This comprehensive plan maps out a strategy for the more than 550 buildings in Chicago’s Central Loop to meet both the city’s Chicago Climate Action Plan and the 2030 Challenge. The plan employs eight strategies that would reduce carbon emissions from existing commercial infrastructure and encourage building owners to retrofit their properties, while also addressing transit. The city was recently awarded $25 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to implement the plan.

Jury: “This ambitious proposal shows how a dense urban area can effectively continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the carbon footprint of its business district.”

Client: “Ultimately our goal was energy efficiency, but … [the architects] had a much broader vision that helped us look at a comprehensive transformation by adding water, waste, and whole other categories. It’s a very exciting vision that helps people who don’t deal with … [sustainable development] get excited about achieving these multiple purposes.”  —Suzanne Malec-McKenna, commissioner of environment, City of Chicago