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    Center for Neighborhood Technology

    by Jean Carroon

    The Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, Illinois, moved into a former textile factory in 1987 and began its second renovation in 2000 to accommodate greater space needs. Designed by architect Jonathan Boyer (now a principal at Farr Associates), the new office space offers an exemplary model of sustainable adaptive reuse that takes advantage of environmentally responsible products and technologies not available in the 1980s.


    Center for Neighborhood Technology
    Chicago, Illinois

    Current Owner: Center for Neighborhood Technology
    Building Type: Commercial Office/ Institutional
    Original Building Construction: 1924
    Renovation Completion: 2003
    Square Footage: 13,800 square feet (1,280 square meters)
    Percentage Renovated: 100%
    Occupancy: 65 people (40 hours per week)
    LEED Certification: LEED-NC v2.0 Platinum
    Awards: Mayor Daley's GreenWorks Award for Outstanding Non-Residential Building, 2004; Sustainable Buildings Industry Council Exemplary Sustainable Building Award, 2004


    The original decision to relocate to Chicago's northeastern side was to enhance public transportation options for employees and visitors. The Center's web site notes that people can easily come and go, do errands, or eat lunch by walking or using public transportation. The commitment to urban sustainability and environmental education has attracted hundreds of visitors, and tours are held almost daily to enlighten the community on ecological design.

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    Site and Water

    A light-colored roof was installed to reduce the absorption of the sun's heat and reduce the interior air temperature during warm months. The adjacent lot is planted as a sliver park using native, drought-tolerant vegetation to provide a cool oasis for the neighborhood and trees that shade the building to further lower the air-conditioning requirements. Rainwater percolates through the garden and pervious parking lot to replenish aquifers. Low-flow fixtures inside the building have reduced potable water consumption by 30 percent.   >>>

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    This article is excerpted from Sustainable Preservation: Greening Existing Buildings by Jean Carroon, copyright © 2010, with permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons.

     

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    Clerestories and skylights were added to the CNT building to increase daylight penetration and to facilitate natural ventilation.
    Photo: © Center for Neighborhood Technology Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image
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    Jonathan Boyer designed a LEED Platinum-certified renovation for the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), which occupies a 1920s factory building in a walkable, transit-friendly neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.
    Photo: © Center for Neighborhood Technology Extra Large Image

     

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