CTS gets green roof with stimulus funding

A $50,000 grant for a green roof will help the Chicago Theological Seminary earn its mandatory LEED certification.

By Benjamin Pokross

The new Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) building will feature a green roof, thanks in part to a $50,000 grant to cover some of the construction expenses.

The roof will contribute to the University’s new Sustainable Building Policy, which mandates that all buildings over $5 million be LEED certified—a measure of the building’s environmental impact across categories like energy and water efficiency.

The 5,000 square foot renovation will allow for rooftop plants that help to reduce the urban heat island effect and facilitate water run-off, according to CTS President Alice Hunt.

“Green roofs last longer than conventional roofs, reduce energy costs with natural insulation, and create an area that people can enjoy,” Desiree DiLucente, senior project manager for the new CTS building, said in an e-mail.

The grant is from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity through the Green Roofs Program of the Federal 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to DiLucente. The grant only partially covers the expenses of the roof.

The building was conceived with nationally recognized efficiency standards in mind. “Part of our vision was to have it be as sustainability-conscious as possible,” Hunt wrote in an email. “The new building is designed to meet leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.”

Hunt envisions this building as a symbol of the CTS’s commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness. “We consider attending to environmental issues to be a matter of justice,” she said.

The building is slated for occupancy in January 2012, following the installation of the green roof.