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$350 Million Green Building Renovation Designed For Sustainability Goals

It's the first of its kind – a $350 million green building renovation on one of the most visible landmarks today, the Chicago Willis Tower (previously the Sears Tower). In an effort to reduce energy consumption by as much as 80 percent, a significant modernization project has been planned. The project is designed to result in energy savings and reduced CO2 emission, and serve as a highly-visible 'green building' example.

Chicago Willis Tower Goes Green, Chicago Sears Tower goes Green

Making dramatic green changes to the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere will serve as an example for all other buildings nationwide – that sustainable initiatives are within reach for all buildings. In fact, sustainable building is at the forefront of today's green industry. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the "built" environment has a significant impact on the natural environment, economy, health, and overall productivity. In the U.S., buildings account for: 72% of electricity consumption, 39% of energy use, 38% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, 40% of raw materials use, 30% of waste output, and 14% of potable water consumption.

The Willis Tower project is designed to have a positive impact on the environment, create jobs and increase overall economic growth. The building, which already meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria, will undertake sustainability initiatives above and beyond those used by the United Stated Green Building Council to rate a green building.

Imporvements includes reduction in heating, water, and light energy and improving mechanical efficiency.

The ultimate goal of green building is to limit a building's impact on the environment. Buildings are the world's largest contributor of carbon emissions – climate change can be addressed by retro-fitting older structures and incorporating new energy-efficient technologies into new structures.

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