Sustainable Chicago Fall 2012 : Page 2

The foundering of the Eastland isn’t the only tragedy that the Chicago River has witnessed. Decades of abuse have left portions of the river de-void of aquatic life and the entire waterway is unfit for primary human contact. Our cover story this issue covers recent efforts to rectify the damage and return the Chicago River to a state where life can thrive and Chicagoans can play. This edition also contains two articles about ge-othermal energy, but their differences highlight that, even though this is an old technology, there are new approaches we can take. The first article tackles traditional geothermal with local case studies, in-cluding the Chicago Center for Green Technology and Homeland Security’s Marine Safety Station in the old Coast Guard House on the shore of Lake Michigan. A different article looks at a previously untapped energy source; dubbed “sewerthermal,” this ap-proach attempts to use the constant temperature of the effluent leaving a suburban water reclama-tion plant to control the facility’s environmental comfort. We also visit a new, net-zero energy, LEED Plat-inum building on the city’s northwest side. This project, Harmony House, gave its developers a few headaches as it was the first animal shelter they had ever worked on and planning around pets had unique challenges. Harmony House was able to Cheers, reach these sustainable heights through several strategies, including a very aggressive on-site en-ergy production that encompasses solar thermal, photovoltaic and geothermal. Look also for our piece on a hotel in the suburbs that runs its own apiary, the honey from which is now being used in a signature new beer, Honey Badger. There’s plenty more in this issue, including our calendar of upcoming green events. Sustainable Chicago solicits articles and proj-ects to profile from local leaders, and we invite you to submit proposed contributions to us at for our sustain-able campaign. You can also submit projects for our brand new green map. This comprehensive, inter-active and completely free resource displays all the sustainable buildings and green roofs throughout Chicago. Sustainable Chicago is available at no charge and, in keeping with the green mission, is available only electronically. Periodically you may receive a notice from Index Publishing that a new issue has been published and is available for you to read. Past issues of Sustainable Chicago and the green map are available for no charge on We hope you enjoy this issue of Sus-tainable Chicago and we welcome your comments and suggestions. Write to us at Peter Mierzwa General Manager Index Publishing 2

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