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Articles by Claudine Benmar

Claudine Benmar is a freelance writer and editor based in Seattle, Wash.

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Photo: John AlbrechtToday, Chicago is overflowing with architects who know the ins and outs of the LEED rating system, but just a few years ago John Albrecht was one of the first. He worked on the Center for Green Technology — the city building that started it all -– as well as several green building projects that followed. He’s now in private practice, with the firm NELSON. He shared his thoughts on Chicago’s success.

Q. Describe how Chicago got started with its green building initiative.

A. It was a confluence of events stated in the late ‘80s. It was a landscaping and beautification proposition that [Mayor Richard M. Daley] undertook. Over the course of those 10, 15 years, there was gradually more aggressive beautification and greening of the city with, literally, plants. We’re talking planters. We’re talking parkways. We’re talking baskets on buildings, on light poles. The city was transforming, and good things were being said about the city, and I think that altered his mind to taking it one step further when somebody mentioned green buildings.

At about that same time, there was a ComEd catastrophe wh... Read more

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