Merchandise Mart

IIDA is a tenant in the world’s largest LEED-EB (exisiting building) certified building.  Just how did a building this large achieve such a high standard?  Well, it turns out that the Merchandise Mart has been taking green steps since 1977 with its introduction of a heat-by-lighting system.  According to the Merchandise Mart’s website, in 1986, The Mart began operating the largest thermal storage facility in the world, capable of building 2,000,000 pounds of ice per night, cooling 71 buildings in the surrounding neighborhood, and saving $200,000 in electricity costs in the first year.

The Merchandise Mart has also taken on an extensive recycling program which has grown to include electronics and batteries.   Newer improvements as of 2007 include:

  • using recycled paper for all business purposes, installed motion sensors in restrooms
  • lower wattage fixtures wherever possible
  • made an I-Go hybrid car available to tenants and employees 24 hours a day
  • retrofitted exit lights to require less energy, and implemented an exterior and dock lighting schedule.

The Merchandise Mart, I think, stands as an example of what can be achieved in LEED certification and steps all businesses can make in order to go a little bit greener.


2 responses to “Merchandise Mart

  1. The cooling solution requires a utility company that bills in peak/off-peak cycles. It would be good if more municipalities did this, but it requires more sophisticated infrastructure and a relatively large user base. It would be really interesting to see the environmental impact and $/kW savings on the utility company’s end.

  2. Now I am not sure about the Women’s bathroom on Headquarter’s floor, but the Men’s bathroom has no motion sensor located in it. It took me darnd near about six months to locate the light swtich in there, too. It is right next to the door! Whoda thunkit?

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