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Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the relationship between Christy Webber Landscapes (CWL) & Chicago GreenWorks (CGW)?
    The principals of CWL formed CGW to purchase and develop this site.

  • What is in the geothermal loop?
    The geothermal loops contain water with a food grade glycol added to prevent freezing in the winter when the thermal transfer from the surface is below freezing.

  • How does the solar thermal affect the geothermal?
    All building systems are independent loops. The solar thermal loop heats water in a storage tank inside the office building raising its temperature to 120 degrees or higher on sunny days. In order for the heat pumps in the building to work, the base temperature must be at least 55 degrees. During the winter, the water in that storage tank passes by the geothermal loop warming it to 55 degrees or higher. During the summer the solar thermal only heats the water for the building.

  • How much power does the wind turbine produce?
    Power generation for the wind mill is dependent on wind speeds we are still in the early stages of calibrating the mechanisms to maximize power generation from this location. We expect the wind turbine to produce the majority of the buildings nighttime energy requirements.

  • Does any storm water go into the city’s water treatment system?
    During most rains, no. During particularly heavy rains when bioswales and detention pond become full a small amount of water will divert to the sewer system to avoid site flooding.

  • Do we use gas to heat water?
    All water for the building is heated via the solar thermal panels on the front of the building.

  • How much more did the “green” features cost than more conventional systems?
    We estimate that the start-up costs for the “green” features of the CWL headquarters building were about 30-35% more expensive than conventional systems. We fully expect to completely recoup 100% of this initial outlay as savings for energy we don't use or have to buy later.
  • How much rain water can you collect in the cisterns?
    The cisterns collect approximately 200,000 gallons per year.