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Reversing Course: Fixing the Chicago River

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Image courtesy of Jeremy Atherton.

Long before Michael Phelps, the United States rallied around another legendary Olympic swimmer. Johnny Weissmuller—who would later gain further fame as the lead in a dozen Tarzan films—won five gold medals during the 1924 and 1928 Olympics. But in the interim between those two competitions, he did something that today seems much more incredible: he swam in the Chicago River.
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North Chicago’s New Brew: Honey Badger Beer

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Julie Henning

Inspired by the wildly-popular Honey Badger video on YouTube.com, the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort in Chicago’s North Suburbs has gotten in on the craze with its Honey Badger Beer. A project in regional sustainability as much as marketing genius, the signature beer is brewed using honey extracted from bee hives located on the 175-acre resort property. One of many paradigm-shifting programs set into action by Executive Chef Joe Plucinski, the Honey Badger Beer is brewed in partnership with nearby Lake Bluff Brewery.
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It Doesn’t Get Any Greener Than This

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By David Buss

Homeowners and business owners searching for an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient home heating system are turning with increasing frequency to geothermal systems to meet their comfort needs, responsibly and affordably. And for good reason. Geothermal comfort systems are proving to be the world’s greenest heating and cooling systems.
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Program Seeks to Identify, Unite Chicago Area Green Projects

August 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Since last year, several volunteers and more than 200 students from 17 local and national universities have been canvassing all 77 community areas in Chicago, looking for sustainability projects in an attempt to create the city’s first comprehensive green initiative database, map and website. It’s a large undertaking that has never been done before, largely because many of these green initiatives are flying under the media radar and have gone unrecognized even within their own communities.
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The Crossroads of Environmental Science, Engineering and Construction Management: A Discussion on LEED

August 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

LEED certification appears often on Sustainable Chicago, like in the unveiling of a zoning map that pinpoints examples of green building design in Chicago. LEED standards directly relate to contemporary building processes. Today, green construction expert Noelle Hirsch writes about the potential benefits and drawbacks of turning LEED certification into an industry standard. Noelle’s articles frequently appear at www.constructionmanagement.net, an online resource for construction managers and students.

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O’Hare Plans Massive Solar Panel Installation

July 24, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

By Matt Baker

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) recently announced that it is seeking a developer to design, construct and maintain a new solar power generation installation on the grounds of O’Hare International Airport. Development will occur over two phases with an expected completion by 2016.
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Retrofit Chicago

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Some in the sustainability community were unsure of what sort of policy changes to expect as Mayor Daley handed over his office to Rahm Emanuel. After all, under Daley’s charge, a number of green building programs were put in place, such as the Green Permit Program, the Chicago Climate Action Plan and the Chicago Green Bungalow Initiative. The green roof on top of city hall stood as a badge of his commitment for years.
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A Decade of Model Green Building

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

This June, the Chicago Center for Green Technology (CCGT) turned ten years old. Hundreds of people came out to celebrate the successes of one of the country’s premier green building educational facilities and to launch it toward the next ten years.
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Double Down: Two Riverfront Buildings Invest in Sustainability

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

The two buildings at 10 and 120 South Riverside Plaza sit beside the south branch of the Chicago River, near more traditionally attractive, art deco structures like 2 North Riverside Plaza and the Civic Opera House. These two Miesian boxes aren’t necessarily homely in comparison so much as emblematic of their era. Designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill and erected in 1965 and 1967, they exhibit the steel and glass aesthetic of mid-century modernism.
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Power to the People: Electrical Aggregation

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Though many Illinois residents may still not be aware of it, their utility options broadened in January 2010 with the passage of the Illinois Power Act. This legislation allows municipalities and counties to collectively bargain with alternative electric suppliers on behalf of their residents and small businesses. And in many cases, it can lead to a greater demand for alternative energy.
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