Historic Chicago Mission Seeks LEED Silver Certification: Pacific Garden Mission

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

1458 S. Canal Street

1458 S. Canal Street


1458 S. Canal Street, Chicago, IL 60607 map

Stanley Tigerman, Tigerman McCurry Architects

Since 1877, the Pacific Garden Mission has been helping the homeless find a safe haven.  The Pacific Garden Mission aims to get homeless men and women back on their feet and back into the working world. Last October, the mission relocated to a facility that combines the men’s and women’s into one, 156,000 square foot mission, located on 14th and Canal.  The Mission will house 1,000 nightly occupants and serve food to 1,800 people over three shifts per meal.

In addition to being a socially responsible agency, the Mission is taking steps to make the new mission environmentally responsible as well.  ”As interested as we are in [environmental] sustainability, we are equally interested in the sustainability of the individuals staying at the mission,” said Stanley Tigerman, architect of the new facility.

Image produced by Built Light

Image produced by Built Light

The Mission is aiming for LEED silver certification.  The facility includes a green roof, which reduces storm water runoff by 25% and helps lower the inside temperature in summer.  The remaining roof area is covered with highly reflective material that reflects light, reducing the heat island effect. There is also a large array of solar thermal panels, funded by the City of Chicago’s Renewable Energy Program, that will heat water and compensate for 2.5% of the building’s total energy needs.

“We selected materials from within a 500 mile-radius of the site to reduce fossil-fuel emissions,” said Tigerman. The firm also used millwork and cabinetry that didn’t include formaldehyde, a toxic chemical commonly found in lumber and plywood. The Mission has two greenhouses, one for men, and the other for women. The residents acquire job skills and training while they grow the produce which is used to feed the residents.  An outdoor cloister as an area in which the residents can relax away from the daily stresses of living on the street.  Tigerman also included a “yellow-brick road,” which brings an outdoor street setting indoors.

Other green features include: low-flow bathroom fixtures, the use of native and adaptive plants to negate the need for permanent landscape irrigation, the use of recycled materials during construction, and proper sorting and disposal of organic and non-organic waste produced during construction.

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