Monthly Archives: August 2010

“Big Blue” plays the suit of green

Location: 330 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60611 Contractor: Bear Construction Owner: Prime Group Realty Trust By William Olson At the Chicago River’s southerly hiccough, a modern icon has gone green. The building at 330 N. Wabash, Mies Van der Rohe’s architectural encore in America, recently underwent a sustainable renovation and earned the USGBC’s Silver Certification for Existing Buildings (EB) Operations [...]

Originally Posted At: Green Bean Chicago | Read Original Post

Green Builder Magazine Takes Two National Journalism Awards

Green building and sustainable development continue to be of concern for real estate professionals and consumers. As we consume, we also become aware of how we can sustain, and sorting it all out can be confusing. However, a leader continues to emerge to help us on this crazy “green” journey.

Green Builder magazine, Green Builder Media’s flagship publication, has once again received recognition for its  investigative reports, analysis, design ideas and pertinent information for professionals and consumers.

The magazine received two national journalism awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editor’s annual journalism competition. The first award, “Best Trade Magazine Report for the Residential Real Estate, Mortage/Finance or Homebuilding/Residential Development Industries,” went to Green Builder’s editor in chief Matt Power for the article titled “The Limits of Technology.” The article addressed which green technologies really progress sustainability.

The second award of Best Residential Trade Magazine was granted to Green Builder magazine because of the variety, depth and beauty that the magazine holds.

The magazine is led by a veteran staff including editorial director, Cati O’Keefe; editor in chief Matt Power; and national design director, Eddie Malstrom.

For more information about Green Builder magazine, visit the website.

Reduce Unwanted Mail with Catalog Choice

How much unnecessary mail do we end up with in stacks on the kitchen counter? Most of it doesn’t even get read…it just clutters the house, collects dust and gets in the way until we get around to putting it in the trash. Now, thanks to Catalog Choice and retailers, we can alleviate the clutter in life by stopping unwanted mail.

In 3 easy steps you can make your life more green-friendly:

  1. Fill out the online registration form, including your primary mailing address (only used to have appropriate mail stopped)
  2. Find and set mail preferences for catalogs. They contact the providers to request your mail preference.
  3. It can take up to 12 weeks to process your request and for you to stop receiving catalogs.

This program is designed for continued use and as a registered user, you will discover features related to managing catalogs at multiple addresses adding new catalogs to our database and other ways to go paperless.

Benefits to going paperless:

  • reduce mailbox clutter
  • lowers merchants costs of distribution
  • positive impact on the environment, reducing energy consumed, carbon emmissions, lost forests resulting from production and discarding of unwanted catalogs.

Participating Catalogs include:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Ann Taylor
  • REI
  • UncommonGoods
  • Early Advantage

Imagine the trees, energy and waste saved if you stop getting your unwanted mail…join the craze to go green and make your life clutter free!

Advanced Framing Basics

Optimum Value Engineering — or simply advanced framing — has two main benefits.

Read our Green Framing Resource

Information about best practices, framing materials and a transition guide give you an overview to some concepts that you can begin using today.

Green from the Ground Up

You can learn more about Advanced Framing Techniques in Green from the Ground Up or Sign up for our Green from the Ground Up Training and learn directly from the experts.


Two-Stud Corners

One detail that is especially beneficial to the thermal performance of a house is a modified, two-stud corner that allows more insulation and blocks much of the thermal bridging in a conventionally framed corner. With less cold air inside the wall cavity, the chance of condensation and mold declines. Adding a layer of insulating sheathing to the outside of the building is an added benefit. Drywall clips or an extra piece of 1 in. x 4 in. catches the edge of interior drywall.

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Originally Posted At: Green Building - Building the Future with Intention | Read Original Post

Green Builder S&A Homes Launches New Blog

S&A Homes has launched an interactive blog, A new home builder, S&A Homes  currently builds  in more than 70 communities throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

S&A Homes was recently awarded the 2010 Energy Star Leadership in Housing award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for qualifying an outstanding number of ENERGY STAR™ Homes in 2009.  The builder closed more than 200 Energy Star Qualified homes last year! Congratulations to S&A Homes.

For homebuyers seeking energy efficient homes at an affordable price, S&A Homes offers the E-Home. Focused on building high performance homes that combine energy efficiency, eco-friendly building materials and indoor air quality solutions, the E-Home meets all of these goals as well as provides the best value in the market.

Benefits of Buying an Energy Star Home

When it comes to buying a house and having to think about mortgages, locations and school districts, the stress level seems to increase. With an estimated 16% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions being generated from the energy used in houses nationwide to contribute to the smog, acid rain and global warming, making sure your house minimizes environmental harm is something else to consider. One way to make sure your house doesn’t contribute to the pollution is by purchasing an Energy Star labeled house.

If you’re looking at buying a new house, these government approved homes are a beneficial investment. For one, Energy Star protects the environment from the energy in our homes that generates a great deal of air pollution. Additional perks for Energy Star homeowners include confidence in the product that is easily identified as energy efficient. Owners of an Energy Star home save money over time. Different than a standard home, these cost substantially less for energy, heating, cooling, and water-heating. There is an estimated $200-$400 in savings every year. Let’s do the math–if you live in the house for an average of 7-8 years, this adds up to thousands of dollars saved on utilities.

Better performance is also a benefit of buying an energy star home. With energy-efficient improvements, there is better protection against weather, pollution and noise. An energy-efficient home ensures consistent temperatures between and across rooms, improved indoor air quality and greater durability.

Essentially, these homes are smart investments and will increase in value by the time you are ready to sell. More than 8,500 home builders have partnered with the EPA to create more than 1 million Energy Star qualified homes. While the price tag may seem to be more expensive, Energy Star homes save money–future expenses can go towards redecorating instead of utilities.

Nation’s Largest Solar Power Plant Now in Chicago

Exelon Corporation is now “cashing in” on the warm summer sun since it built the nation’s largest urban solar power plant, Exelon City Solar, in Chicago.

Exelon City Solar was constructed on 41-acres of land that had previously been vacant for 30 years, and consists of 32,292 solar photovoltaic (PV), or solar electric, panels that convert the sun’s rays into energy. This translates to 14,000 megawatt-hours of energy a year. That’s enough energy to meet the needs of 1,500 homes.

The clean energy produced by Exelon City Solar works to displace more than 30 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year. That’s the same as taking 2,500 vehicles off the roads.

The solar power plant is part of “Exelon 2020”,  Exelon Corporation’s plan to lower its carbon footprint by reducing, offsetting, or eliminating 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

However, reducing Exelon’s carbon footprint is not the only thing this power plant is doing. The construction of the $60 million solar power plant created 200 jobs in the Chicago area.

Exelon City Solar moves solar power plants to the mainstream by providing a visual example that large-scale solar energy is possible.

For more information about Exelon Corporation, visit the website.

For more information about other green building projects in the Chicago area, visit

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