Feature I received an email from a reader recently about the progress of 300 North LaSalle, which is a 60-story office tower under construction at the northwest corner of North LaSalle Street and the Chicago River in Chicago.  It received LEED-CS Gold pre-certification and should be ready for occupation near January 2009.  Back in 2005, developer Hines signed Kirkland & Ellis to occupy a mind-numbing 24 floors.  (too many lawyers in Chicago?)  The rest of the building, comprising about 400,000 sf will be available for lease.  And unlike many of the wicked shapes we see in some green buildings, the pragmatic, modern 25,000 rsf floor plates are good for tenants that like to use what they’re paying for.  The building was designed by Pickard Chilton, an architectural firm that is becoming increasingly known for their green office and professional buildings.  I’ve included some interesting background and images/renderings below. 

Fast permitting = Huge Benefit of LEED Buildings
There’s an interesting side-story to 300 North LaSalle:  it received a building permit in 30 days.  That’s pretty incredible.  Chicago has a Green Permit Program provides for increased flexibility and shorter permitting times based on the greenness of the design.  Developers submit LEED registration as part of the building permit review process, and they’re required to commit to certain green features.  Here, Hines committed to LEED certification, with a design that included a green roof.  Additionally, upon completion, the developer is required to submit proof of LEED certification within 180 days or risk fee reimbursement or permit revocation.  On the flip side, if you’re committed to LEED design, you can get moving quickly without all the red tape and politics can cost developers big money.






Good Links:
++Chicago Expedites Permits for Green Buildings [PDF]
++A Towering Vision – 300 North LaSalle Brochure [PDF]

::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::