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Rancho Verde Takes Platinum for Innovative Brownfield Redevelopment

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One of Chicago’s biggest names in landscaping now lays claim to one of the greenest locations in the city.  Christy Webber Landscapes, along with the City of Chicago and GreenWorks, came together to develop an area in a struggling neighborhood.  After decades of abuse as an auto impound, landfill, and iron-works, the polluted site had been declared a brownfield.  Subsequently, in 2003 the City of Chicago proposed an initiative to reclaim the site, and a short three years later, the 12.5 acre piece of land was clean and fully operational.  Called "Rancho Verde," in honor of the mostly Hispanic workforce that makes up the landscaping industry, the former brownfield is now the headquarters for Christy Webber Landscapes.  Rancho Verde features a one-story office building, warehouse, and a shop-yard big enough to hold dozens of trucks that keep Chicago looking healthy all year round. 

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Orchid Cityhomes Obtain LEED Platinum

Orchid Cityhomes Green and Complete!

About a year ago, we showed some renderings of Orchid Street Cityhomes, and it turns out, the homes are now finished.  Matter of fact, they’ve won a Root Award in Portland Spaces‘ inaugural design competition.  Well deserved, I believe.  Orchid Cityhomes is a duplex, or connected rowhouses, but the party wall is the garage, so the homes maintain a level of privacy and separation that’s usually missing in most attached residences.  They were designed and developed by Building Arts Workshop and both dwellings just received LEED Platinum certification about a week before Christmas.  Some of the green amenities include:

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ASU Salvages Old Building for New School of Sustainability

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Check out this bright, contemporary renovation of an old, 1960s nursing building.  The renovation was led by the design team of Lord, Aeck & Sargent and Gould Evans Associates; they’re anticipating LEED Silver certification and did it all with a $6 M budget.  Now complete, it will be used for Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability and a newly formed School of Sustainability.  In terms of performance, the Institute is anticipated to save 18.7% on energy and 50.3% on water use compared with its baseline usage — plus, it's been outfitted with six, hard-to-miss, state-of-the-art AeroVironment parapet turbines. 

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