The Richard J Daley Center | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED O+M: Existing Buildings v3 - LEED 2009

The Richard J Daley Center

50 West Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
United States

LEED Silver 2012

As a building funded by public dollars, it is important to demonstrate good stewardship of both public funds and of the environment.

Located in the heart of Chicago, the Richard J. Daley Center is a 31-story, 1.5-million-square-foot government building. It is home to local government offices, Cook County Law Library, an original Pablo Picasso sculpture, and one of the nation's largest courthouse systems. Built in 1965, the Daley Center was Chicago's first major public building to be constructed in a modern architectural style, dissimilar to the classical style seen throughout the city. Designed by architect Jacques Brownson of C.F. Murphy Associates, the International Style architectural style is based on the revolutionary steel and glass skyscrapers of world-renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Originally known as the Chicago Civic Center, the building was renamed the Richard J. Daley Center in 1976 in honor of the late mayor who died in office that year. In 2002, the Daley Center was designated as a landmark by the City of Chicago.

The Public Building Commission of Chicago (owners of the Daley Center on behalf of Cook County and the City of Chicago) and MB Real Estate (management firm for the building) have long recognized the value of energy conservation measures. Since 1994, the RJDC staff have tracked the Daley Center's energy and water usage and implemented measures to achieve significant reductions in water, electricity, and gas consumption.

The Daley Center provides significant challenges as it was designed for assembly use with 33% fresh air intake. The 12-foot, floor-to-ceiling height throughout the building and 30-foot floor-to-ceiling height in several courtrooms increase the volume of air requiring conditioning. More than 27,000 people come through the Daley Center every day, putting heavy demand on its cooling system. With 375 semi-private and 70 public restrooms, water demand is also high.

Achieving LEED certification for the Richard J. Daley Center aligned with the Public Building Commission of Chicago’s mission to design, build, and maintain facilities that reflect the highest standards of environmental sustainability. LEED certification also exhibits City of Chicago’s commitment to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions as established by the Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP). The PBC and MB Real Estate also hope progress made at the Richard J. Daley Center will serve as an example in the forum of high-rise downtown buildings.

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Project details
1,593,714 sf
Courthouse/Commercial Office/Public Assembly
Urban Core
21 May 2012
Walk Score®
97 - Walkers Paradise
Data Reporting
Human Experience

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