As owners demand facilities that are more energy efficient, user friendly and environmentally sensitive, Graycor Construction Company's team of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professionals are using their sustainable design and construction experience to deliver projects that achieve this and more. Using the principles of the LEED Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, Graycor is partnering with project stakeholders to develop solutions for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings throughout the U.S.
Green buildings are evaluated based on how they address site planning, water efficiency, energy efficiency/renewable energy, conservation of materials and indoor environmental quality. Some LEED certified projects on Graycor's resume include the 1.1 million square foot lifestyle center constructed for Forest City Enterprises in Bolingbrook, IL; the Volkswagen USA assembly plant and body shop in Chattanooga, TN; the Prologis Park distribution center project in Phoenix, AZ; the L.L. Bean retail store in Skokie, IL; and the AMC Theater in Mount Prospect, IL. Some of the green building solutions employed on these and other Graycor projects include innovative storm water management systems, low-flow sinks and toilets, paints with low toxic gas emissions and flooring made from recycled rubber tires.
Graycor's green building resume also boasts the Ignite Glass Studios project, winner of the prestigious 2013 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago SustainABILITY Leadership Award and the Wilde and Greene Restaurant and Natural Market in northeast Illinois, winner of numerous awards including the 2012 Association for Retail Environments (A.R.E.) Design Award. These projects use simple sustainable design and construction solutions, such as re-purposing existing structures through selective demolition or using recycled materials, and demonstrate how green buildings can outshine other projects by the way they approach the smallest of details.
One of Graycor's most recognized green building specialties is demonstrated in its fast-growing solar power resume. An abundant renewable resource, solar is a viable supplemental power option that building owners are taking time to consider in their search for ways to save money and lower their facility's carbon footprint. Graycor recently completed a 250-kilowatt rooftop solar installation for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA and a 225-kilowatt solar installation for the nation's first "Net Zero" energy retail store for Walgreens in Evanston, IL. These projects illustrate how buildings can utilize green technology to become more energy efficient and environment-focused than ever before.
In addition to commercial green building construction, Graycor is also a leader in the industrial environmental retrofit market. Over the past few decades, Graycor has helped many of its industrial clients to retrofit their older plants with scrubbers, catalysts and other technologies that significantly reduce emissions-an important goal that is also shared with the U.S. Green Building Council. Recent and current industrial environmental projects include those for clients such as American Electric Power, Alliant Energy, Duke Energy, Midwest Generation, NIPSCO, Otter Tail Power and Xcel Energy.
Graycor's self-constructed national home office just outside Chicago, IL was recently LEED Certified and illustrates some of the ways that it is using sustainable stewardship to shape the projects that it takes on. At the renovated multi-story office building that the company calls home, reclaimed wood (most likely headed for a landfill) was used as an architectural expression for the main staircase. Light and occupancy sensors were installed in all offices and conference rooms along with an eco-friendly lighting system and LED desk lamps to conserve electricity. Employee wellness was also an important factor in the design of the facility, and open workspaces with abundant natural light along with a 3,000 square foot rooftop patio provide users with a collaborative, health-conscious work environment.
Through sustainable design and construction, Graycor is proving that less can be more. By looking at projects holistically and developing solutions that are rooted in simple earth and health-conscious ideas, Graycor is helping to set the stage for the future of sustainable projects. Whether it is a new state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution center in Arizona or a small interior office built-out in Illinois, these green building fundamentals are an important code that Graycor holds in high regard.