The Environmental Law & Policy Center’s new green office in the “Old Jeweler’s Building,” a historic landmark in downtown Chicago, has reduced ELPC’s computer energy use by more than 75 percent by replacing four old servers with one energy-efficient model. The green office also reduces energy use through the use of daylight, motion sensors, high-tech HVAC controls and other smart applications.
The remodel also includes the installation of efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures in both the office and common areas, which cut water use by 38 percent and reduce the energy required to heat water by 52 percent. The new HVAC controls vary the amount of air flow to different parts of the office as needed and use carbon dioxide sensors to minimize heating or cooling in unoccupied spaces.
In addition, an efficient lighting system uses half the power of a conventional system while interior windows and frosted glass spread natural light throughout the office. Lighting, electrical outlets, heating and cooling are all controlled with sensors that use power only where it’s needed, which the company says significantly cuts its utility bills while reducing pollution.
The building also features solar photovoltaic panels, which directly supply the office with clean energy.
The office is designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification. During construction, ELPC diverted more than 75 percent of waste from landfills and used locally sourced, recycled and recyclable materials. The project also used natural surfaces and finishes without toxic chemicals and VOCs to improve the office’s air quality.
ELPC opened its first green office more than a decade ago.