “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” the same goes for energy efficiency upgrades, “You can’t make a good portion of energy efficiency upgrades economically viable without grants.” Okay, maybe that’s not a widely used adage by anyone, but the statement holds a lot of truth. With the simple payback period and internal rate of return metrics on building owners’ minds in this tough economy, these values can be make-it or break-it when it comes to the decision of implementing various energy efficiency upgrades or not.
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Chicago’s Bungalows: A Hundred Years of History, Ten Years of Sustainability

December 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Eugene Weibel

“Bungalow” means different things around the world. To some it’s akin to a country cottage, to others it’s a beachfront mini-resort. The word is unmistakable in Chicago, however, as anything other than the modest, narrow, single-family brick houses that dominated home construction in the area during the first half of the twentieth century.
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Scorecards, Standards and Certifications: Rethinking Chicago’s Infrastructure

December 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Jon Sedey

Chicago has more than eighty-eight LEED-certified buildings, thirty-two of which are city-owned, making Chicago top in the nation in LEED-certified municipal buildings. In addition to that, Chicago is among the top in the nation in green roofs with 600 planned, under-construction or completed, totaling approximately eight million square feet. By all appearances, city officials seem to understand the benefits of environmentally-sound buildings and will continue to promote green building.
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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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