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.
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.
The green roof is part of an extensive rain-catch system to reduce the amount of storm water that enters the sewers by half.
These ground-level solar panels took a beating in the hail storm last year, but many of them have been replaced.
One of the many informational displays around CCGT. It’s probably a bit more exciting in the summer.
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.
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.
To learn more about Chicago Green Tech visit their site at chicagogreentech.org or stop by and tour the facilities!