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Brownfield goes green

Chicago Center for Green Technology uses high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryers to share its green message and earn LEED credits.

June 04, 2012 |
The Chicago Center for Green Technology is the nations first rehabilitated muni

In 1995, the Chicago Department of Environment (CDOE) faced a formidable task. CDOE began clean-up of over 17 acres and 600,000 tons of concrete and construction debris dumped illegally by Sacramento Crushing, a company that was permitted to collect and recycle construction and demolition material but that had far exceeded the parameters of its permit.

The CDOE successfully fought Sacramento Crushing in court and not only closed down their operation but also became the owner of the site itself. By 1999, CDOE was the proud owner of a clean, uncontaminated site with a vacant building. Rather than simply renovating the structure using traditional building methods, they seized the opportunity to design and develop an environmentally sustainable building, using some of the most sophisticated green technology available. The CDOE enlisted the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment and redesigned the building and property using LEED guidelines, as established by the USGBC.

Green from the ground up

The building, originally erected in 1952, now showcases over 40,000-sf of state-of-the-art environmental features including solar panels, rainwater collection for irrigation, recycled materials, smart lighting, a geothermal exchange system, and a green roof. It is the nation’s first rehabilitated municipal building to receive LEED Platinum rating from the USGBC.

The Center is home to a number of companies that focus on environmental and sustainable design. It also acts as a community resource and CDOE satellite office, offering a range of educational classes for professionals and homeowners and a testament that green technology is cost-effective and good for the environment.

Green never looked so good

Two years after opening, the Chicago Center for Green Technology installed high-speed XLERATOR hand dryers.

"With over 30,000 visitors per year, we were using an awful lot of paper towels," said Sarah Moloney, project coordinator for the City of Chicago. 

Unlike conventional hand dryers, which average 30 to 45 seconds of drying time, XLERATOR dries hands three times faster--completely in 10-15 seconds--and uses 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers. The hand dryer represents a 95% cost savings when compared to paper towels, reduces the need for maintenance, and improved restroom hygiene. It is also the only hand dryer that is Made in USA Certified, the first hand dryer to be GreenSpec Listed and helps facilities qualify for LEED credits.

In 2009, XLERATOR hand dryers with custom graphic covers were installed. These dryers include an educational “Good for the Environment” message for guests to read while drying their hands. In addition to offering superior functionality, the hand dryers’ sleek stainless steel covers compliment the facility’s modern design.

To meet the aesthetic needs of architects and designers, Excel Dryer Inc., manufacturer of XLERATOR, offers customers a wide range of finishes including traditional white, brushed stainless steel, vandalism-resistant bulk molded compound, fingerprint-resistant textured graphite, and other metallic finishes. +

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