Greenhouse at the Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

IES combines a rigorous academic and scientific research program with a 21st century dormitory, creating a unique living/learning community. The innovative program features laboratories, classrooms, residences and faculty offices, all within a constrained urban site.The focal point of IES is the iconic greenhouse, which serves as a link between the residential, academic and social spaces. It houses a flexible research laboratory where students and researchers work to develop solutions to urban environmental problems. The greenhouse's unique shape allows the structure to serve as the "lungs" of the building, allowing for natural ventilation and reducing the need for mechanical heating and cooling. The greenhouse serves as the center of a highly efficient cycle in which by-products or waste from one area are used throughout the building. The form facilitates rainwater harvesting, which is used to irrigate the plants in the greenhouse, which in turn are used in the café. IES and its greenhouse has become an anchor for community activities such as farmer's markets, continuing-ed classes and public lectures on urban sustainability.

Architect of record

Devon Patterson
Solomon Cordwell Buenz
625 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Phone: 312.896.1107

General contractor

Terry Graber
Power Construction Company
8750 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60631, USA
Phone: 312-596-6960

Consultant 1

Don McLauchlan
Elara Engineering
30 N. Wolf Rd., #2
Hillside, IL 60162, USA
Phone: 708.236.0200

Consultant 2

Gregory Lakota
Halvorson and Partners
600 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60654, USA
Phone: 312.274.2400

Consultant 3

Erik Olsen
Transsolar, Inc.
134 Spring St.
New York, NY 10012, USA
Phone: 212.219.2255

Consultant 4

James Stevenson
Clauss Brothers, Inc.
360 W. Schaumburg Rd.
Streamwood, IL 60107, USA
Phone: 630.830.7405

Consultant 5

Jerry Sienkiewicz
500 Griswold St., Suite 1700
Detroit, MI 48226, USA
Phone: 313.442.8360

Consultant 6

Laura Shafer
V3 Companies
7325 Janes Ave
Woodridge, IL 60517, USA
Phone: 630.729.6216


Dave Burk
Hedrich Blessing Photographers
400 N. Peoria St.
Chicago, IL 60622, USA
Phone: 312.491.1101