Sunday, December 11, 2011

Construction Update

The building at 538 S. 2nd St has its exterior nearly finished.   The recycled cream city brick building will be home to, among other exciting things, the Edible Skyline project of CORE/El Centro. In addition to on-site geothermal heating and grey water retention/recycling, this Living Building will use passive cooling and ventilation strategies to keep energy costs down. Our 3,000 square foot rooftop farm is another energy- and water-saving aspect of the building.  Access to the roof will be available via the open-concept, sunlit staircase or the nation's first-ever energy regenerative Otis elevator. The elevator, currently in use in China, will actually feed energy back INTO the energy grid to support lighting, computers and other electrical equipment.  Please visit for other building information, including the innovative funding structure and more information about building tenants. CORE/El Centro is also updating construction photos on its website.

Our rooftop farm is part of a 7,000 square foot rooftop which will also offer a small movement space (for evening yoga or meditation groups) and a 2,000 square foot meditation garden looking out on Lake Michigan. As the Plan above shows, there will be space for composting and educational demos, as well as some seating areas.  The meditation garden (shown here on the far right section of the rooftop) will also have seating and possibly a water fountain or other landscaping elements.  There are also plans to offer the rooftop area for event rentals, celebrations and/or corporate gatherings.  This innovative space is intended for public use and involvement. Rosheen Styczinski, FASLA, of New Eden Landscape Architecture, LLC has been working with the building developer and myself to design the rooftop elements. Construction is currently on schedule and CORE/El Centro is planning to open its new doors on Monday, March 19th.  We have much planning and organizing to do until then - stay tuned for more updates.

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