Two Minutes of Testa’s Turbine
May20

Two Minutes of Testa’s Turbine

  When you think of the Back of the Yards neighborhood, fascinating views may not be the first thing on your mind. But YouTuber Roman Alfredo brought his quadcopter over to the Testa Produce warehouse at 4555 South Racine Avenue and took a close-up tour of the company’s iconic power turbine. Location: 4555 South Racine Avenue, Back of the...

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Infographic: The World’s Greenest Buildings
Mar30

Infographic: The World’s Greenest Buildings

  Chicago is one of the pioneer cities when it comes to turning theories of eco-friendly buildings into city-scale reality, so there’s lots of interest in green building technology here.  And who doesn’t love an infographic?  It’s for those reasons that we pass this graphic along to you.  It was commissioned by an Irish window company, so the English is a little non-standard, but we won’t hold that against...

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AIA Chicago’s Newest Fellow Succeeds By Thinking Green
Mar02

AIA Chicago’s Newest Fellow Succeeds By Thinking Green

When Nathan Kipnis was six years old, like most of his friends, he rushed home from school to watch Bozo’s Circus on WGN-TV. It probably wasn’t in the cards for young Nate to join Bozo on the air and participate in the grand prize game. But if the opportunity presented itself, Kipnis had a ready answer when asked what he wanted to do when he grew up. His response, naturally, would be “an architect.” Perhaps had he been cognizant of...

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DePaul’s New Theater Wins Gold
Feb13

DePaul’s New Theater Wins Gold

The International Olympic Committee isn’t the only panel handing out gold these days.  The U.S. Green Building Council just certified DePaul University’s new theater building LEED Gold. We took you on an extensive tour of the Pelli Clark Pelli-designed building when it opened in September of 2013. You can read DePaul’s press release below the photo gallery.   Image © Jeff Goldberg, Esto. Courtesy of DePaul...

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Passive Solar Energy Warms a Lincoln Park Architect’s Studio
Oct22

Passive Solar Energy Warms a Lincoln Park Architect’s Studio

“Light is what keeps us alive.” – Howard Alan. I found a little oasis from the traffic and horns through an alley just off West Armitage. I entered the hidden studio through an entranceway that I learned was an airlock—to keep warm air in and cold air out. I climbed the spiral staircase and found Howard Alan, the creator of the building—and one of the foremost authorities on solar energy. “Everything begins with the sun,” said Alan,...

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A Sustainable Food Incubator Grows Small Businesses In The Back Of The Yards
Apr14

A Sustainable Food Incubator Grows Small Businesses In The Back Of The Yards

  I am in the basement of a former meat-processing plant deep in the Back of The Yards, watching a school of tilapia swim to and fro. Across the room are rows and rows of growing lettuce, Swiss chard and other leafy vegetables. The fish don’t know it, but they’re assisting in the plants’ fertilization process. The water in which they swim is rich in nutrients — thanks to their by-products — that will...

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When Renovating in Chicago It Isn’t Always Easy Being Green
Apr08

When Renovating in Chicago It Isn’t Always Easy Being Green

Jay Tennant and his wife Chris own a 1890’s-vintage three-flat in Little Italy in need of massive renovation. They also want to be sensitive to the environment with their project. That’s what brought the Tennants to the American Institute of Architect’s “Working With A Green Architect” session over the weekend at the Chicago Center For Green Technology. “We wanted to learn what makes the most sense in terms of...

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Can a Building’s Green Status Be Revoked?

A big deal has been made by Pepsico about its Chicago building (555 West Monroe Street) and its “green” features.  By WLS-TV, by the City of Chicago, and in Pepsi’s own internal reports.  But even though the building has been LEED certified, can it be truly called “green” when it is so often wasteful? The waste in this case comes in the form of water.  The photo above was taken on Saturday, October 8th....

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Free Citywide Chicago Architecture Tours This Weekend

Chicago has several on-going architecture tours that run daily. But this weekend offers a special opportunity to visit some of the city’s less accessible sites. Open House Chicago 2011 is a free, self-guided tour that invites the general public to see inside and learn about a variety of different architectural styles and building types in Chicago. Normally you would only be able see an open house when visiting Chicago homes in which...

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Streeterville Skyscraper Stalled by Green Screen
May19

Streeterville Skyscraper Stalled by Green Screen

The residential tower proposed for one of the last open plots of land along Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville has been delayed. 42nd Ward alderman Brendan Reilly had the 45-story project called 500 Lake Shore Drive (actually at 516 North Lake Shore Drive) pulled from the agenda of today’s Chicago Plan Commission meeting because of concerns over how the building’s lower facade looks. The building is a bog standard rectangle...

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