Contact Us


Fulfilling LEED requirements and then not getting certification is a bit like going through four years of college and not getting a degree (or, if you prefer, waiting in a long line for a Creamsicle and having them run out), said our panelists at this morning's Bisnow Sustainability Summit. But many building owners and tenants need to be educated on green processes as they improve their buildings.
Doug Widener
USGBC Illinois Director Doug Widener is helping develop LEED 2012, the new set of standards buildings will have to meet next year. These will be more scalable for different kinds of buildings. New to the code: LEED for Data Centers and LEED for Healthcare. Doug points out that Chicago is already ahead of the curve, as it has the most LEED-certified buildings of any major US city. That's growing, too, with 75% more applications for LEED this year than last. One trend: the expansion of LEED beyond Class-A CBD office buildings—Doug's been to a few Class-B and suburban cert celebrations lately.
The John Buck Co's Rafael Carreira
The John Buck Co's Rafael Carreira helped his company's 111 S Wacker earn certification in '03 and 155 N Wacker earn Gold in '09. He says the difference in tenants' green knowledge was vast in the six years between developing the buildings. Now, every tenant RFP he looks at requests LEED certification, and he encourages his building managers to keep up with the latest. However, Buck often isn't the first to adopt a new green technology—it likes to see the data and evidence that a system will work first.
Bob Six
Our host, Zeller Group's Bob Six, whose team demolished the vacant space on the 34th floor of 401 N Michigan for the event. Of the 138 tons of waste taken from the floor, 129 were recycled or otherwised diverted from a landfill, Bob tells us. The building, which just earned LEED Gold, also waters its lawn using only water from its rain cistern. Bob says his team learns more from each building it gets certified. It's especially challenging to get suburban buildings or buildings not near public transit certified, so for spaces like Old Orchard Towers in Skokie, Zeller had to be more aware of building systems. Zeller woke up to the LEED movement two years ago when it lost a $26.95/SF tenant in one of its non-LEED buildings, because the tenant wanted green digs.
Despite the rain, almost 200 of you greened out with us. A moderator straw poll of attendees revealed that most audience members under 35 would rather work in a LEED office than not.
Bridget Troy
The US General Services Administration's goal is to eventually have a net-zero footprint, says GSA's Bridget Troy. As the largest user of space in the US (and possibly with the biggest budget flexibility), it's working on the Green Proving Ground program, which beta tests new green technologies on some of its larger buildings. The Bean Center in Indiana is testing several brands of photovoltaic panels now. Also, the GSA is challenging its building managers to cut their use by 3% this year, giving its property managers specific goals for specific buildings. (Challenge accepted, sirs—we shall meet on the dueling field with energy efficient light bulbs at dawn... for honor.)
Ryan Tinnus
Tishman Speyer's Ryan Tinus is involved in greening the company's entire Chicago portfolio, which it's wrapping up with one building in its performance period. Tishman is responsible for building the first LEED-certified buildings in South America and is developing 10M SF of green mixed-use space in China. As tenants find LEED and green more important, Tishman is trying to keep up its green maintenance and is building out pre-LEED certified spec suites in some of its towers.
Dustin Gellman
Our moderator, Greepoint Partners' Dustin Gellman, says he's seen many new green building products emerge over the last few years, and he hopes they'll be effective in today's buildings. What's key: education about what's out there for building owners, especially since they're holding buildings for longer. (Also, he's got a Hugh Hefner smoking jacket all set to go for Halloween.)