Sunday, May 1, 2011

How Green Is Your Building?

The Green Practices summit sponsored by the Alliance for a Greener South Loop was held yesterday at Dearborn Tower. Located at 1530 S. State St., Dearborn Tower, winner of the Alliance’s 2010 Greenest Building award, has implemented many green initiatives. The summit was an opportunity for condo board members to learn how they might do the same in their respective buildings.

Summit attendees at Dearborn Tower

Being Green Isn't Just Recycling
Dearborn Tower has a special area for recycling. They have bins for recycling paper and plastic, which you would expect, but they also have bins for old electronic equipment and batteries. In addition to their recycling efforts, Dearborn Tower has also changed out garage and hallway incandescent light bulbs with more efficient fluorescent versions. Fluorescent bulbs are cheaper to operate and last longer.

Dearborn Tower management and staff (right) explain their recycling program during tours of the building.

Building Community
The green efforts put forth by the Dearborn Tower board has helped create a sense of community within the building, as well as improving the association’s bottom line. One way the association helps build community and encourage green living is by arranging for companies like On The Fly Bicycle Repair to come to the building. This convenience enables owners to get their bicycles tuned up for spring and summer riding. They also make it easy for residents to donate unwanted goods by arranging onsite pickup by organizations like The Salvation Army, something that was happening on Saturday. At first glance, you wouldn’t think of these as green initiatives. But encouraging people to ride their bicycles, means fewer cars on the road. Arranging for the Salvation Army to pick up unwanted clothes and furniture keeps these items out of landfills and puts them to use once again.

Question and answer time with on site property and maintenance managers and Joe Leamanczyk from Columbia College

The summit was moderated by Alliance founder, Gail Merritt. There was a panel discussion as well as a time for questions and answers and networking with other condo association board members.

An old battery drop off bin

For information on the Alliance for a Greener South Loop, please visit their Web site.

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