• This architectural drawing shows an aerial view of the Center for Green Technology.


    • Location: Chicago, IL
    • Building type(s): Industrial, Assembly, Other, Commercial office
    • Renovation of a 1952 building
    • 40,000 sq. feet (3,720 sq. meters)
    • Project scope: 2-story building
    • Urban setting
    • Completed January 2003
    • Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.1.0--Level: Platinum

    Designed by Chicago-based Farr Associates Architecture and Urban Design, the building uses solar and geothermal energy, a rooftop garden, and a natural habitat to filter storm water. The city invested $9 million in clean-up costs and another $5.4 million toward construction and renovation. The 1952 building is surrounded by a 17-acre site that was formerly the Sacramento Crushing Corporation, a construction materials recycler. The company was closed in 1996 after 600,000 cubic yards of waste were discovered on the site. The money for the Chicago Center for Green Technology came from a settlement with the Commonwealth Edison Company.

    Environmental Aspects

    Environmental features of the building include: solar panels, rainwater collection for irrigation, recycled building materials, smart lighting, a green roof, and a geothermal exchange system. The building's tenants also reflect an environmental ethic; Spire Corporation (a solar panel production company), GreenCorps Chicago (a community gardening and job-training program), and a Chicago Department of Environment satellite office are housed here.

    The Center achieved a U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum rating. LEED addresses environmental construction and operation through five categories: site design, energy efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and water efficiency.

    Owner & Occupancy

    • Owned by Chicago Department of Environment, Local government
    • Occupants: Corporation, for-profit
    • Typically occupied by 35 people, 50 hours per person per week; and 100 visitors per week, 2 hours per visitor per week

    Spire Solar Corp, GreenCorps Chicago (community gardening and job skills program), City Department of Environment satellite office, and others will be housed in the building.

    Building Programs

    Indoor Spaces:

    Electrical systems, Circulation, Other, Mechanical systems, Conference, Lobby/reception, Office, Manufacturing, Cafeteria, Restrooms, Classroom, Laboratory

    Outdoor Spaces:

    Drives/roadway, Restored landscape, Other, Parking, Wildlife habitat, Garden—productive


    Integrated team, Design charrette, Green framework, Green specifications, Transportation benefits, Brownfield redevelopment, Open space preservation, Wetlands, Indigenous vegetation, Stormwater management, Water harvesting, Efficient fixtures and appliances, Efficient irrigation, Drought-tolerant landscaping, Massing and orientation, Insulation levels, Glazing, Airtightness, Passive solar, HVAC, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, On-site renewable electricity, Adaptable design, Durability, Benign materials, Salvaged materials, Recycled materials, Local materials, Occupant recycling, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Ventilation effectiveness, Low-emitting materials, Indoor air quality monitoring

    Go to next topic: Process
    next topic: