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What’s the Potential for Solar Power in Your Backyard?

October 5, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

In 2015, Illinois added 11 MW of solar energy production, which was a 75% increase over the previous year. While this growth is encouraging, the state remains middle-of-the-pack for overall capacity, ranking 27th in the nation. So what can be done to encourage more solar panel installation?

Thanks to the Cook County Community Solar Portal, a new, interactive map developed by the Cook County Department of Environmental Control and Elevate Energy, the potential for solar power capacity in the Chicago region can now easily be ascertained. The parcel-level map allows users to do more than search the county by address; filters can fine-tune the information by property type, solar power potential, roof type and municipality or Chicago neighborhood.
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Here are Three of the Unique Houses You Can See on This Year’s GreenBuilt Home Tour

July 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Demonstrating the present and future of sustainable residential design, the lineup of houses has been announced for the fourth annual Chicagoland GreenBuilt Home Tour. Hosted by USGBC-Illinois, the GreenBuilt Home Tour provides unique contact with sustainable residences and the teams that brought them to fruition.
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Chiaravalle Montessori: Progressive in Education, Progressive in Design

June 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Architecture can be at its most expressive when the intended use is nontraditional. Montessori schools, which use a time-tested yet unorthodox educational technique, require spaces that one might not find in a conventional elementary classroom. It should be no surprise then that a progressive teaching method begets progressive building design.

The new North Wing at Chiaravalle Montessori School provides the Evanston campus a stunning, open space that embodies this progressive approach. Cannon Design created the $7 million, 19,000 square foot addition with the aim of fostering both collaboration and independence among the student body.
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New Mortgage Leads to Residential Solar

June 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By Linda Seggelke

What if a homeowner decides to purchase solar panels? The most routine and most cost-efficient route to residential solar is through leasing. But a new type of mortgage now makes solar ownership a possibility.

The HomeStyle Energy Mortgage is a new product from giant investor Fannie Mae. It is intended to allow homeowners the ability to purchase solar panels or make other energy-efficient home upgrades. Because it makes use of long-term lending, the loan can be had for less than 4% interest.
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The Field Museum Achieves LEED Gold

March 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Chicago’s Field Museum is one of the world’s largest natural history museums and now one of just two such institutions in the nation to earn LEED-EB O+M Gold certification. The museum had twice obtained LEED ID+C Gold for its Conservation Hall and again for the 3D theater; this rating for the property as a whole further demonstrates The Field’s commitment to improve building efficiencies.
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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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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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Where are All the Green Jobs?

September 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

In the last decade, green jobs have been viewed as a panacea for this country’s ails. They have the power not only to curb climate change and shrink the amount of foreign fuel imported into the United States, but to create jobs that might not otherwise exist. And of course, all of these benefits are also the first lines of defense for national security.
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