Press Release

Retrofit Chicago Commercial Buildings Initiative Recognizes Energy Efficiency Leaders Across the City

CHICAGO (October 21, 2015) – Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative has announced awards honoring buildings and individuals who are achieving measurable energy performance improvement and advancing the effort to improve energy efficiency throughout the City of Chicago.

“Chicago has one of the truly great, iconic skylines in America, thanks to the innovative architects and engineers who dreamed big and practically,” said NRDC Midwest Director Henry Henderson. “The partners of Retrofit Chicago are taking these big dreams to the next level of practicality by setting and surpassing goals to reduce energy usage on the inside of many of these same iconic buildings. These cutting-edge, innovative energy practices and investments will greatly improve Chicago’s economy and make a positive impact on the environment.”

To participate in Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative, participants commit to improving their energy efficiency by 20% within five years. The program has grown significantly since its launch in 2012, expanding from 14 founding buildings to 50 participants spanning nearly 40 million square feet.

Participating buildings offer incredible diversity, ranging in age from less than 5 to more than 125 years old and includes cultural institutions, tourist attractions, hotels, university facilities and some of the city’s most iconic office towers designed by architects from Burnham to Van der Rohe. To achieve those goals, buildings get access to incentives and technical expertise from an array of experts including program partners at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, ComEd, Environmental Defense Fund, Peoples Gas, and Rocky Mountain Institute.

Award winners, announced at an event hosted by the Retrofit Chicago Commercial Buildings Initiative and NRDC last night, include:

  • Mayor’s Leadership Circle Award, for reducing whole-building energy use by more than 20% below their program baseline: 125 South Wacker Drive.
  • Most Valuable Engineer Award, in recognition of a Retrofit Chicago engineer who has gone above-and-beyond in identifying and achieving energy savings through efficient building operations at his or her facility: Lawrence Lang, Chief Engineer at 224 South Michigan Avenue.
  • Most Valuable Property Manager, in recognition of a property manager or management team member who exemplifies how and why energy efficiency is critical to excellent property management: Myrna E. Coronado-Brookover, Senior Vice President & General Manager at 77 West Wacker Drive.
  • Innovative Energy Efficiency Partnership Award, in recognition of a project, program, or partnership that has demonstrated innovative, impactful, and replicable energy savings: Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, Affordable Community Energy, Tropic Construction, dbMS, and eConserve for the comprehensive retrofit of Continental Plaza at 1330 West 76th Street.

“Chicago is leading the nation by showing how diverse organizations and business can come together with a common mission to do good and be successful – all while saving energy and money,” said City of Chicago Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Weigert. “By investing in energy efficiency to ensure sustainability for our businesses and homes, we are setting an example for others in the city and across the country.”

"ComEd is a proud partner in the Retrofit Program and we congratulate the award winners who are investing time and effort into making their buildings smarter and greener energy users. Forty of the buildings participating in the Retrofit Chicago program have completed at least one project with ComEd's Smart Ideas® Energy Efficiency Program for Your Business, resulting in an annual savings of more than 57 million kWh, which translates into a decrease of $4 million in energy costs and $4 million in financial incentives for completed energy saving measures," said Val Jensen, ComEd Senior Vice President of Customer Operations. 

For more information and a list of participants: http://www.retrofitchicagocbi.org/

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