Showing Us How It's Done | Letters | Chicago Reader

Showing Us How It's Done 

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How encouraging to have read Harold Henderson's article "How Much Green Does It Take to Go Green?" [March 18]. It's about time that Chicago--the city our mayor wants to make the greenest in the nation--take notice of the residential side of green renovation. Henderson's thorough comparison of the crucial economic and environmental aspects of green versus traditional rehabbing, and his realistic overview of the gradient costs and savings that could be expected in going green, provide a wealth of good information to his readers, especially home owners. And the Sullivans' three-flat rehab provides the layperson with an inspirational tried-and-true model of how to go green.

And as far as models go, Chicago is providing the nation with green-renovation templates for commercial buildings too. The city boasts its own platinum-rated building, the Center for Green Technology, the third in the country to be given this prestigious rating, the highest possible. And Chicago will soon be home to its second platinum-rated building, a turn-of-the-century weaving factory renovated by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a 27-year-old nonprofit in Wicker Park. Both the city's building and CNT's have made green-building education for residents and industry professionals a part of their mission. CNT offers tours and will soon have a display room, open to the public, which will provide meaningful lessons from which other small-scale commercial building owners can learn.

Given the explosion in the last decade in the home-improvement industry, there is an opportunity to change practice among owners involved in rehab projects. Making green renovation more mainstream is critical; it will help us double the life span of the city's building stock, minimize the use of raw resources, and improve the health of our residents. Whether we are a home owner or small-scale commercial building owner, we can do our part to help this city truly become the greenest in the nation.

For a tour of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, call me at 773-269-4029.

Lisa McNally

Center for Neighborhood Technology

W. North

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