Retrofit Chicago Program Delivers Noteworthy Results

Lisa Markowski for Zondits, July 28, 2014

The Windy City’s innovative partnership to boost energy efficiency in its most prominent buildings is showing excellent results 2 years into the effort, according to its newly released Best Practices Report. The Retrofit Chicago Commercial Buildings Initiative was launched in 2012 under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It calls for participating buildings to make a commitment to reduce their energy usage by 20% or more within 5 years.

Participation is voluntary, and the 48 buildings currently involved range from 19th-century to 21st-century. Notable early participants include the Wrigley Building, the Shedd Aquarium, One Financial Place, Navy Pier, and the NBC Tower, plus numerous large national hotels. The July 2014 expansion is dominated by educational institutions, including Loyola University, Roosevelt University, the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Illinois, City Colleges of Chicago, Columbia College, Northwestern University, DePaul University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. The total area now committed to the program is 37 million square feet.


Retrofit Chicago Commercial Buildings Initiative Best Practices Report

July 1, 2014

The Retrofit Chicago Commercial Buildings Initiative (Initiative) was developed in 2011 and launched in 2012 by a consortium of public, private, utility and non-profit partners as a voluntary program to promote, accelerate and celebrate energy efficiency action and impact in large buildings throughout the City of Chicago.

The Initiative took shape under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and is led by the City’s Chief Sustainability Officer, with support from the Chicago City Director of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. The program is backed by Commercial Buildings Initiative partners, including The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), The Joyce Foundation, World Business Chicago, BOMA/Chicago, ComEd, Peoples Gas, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Technical Advisors include CB&I and Sieben Energy Associates (SEA).

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