The Greenest Buildings in Chicago: Chicago Green Tech

On their website, the building is cited as “the first rehabilitated municipal building in the nation to receive the LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.” It’s an impressive accomplishment, and an extreme understatement to all the efforts that went into transforming the land.
A piece of coal was turned into a diamond.
The site used to be an illegal dump with 3 story-high piles of construction debris that accumulated over half a decade. It took 18 months and $9 million for the Department of Environment to clear out the site and transform the building into a sustainable education and green community center. The building is currently home to 2 tenants: Greencorps Chicago and WRD Environmental and hosts a variety of seminars and events open to the public.

Chicago Center for Green Technology Building Features:

  • Almost entirely constructed of recycled materials. From recycled-newspaper ceiling tiles to mirror-laden countertops, nearly everything in sight came from recycled materials.
  • 40% of the electricity used in the facility is generated by solar power.
  • Green Tech U at the center provides affordable and educational seminars on sustainability, in your home, office, or building.
  • The Resource Center contains a library’s worth of information and materials for your green projects.
  • Tours and events- Tour the building and see it for yourself! There’s also many exhibits and events in the works at CCGT. I visited on a day where an electric car rally made a pit stop at the building on their way back to the Chicago Auto Show.

Below is a photo series from my afternoon at the Chicago Center for Green Technology.

I got lucky visiting on a clear day because there is a great view of the skyline from the roof! However, you can catch a glimpse of this shot almost everyday at the blog, ChicagoFromTheRoof, rain or shine.

Chicago skyline from roof clear day sun

The Chicago skyline from the west on a clear, sunny day

The roof of the Chicago Center for Green Technology is fitted with dozens and dozens of solar panels that account for 40% of the electricity at CCGT. The building is also exploring it’s wind-power options with a test rig to measure the potential yield.

A close up shot of the plants on the center's "green roof"

I’m sure its more green in the summertime

The green roof is part of an extensive rain-catch system to reduce the amount of storm water that enters the sewers by half.

solar panels on the ground in the winter damage

More solar panels, some of which got damaged by last year’s intense hail storm

These ground-level solar panels took a beating in the hail storm last year, but many of them have been replaced.

water catch planter sustainable

A planter display at the Chicago Center for Green Technology

One of the many informational displays around CCGT. It’s probably a bit more exciting in the summer.

Urban prairie trail chicago

Native plant nursery and retention pond

A picture of the native plant-lined trails that surround the Chicago Center for Green Technology. The fields are also home to mice, rabbits, snakes, and birds.

Electric car only sign

Electric cars only: Chicago Green Tech also has a car-charging station

Green Tech also has an outlet for electric vehicles, unfortunately there was only 1 and could not accommodate the dozen cars that came through for Chicago’s electric vehicle rally to re-create a 100-year-old race that took place in Chicago. You can read more about it here.

red electric car with driver

Paul Strauss of Technabob and The Awesomer pulling into Chicago Green Tech

Eric Heineman, sustainability advisor to Gov. Pat Quinn and his ride

Eric Heineman, sustainability advisor to Gov. Pat Quinn and his ride

green tech tour guide

Chicago Green Tech tour guide Jenny

The drivers took a quick tour of the facility and had a lunch before heading back to the Chicago Auto Show.
electric car drivers

To learn more about Chicago Green Tech visit their site at chicagogreentech.org or stop by and tour the facilities!

 

Comments

  1. mitchbyrne says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing! i would love to take a tour there someday. Check out Testa Produce on the South Side. It’s LEED Platinum Certified & they give great tours as well.

  2. What a great resource- can’t wait to check it out in the spring (where the green stuff is…green). Thanks for posting this insight!

    • chicagoranter says:

      hey thanks for the comment! and definitely stop by, its a very cool spot in the city, especially if you’re into that kind of stuff

Trackbacks

  1. […] came in to talk green building and wrote a really great article about us – check it out: http://chicagorants.com/2013/02/18/greenest-buildings-in-chicago/  He even snapped a photo from “the spot” – not bad! He’s a natural! […]

  2. […] from within one of their own projects, the Chicago Center for Green Technology, WRD Environmental has been around since 1997 when President, Geoff Deigan sought to be the change […]

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