Guest Post by Dan Grifen
With some of the brightest young engineers coming straight out of The University of Illinois, it’s no wonder why the city is at the forefront of all major green initiatives. This includes the development of land conservation; efforts driven by the Chicago Department of Environment , and many more environmentally friendly projects. However, there have been significant advances in Green Space/architecture during the 21st century.
Chicago’s demand for greener jobs is being answered by companies like the West Pullman Plant, which is the largest urban solar planet in the U.S. In a report filed by the Chicago Sun Times, Jim Amedeo, Lead Supervisor, states “Solar plants are only going to get smaller and more efficient, and solar energy will get cheaper to use.” He then goes on to state the implementation of multiple plants within the city, adhering to the idea of expansion and job openings.
Residential areas are progressively doing their part to ensure a smarter, energy efficient planet by exploring solar alternatives. With the housing tax credit extension, homeowners are definitely more inclined to enhance their efficiency and find new ways to go green. Reports substantiated by NBCNC of Chicago find that American homes generated twice as much power from rooftop solar panels. This is especially true in Chicago; hopefully with the expansion of plants like West Pullman, we’ll see an increase in solar powered homes and renewable energy.
Leading the way in green civil design in large is Niranjan Shah, CEO of Globetrotters Engineering Corporation out of Chicago, IL. Globetrotters has been granted monies in excess of $13.7 million, all for city consulting and engineering contracts since March 1994. “For over three decades, the Firm has provided a full range of professional architectural and engineering consulting services we have also been active in program management, construction and energy management; property and facilities operation and maintenance; and technology integration and development.” (GEC) In building, the firm abides by USGBC guidelines; further promoting sustainability.
With the passing of Earth Day 2010, it’s important that the rest of our nation keep a close eye on the initiatives being taken in Chicago. Miniscule Individual lifestyle changes, such as brushing your teeth with the water off, are a step in the right direction. With the implementation of land conservation and GreenSpace, Chicago, along with the rest of the nation will effectively see costs go down in the long-term. This will in turn lead to a relatively fast economic incline.