Public Chicago Real Estate to be Retrofitted

July 13, 2011

Chicago’s Mayor wants to further green-up the city and its Chicago real estate.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised on Tuesday to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by making close to 100 public buildings in Chicago more energy efficient.

The Guaranteed Energy Performance Contracting program could save Chicago taxpayers $4 to $5.7 million every year while creating more than 375 new jobs.

The program, which will produce about $40 million worth of construction work throughout Chicago, could also create more than 1,100 related jobs.

Green Chicago Avenue street sign

Soon tons of Chicago real estate will join Chicago street signs in being green.

The plan is to retrofit close to 100 buildings, which combined offer more than 6.5 million square feet of space and belong to the city, the Public Buildings Commission of Chicago and the Chicago Public School system.

Some of the buildings include City Hall, the Harold Washington Library, many police and fire stations, the city’s 9-1-1 center and some Chicago elementary and high schools.

An energy audit performed at the PBC-run Richard J. Daley Center resulted in an upgrade to lighting, water-conservation efforts, fan systems and more that equated to an annual savings of $600,000.

Just think what close to 100 retrofitted buildings could save the city.

The new program begins Wednesday when Energy Service Companies submit “Requests for Qualifications and Proposals.” The city will then choose companies to perform energy audits on government buildings to determine which ones will be chosen for the program.

Emanuel has said that he would like to double the number of city-owned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings over the next four years. Chicago already boasts the most in the country with 41.

“By investing in energy efficiency across the city, we will spur job creation and use taxpayer funds more effectively,” said Mayor Emanuel.

“This is the kind of creative initiative that we’re interested in cultivating in Chicago, linking sustainable policies and economic growth.”

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