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Reducing Energy Consumption, Neighborhood by Neighborhood

December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Neighborhood2By Matt Baker

Chicago has put a number of programs into place to challenge residents to reduce their utility consumption. It started with the Green Office Challenge, pitting commercial office spaces against each other to lower energy, materials and water consumption. Retrofit Chicago is a similar program on a larger scale, with entire buildings in competition.

The latest program aims to go even bigger, with neighborhood competing against neighborhood. The Chicago Neighborhood Energy Challenge is a six-month pilot competition among multi-unit buildings in Humboldt Park and Logan Square that will encourage residents to reduce energy usage.
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Unlocking the Value of an Energy-Efficient Home

September 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

soldBy Melissa Ulbricht

More than 40% of total U.S. energy consumption comes from the buildings sector, which includes single and multifamily residences and commercial buildings. This is more than any other sector, such as industry and transportation. Here in Chicago, energy use in buildings is nearly 70% of total energy consumption. Older housing stock combined with extreme weather conditions—from long, cold winters to shorter, hot summers—makes homes in this region very energy intensive.
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Life in the Lab: Experimenting With the Single-Family Home

March 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

It is early adopters that drive down the prices and stretch the capabilities of new technologies, whether it’s the first production automobiles or the latest smart phones. And with much of the green building industry only just emerging, it requires that willingness to try something new, to redefine what’s possible, if these technologies are to take root.

Even before Jim and Beth Masterson decided to refashion a former schoolhouse from the 1880’s into a green home for themselves and their five children, they had begun implementing a greener life. They eschewed the clothes dryer in favor of line drying and the family became avid recyclers and composters. It was an experiment in how environmentally conscious they could make their daily routines without disruption. Read More…