Chicago's Center for Green Technology

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Every March, Chicagoans congregate and watch as bucketloads of orange dye are poured into the Chicago River to turn it green for St. Patrick's Day. This iconic ritual accrues more significance each year as the Chicago Department of Environment gains greater influence and policymakers implement green building initiatives. Let this March be the month you support these efforts and visit Chicago's Center for Green Technology.

I’ve said in the past, and I’ll say it again: this center is an incredible resource for Chicagoans and a testament to our commitment to a sustainable and healthy city. Chicago teachers or parents looking for a fun and interactive place for their kids to learn about their relationship to the world around them should consider the center as a possible destination:

Guided and self-guided tours of the building and grounds are also available. Please call (312) 746-9642 for more information. Free guided tours of Chicago Green Tech are available for groups of 10 or more persons and are subject to staff availability.

This month brings with it an array of free classes and workshops. Green Tech U courses are free to attend but require pre-registration. To register call (312) 746-9642 or email with a list of the courses you wish to attend:

Where's Green: New Developments in Chicago
DATE: 3/6/2007
TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 PM
PRESENTER: Hans Fedderke, Kirk Fox and Mark Ahlheim, Green Home Partners
LEVEL: All levels welcome
Join Chicago's first green real estate team as they compare and contrast the sustainable features of several new green real estate developments in the Chicagoland area. The benefits of living in a green home will be discussed including life-cycle costs, health benefits, and resale value.

Chicago Bird Agenda
DATE: 3/8/2007
TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 PM
PRESENTER: Joyce Coffee, Chicago Department of Environment and Jeanne Gang, Studio/Gang/Architects
LEVEL: All levels welcome
As we near the end of spring migration, we wonder if Chicago could be a better host to the millions of birds that travel through the city twice a year. At this seminar we will review the latest information on reducing bird collisions with buildings through building design and operations, bird-safe glass, and interior solutions.

Green Renovation of High-rises in Chicago
DATE: 3/10/2007
TIME: 1:00 - 3:00 PM
PRESENTER: Jessica Mondo, SOM
LEVEL: All levels welcome
The density of residential high-rises can present an ideal opportunity for sustainable living. Architect Jessica Mondo will discuss ways occupants of residential high-rises can become active participants in greening their space and their lives and save money on their energy bills too!

Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency
DATE: 3/13/2007
TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 PM
PRESENTER: Anna Purses, Tetra Tech EM Inc
LEVEL: All levels welcome
Welcome to the great indoors! Americans are spending an increasing amount of time indoors. This class will discuss the link between sustainable building design and indoor air quality, air quality testing techniques and ways to improve your building's IAQ.

Renovating your Garden with Naturalistic Design
DATE: 3/15/2007
TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 PM
PRESENTER: Brian Shea, Voltaire's Gardener
LEVEL: All levels welcome
A successful and effective garden renovation is contingent on many considerations-purpose, goals, plant selection, space, soil preparation and budget are just a few. Join Brian Shea, principal of Voltaire's Gardener, as he outlines garden renovation from start to finish.

Green Marketing (*This seminar was rescheduled from a snow closing on Tuesday, February 13)
DATE: 3/20/2007
TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 PM
PRESENTER: John Beske, John Beske Communications
LEVEL: All levels welcome
Join a local green marketing expert for a look at the latest tools that are driving the new triple-bottom-line (people, planet, and profits) economy as more and more consumers choose to purchase goods and services that are aligned with their values of fair trade and environmental responsibility. Learn how these "conscious consumers" are affecting the marketplace and how businesses are reaching out to them.

Green Roofs
DATE: 3/22/2007
TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 PM
PRESENTER: Ryan Schultz, Soprema
LEVEL: All levels welcome
This seminar will take a closer look at Green Roofs and their benefits to the American landscape. Ryan Schultz of Soprema, manufacturers of sustainable roofing technologies, will review the history of green roofs, present cutting-edge innovations in the field, outline the benefits Green Roofs provide to the environment, and discuss how these Green Roofs pertain to LEED points.

Rain Barrel Workshop
DATE: 3/24/2007
TIME: 1:00 - 3:00 PM
PRESENTER: Sarah Beazley, Department of Environment and Ernesto Huaracha, WRD Environmental
LEVEL: All levels welcome
FEE: $25
Make your own 55-gallon rain barrel using materials provided by Chicago Center for Green Technology. Learn about the importance of water conservation, stormwater management, and how to properly install and maintain your own rain barrel.

NOTE: A materials fee of $25 must be received by check only no later than two weeks prior to the class in order to hold your registration. Registration is limited.

Walking Case Study I: Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance Goes LEED CI
DATE: 3/27/2007
TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 PM
PRESENTER: Paige Knutsen, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
LOCATION: 645 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 990
LEVEL: All levels welcome
The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) recently renovated their new office space to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED CI (Commercial Interiors) requirements. You are invited to tour their new space and gain first-hand insight into the challenges and rewards of a LEED CI build-out and the economic impacts of going green.

NOTE: Registration for this seminar will still be taken through CCGT. The seminar meets at MEEA's offices (see listing for address). CCGT will not be providing transportation to or from the seminar. Please visit for directions via public transit.

Residential Renewable Energy Options
DATE: 3/31/2007
TIME: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
PRESENTER: George Sullivan, Eco Smart Building
LEVEL: All levels welcome
Get ready for some out-of-the-box thinking about renewable energy systems, such as: using photovoltaics to heat hot water or using the slab floor in your basement to store heat to cool your house in summer and keep it warm in winter. Discussion will focus on using your buildings design to work with the environment and the laws of thermodynamics to enhance the engineering of the structure.

Green Tech U will also be co-sponsoring the “Sustainable Architecture Lunchtime Lecture Series” with the Chicago Architecture Foundation:

Buildings as Contributors to Global Climate Change
DATE: 3/13/2007
TIME: 12:15 - 1:00 PM
PRESENTER: Vuc Vujovic, Legat Architects
LEVEL: All levels welcome
LOCATION: Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Avenue
Known to be one of the primary contributors to Global Climate Change, building construction and operation have enormous impacts on the environment. Our ability to slow the growth rate of greenhouse gas emissions contributed by buildings will require concerted effort focused on development and implementation of high-performance, carbon-neutral building design, materials and systems. This lecture will review sustainable building concepts and the technologies available that can reduce the environmental impact of the built environment.

The Green Greystone: Increasing the Affordability and Sustainability of Chicago's Historic Greystone Housing
DATE: 4/16/07
TIME: 12:15 - 1:00 PM
PRESENTER: Matt Cole, Project Coordinator, Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative,
Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago
LOCATION: John Buck Company Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Environmental Policy: Reduction of Global Warming Through the Built Environment
DATE: 4/17/07
TIME: 12:15 - 1:00 PM
PRESENTER: Joe Shacter, Senior Policy Advocate, Environmental Law and Policy Center
LOCATION: John Buck Company Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

The Green Exchange: Building a Business Community for the Advancement of the Green Marketplace
DATE: 4/18/07
TIME: 12:15 - 1:00 PM
PRESENTER: David Baum, Principal and Founder, Baum Development
LOCATION: John Buck Company Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Strategies and Design: Achieving 50% Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings
DATE: 4/19/07
TIME: 12:15 - 1:00 PM
PRESENTER: Leonard Sciarra, AIA, LEED AP, Gensler
LOCATION: John Buck Company Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Sustainability and the Kohl Children's Museum
DATE: 4/20/07
TIME: 12:15 - 1:00 PM
PRESENTER: David J. Mann, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Booth Hansen
LOCATION: John Buck Company Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

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