ComEd announced that it has been awarded LEED Gold green building certification for its Chicago Training Center (CTC) building that opened last year. The Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is the foremost program for design, construction and operation of green buildings.
The USGBC awarded LEED Gold certification to the CTC for its use of brownfield development site, use of recycled and regional materials and potential savings garnered from mechanical and electrical systems. In addition, ComEd was rewarded for the efficient use of water, the innovative design of the building and its access to alternative/public transportation.
“We celebrated the opening of the Chicago Training Center just a year ago and now it is the first of our facilities to receive the LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. This certification aligns with the important role the training center serves, which is to prepare tomorrow’s workforce to manage our modernized smart grid that is delivering a cleaner, more reliable and efficient energy future to our customers and communities,” said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd president and CEO.
The CTC, which was inaugurated at a grand opening ceremony attended by Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city leaders last year, is specially designed to educate and train the workforce of the future. The center features 50,000 square feet of classroom and indoor training space, a 240,000-square-foot outside training yard and a 200-seat auditorium. The facility, located in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, also enables ComEd to engage the community in creative and meaningful ways such as through a partnership with After School Matters to expose Chicago high school students to skills needed to work in the construction trades. ComEd also commissioned art for the CTC from artists in Project Onward, a program at the Bridgeport Arts and Cultural Center that supports the professional development of artists with exceptional talents and challenges, ranging from autism to mental illness, and provides these artists with workspace, materials and professional guidance.
The facility also features the ComEd Energy Hub which provides educators, elementary and middle and high school students with a one-of-a-kind, interactive experience to help participants learn about the generation and delivery of electricity, the technology available to better manage energy consumption and reduce energy costs, along with exhibits and displays showcasing technology being incorporated in ComEd’s Community of the Future program in Bronzeville. Thousands have registered and visited the training center since its grand opening last February.
“A big reason for the Gold certification came from using the site appropriately,” said Spero W. Valavanis, Principal of Shive-Hattery, the lead architectural firm on the CTC building. “LEED puts a priority on specific credits base on where a project is located. In Chicago, due to the density of the urban fabric, they emphasize Sustainable Site credits, which the CTC project successfully, redeveloped a brownfield site and reduced the heat island effect with its design.”
Enabled by the Smart Grid law, which has helped deliver record power reliability results to ComEd customers over the last three years, the CTC was built using more than 90 percent diverse suppliers. Over 4,000 ComEd employees will receive training at the facility annually and about 6,000 members of the public will visit the facility each year for educational tours. Other ComEd facilities that have LEED certification are the Rockford Training Center and Two Lincoln Center located in Oakbrook - both have received LEED Silver certification in 2013.