One-Story Office and Industrial Building Seeks LEED® Gold Certification: Greenworks

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Location
457 N. Sacramento, Chicago, IL 60612 Map

Owner
Christy Webber Landscapes

Architect
Farr Associates

Image Provided By
Image ©Farr Associates

457 N. Sacramento

457 N. Sacramento

Greenworks is a new 18,000 sf 1-story office and industrial building for Christy Webber, one of Chicago’s leading landscape contractors. In addition to front-office space, the building includes tool maintenance and storage areas, a rooftop greenhouse, and outdoor truck and landscape storage areas. Construction began in the fall of 2005. The project is seeking LEED® Gold certification and will be featured in the MCA’s companion to the visiting Massive Change exhibition.

The site is a former city auto pound behind the Chicago Center for Green Technology (CCGT) that Webber is developing as an Eco-Industrial Park. Currently vacant land on the property will house other green-related businesses; perhaps some will even support Webber’s business. Completion of this building and development furthers the city’s goal of creating a ‘greentown’ neighbrohood and enhances the cutting-edge image of CCGT, which is feeling somewhat dated since it uses 2002 technology (green technology has been evolving quickly!). Although we can assume most of the new building will not be open to the public, it provides a great case study for CCGT visitors to see private industry using green building technologies.

The project includes many unusual features worth discussing. First is a stormwater detention/retention pond in the center of the development. Water from all buildings in the development will directed to bioswales along the property lines and into the pond. Although detention ponds are a familiar site in suburbs, it’s nice to see a modified form of this strategy demonstrated in an urban, industrial area. The system is design to handle 100% of the rainwater from a 100-year storm event.

As the home of a landscape company, a green roof is nearly mandatory, and this project goes all-out by including a portion of very deep (intensive) green roof with trees. Yes, those are trees you see in the rendering. Stormwater is collected from the roof for irrigation, including filling of water trucks used in Webber’s maintenance business. You have to wonder if the pond will ever even see a drop of water from the Greenworks site!

Energy consumption is predicted to be less than half of that for a minimally code compliant building – these savings partly result from good solar orientation and a well-insulated envelope, and partly from an innovative mechanical system. This includes underfloor air distribution for the office space, fabric ducts in the industrial building, and both the rooftop greenhouse and a solar wall preheating outside air – it’s great to see these novel solutions explored in Chicago. And there’s a geothermal system, solar hot water, and a wind turbine (away from the building, adjacent to the pond).

The project also includes most of the ‘standard’ green features not even worth enumerating here. Construction completion is expected in late fall of 2006. Other project team members include MEP engineer CCJM, civil engineer Terra Engineering, structural engineer Drucker Zajdel, and general contractor George Sollitt Construction.

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