Chicago continues to top the lists for a variety of categories; in fact, the results of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2018 reader survey named Chicago the “Best Big City” in the United States. The myriad of world-class cultural institutions, extraordinary hospitality scene and a history of architectural brilliance are to thank for that. What is perhaps less publicized, however, is the city’s excellent track record in sustainability.
In his introductory letter for the Sustainable Chicago Action Agenda, an initiative launched in 2012 towards creating a positive environmental impact, Mayor Rahm Emanuel wrote, “A sustainable Chicago is a city that spends less on energy use with each passing year, creates good-paying jobs in up-and-coming industries, responsibly maintains and upgrades its infrastructure, and ensures every Chicagoan has the opportunity to live a healthy and active lifestyle.”
In our commitment to investing in a better tomorrow for the customers and communities we serve, Irvine Company has participated in a series of important city-wide sustainability efforts in Chicago. If you’ve read our white paper on workplace sustainability, you’ll understand that “going green” is more than just a contemporary business imperative, it is a social responsibility, which is why, when Irvine Company started acquiring commercial office towers in Chicago, LEED certification was part of the criterion.
“We have been dedicated to operating the most efficient buildings possible as part of our commitment to environmental stewardship,” explains Rich Bluth, Irvine Company’s vice president of Energy Management. Both 71 South Wacker and 300 North LaSalle have Platinum certification, while One North Wacker maintains its Gold status. 71 South Wacker Drive was also recognized by BOMA/Chicago with The Outstanding Building of the Year Award (TOBY) in 2017 for its commitment to building-wide energy conservation practices, upward trending Energy Star rating and its evolving Strategic Sustainability Plan.
Each building demonstrates sustainability in its own unique way. 300 North LaSalle, for example, uses intake from the Chicago River as condenser water for cooling and irrigation systems. The recent revitalization of the lobby and amenity areas at 71 South Wacker promote the healthy and active lifestyle Mayor Emanuel envisioned.
The green roofs at 300 North LaSalle and 71 South Wacker also provide a variety of environmental benefits, including the reduction of energy consumption and stormwater runoff as well as improved air quality. Workplace wellness is also one of the main tenets of the Irvine Company promise, which explains why our Chicago workplace communities maximize natural light to both reduce solar gain and improve the quality of the indoor experience.
Long-term ownership and continuous reinvestment from Irvine Company ensures that your workplace community is at the leading-edge of sustainable development. As Chicago continues to raise its standards for environmental stewardship, Irvine Company will continue to broaden the scope of workplace sustainability to ensure a better tomorrow for future generations.