Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) called on downtown office building tenants like themselves to take the next step in major energy savings and exceed the Chicago Energy Challenge commitments announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Working with its own landlord at the historic Santa Fe Building, 224 S. Michigan Ave., SOM is collaborating with fellow architectural firms Goettsch Partners and VOA to partner with building owner University of Notre Dame and manager Hamilton Partners to drive energy savings beyond the 20% reduction pledged today at the Mayor’s press conference.
“Building ownership and management can control only a portion of energy use, while it is the tenants who can really move the needle of energy reduction by their consumption choices and actions,” said SOM managing partner Richard Tomlinson, who attended the Mayor’s announcement.
“Turning off our powerful computers and multiple monitors at night, better managing our office lighting, and many other techniques can take the Mayor’s energy challenge goals far beyond those announced today,” Tomlinson said. “Engaging tenants as we have done at the Santa Fe Building is the next step in energy and carbon dioxide reduction, and one that tenants will carry home to their neighborhoods.”
Hamilton Partners is preparing to equip the three architecture firms with energy-use monitors that will give the tenants real-time feedback and motivation to constantly improve the energy efficiency of their operations.
SOM began working with the Mayor’s chief sustainability officer Karen Weigert and Craig Sieben of Sieben Energy Associates in January, to identify and recruit the leadership group of buildings announced today. Many of the energy challenge organizational meetings took place in the Santa Fe Building, in the penthouse of which Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett created the 1909 Plan of Chicago. +