My Great Outdoors: A Former Brownfield Site Goes Green

My Great Outdoors: A Former Brownfield Site Goes Green

Sarah Coffey
Jun 1, 2009

Name: Chicago Center for Green Technology

Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
Type of space: Green campus owned by the City of Chicago
How did they do it?: Landscapers transformed an illegal dump into a garden using green tech. The outdoor space is full of ideas for greening your own urban garden...

The Chicago Center for Green Technology used to be a wasteland, until the city invested 9 million dollars and 18 months in site cleanup and renovated the structure to create a LEED Platinum building. The center is rented by tenants who offer green services and products, while the campus is open to visitors Monday through Saturday. Free green building seminars are also offered on a regular basis. We scouted the site for a few green ideas...

1 A view from inside the CCGT looking out.
2 You can scope out different types of green roofs in containers.
3 Sedum is a practical option for green roofs, since it doesn't require watering.
4 Modular tray systems are making green roofs more affordable and easier to install.
5 The CCGT is powered by four arrays of solar panels.

6 The greenhouse has a 2-foot concrete wall for passive heating and cooling.
7 The site is landscaped with native plants and wildflowers.
8 Rainwater catchment barrels help to water the backyard garden.
9 This cistern holds 12,000 gallons of water.
10 The planters were made by Greencorps Chicago, a job training program.

For more on the Chicago Center for Green Technology, click here.

(Photos: Sarah Coffey)

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