An inside look at Chicago real estate

LEED-certified Chicago Condos Part I

Mark.Miles By
Mark Miles
   | Green Real Estate

Chicago has always been concerned with maintaining sufficient green space. Lucky for us, efforts to evade the storied concrete jungle identity have been quite successful. We have acres and acres of parkland within the city limits and miles of uninterrupted shoreline along Lake Michigan. There are even large forest preserves on the western edges of town. It’s plenty of undeveloped green area to suffice the nature-lover in all of us. But, come to find out, all the neighborhood parks and public recreation spots and waterfront beaches and leafy green trees are not enough. Now, the task of providing green living spaces is upon us and Chicago, once again, is stepping up to the plate.

It is still a relatively new concept, green construction, but Chicago developers are fast catching on to the importance and demand for such buildings. All over the city we are seeing examples of this 21st Century trend. One of the biggies is Eco18, a 12-story condominium currently under construction in theSouth Loop. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification cannot be awarded until after a project is finished, but the designers of Eco18 are shooting for the Gold (fourth highest) level of LEED certification as determined by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Eco18 will incorporate energy-saving systems, recycled construction materials, and innovative, eco-friendly features in order to secure their Gold LEED certification status. Major internal systems include a geothermal heating and cooling device, solar-heated hot water, and rain runoff collection containers. Inside each unit, homebuyers will find water-conserving appliances, toilets and plumbing fixtures, plus durable bamboo floors made from sustainable resources. An 11,250-square-foot rooftop garden will not only offer residents a place to sit outside and walk their four-legged friends on the dog run, but it serves a functional purpose as well. The green roof is specially designed with nine different layers to insulate the building in cold weather and cool the air surrounding the building in hot temperatures – again, reducing the amount of energy used to heat and cool the condominium.

Each of Eco18’s eco-conscious structural and design elements work to help protect the environment and benefits residents by saving them money. The condominium’s energy-efficient and water-conserving features cut down noticeably on utility bills. Even though the cost of building a green structure is around 8 – 10% more than a standard building, the return over time for individual condo owners is well worth the minimal upfront price.

More up-and-coming LEED-certified, greenChicagocondos to comeĀ…