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Climate Corps: The War on Climate Change Hits the Ground

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

There has been a battle cry repeated more often than any other, especially in the green building community: energy efficiency. Renewables can cut greenhouse gas emissions, but during the wait for lower prices and more efficacious technologies we can reduce the amount of energy we consume now.

This strategy often promises a quick return on investment, handy for persuading those who oversee the funding. If improving energy efficiency makes so much sense, however, why does it often seem so hard to implement?
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Recycling Our Cities: Cook County’s Demolition Debris Diversion Program

June 25, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

DiversionBy Deborah C. Stone
Chief Sustainability Officer and Director
Cook County Department of Environmental Control

Did you know that nationwide, about 40% by weight of material that goes into our landfills comes from buildings? Cook County has only one remaining open landfill, which will close soon, meaning our communities will pay more to transport trash, and cause more diesel emissions into our air.

According to the Building Material Reuse Association (BMRA), on average, 25% of a home’s materials by weight can be reused instead of being landfilled, thus diverting materials from the waste stream and generating economic development opportunities associated with reuse. The majority of the remaining materials can be recycled.
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Harper Court, Hyde Park and the Essence of Community

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

HC6In its previous incarnation, Harper Court was a deteriorating remnant of past urban renewal. Evoking a 1960s strip mall vogue, two levels of retail were split off the plaza, with stairs leading down to shops below grade and another set of stairs going up to the second level. Trends in retail have changed, however, and it was proving difficult to retain tenants.
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Energy Benchmarking: What it Means for You

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Last October, the City of Chicago passed an energy benchmarking ordinance, requiring buildings of a certain size and function to track and report their energy use. It can be a confusing, and even controversial, topic. Five industry experts spoke at the Building Green Chicago conference in an effort to explain the ordinance, help building owners and managers discover what steps they need to take and, ultimately, how benchmarking can be a benefit to them and the city.
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Passive House: The Next Evolution in Green Design

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

small-entrywayBy Linda Seggelke

There is a method of construction relatively unknown in this country. Though it has been popular in northern Europe the last few decades, Passive house actually has its roots in the U.S.
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Green Office Challenge Round 3 Awards Announced

June 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

chicago_aerialThe winners of the 2013 Chicago Green Office Challenge were announced at a reception held today at the Chicago Cultural Center. The Green Office Challenge is a friendly competition to encourage area businesses to adopt sustainable practices in their workspaces that promote efficiency, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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HOK Wins Living Building Challenge Collaborative: Chicago Competition

June 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

LBCCC_2014The Living Building Challenge Collaborative: Chicago (LBCCC) has announced the winner of its 2014 School Annex Design Competition. HOK’s Chicago office won first place in the design charette. The Chicago office of Valerio Dewalt Train came in second with student entries coming in with honorable mentions.
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Mary Trieschmann Named New Head of Rebuilding Exchange

May 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Mary Trieschmann

Mary Trieschmann

The Rebuilding Exchange has announced the hiring of a new Executive Director. Mary Trieschmann is the new head of the Rebuilding Exchange and will lead in its efforts to create a strong, local market for reclaimed building materials by diverting construction and demolition waste away from landfills.
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Building Green Chicago 2014

April 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

250x250_BGC-logo_SquareThe 8th annual Building Green Chicago Conference & Expo has been scheduled for April 29th, 2014. In addition to a showroom floor featuring the latest in green building products and services, attendees will be able to listen in on education panels covering some of the latest trends in sustainable construction. The keynote address will be delivered by Cook County Chief Sustainability Officer, Deborah Stone.
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Mending Brownfields: It Takes a Little Village

March 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Photo: Eric Allix Rogers

Photo: Eric Allix Rogers

By Matt Baker

The car bounced down the road, avoiding deep potholes and the snow and ice piled high on the curbs. Margaret Renas turned off of bustling Kedzie onto a narrow road. Beautiful, turn-of-the-century houses lined the residential street, but also the occasional dress store, taqueria or auto repair shop.

This is Little Village, a proud and vibrant neighborhood where businesses aren’t limited to the main commercial drag. But Renas’ job as she drove around the southwest side neighborhood was to ignore these signs of life. She was brownfield hunting.
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