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We'd always felt in our bones that greening pays for itself. But there was always the chance that was just the excess oxygen from a green roof getting us tipsy. At Greenbuild (Chicago's second in four years) at McCormick Place, where 30k  are expected this week, we finally got some hard proof.
McGraw Hill Construction's Harvey Bernstein and CB Richard Ellis' David Pogue
McGraw-Hill Construction's Harvey Bernstein  and CBRE's David Pogue released a study today of CB's 140 LEED-EB buildings. David says the buildings saved an average 8% in operating costs and saw a 5% ROI. Also, LEED EB buildings reported lower vacancy and attracted tenants faster. Harvey reported that by 2015, 50% of new buildings under construction will be LEED certified. CBRE released a similar study last year, but this one also branched out into human factors—showing less absenteeism and higher productivity in green buildings.
JLL  hosted a meet and greet and blogging lounge just outside the expo. We snapped JLL's Cindy HillKaty Pietrini,  and Peter Belisle viewing themselves on their new web-video. Peter heads up JLL's national sustainability practice and says the main focus this year has been energy costs. He's saved some of his clients 30% and says he's seen interest in the cost savings pick up very quickly.
HOK's Julie Maggos
HOK's Julie Maggos shows off her firm's latest project, a prototype for a net-zero building in St. Louis. Julie says it uses only methods that are currently in practice like daylighting, solar energy, and operable windows to create payback on the investment in 12 to 14 years, depending on how fast the price of energy goes up. HOK calculates this model will save $186k  over that time frame. In the Chicago area, they recently completed the College of DuPage Health Services  building.
Turner Construction's Shannan Plogsted and Corey Burger
Turner Construction's Shannan Plogsted and Corey Burger were in town from Ohio and Tennessee, where they say green hasn't advanced as far as it has in Chicago. Still they're doing a lot of sustainable construction for education and healthcare projects. Here in Chicago, Turner has greened a PNC Bank in the Loop and  55 W. Monroe.