Loyola’s Cutting-Edge Green Gem


It’s a super-green building (and in true college fashion worked beer hops into the plan).


Schoolhouse, greenhouse, aquaculture, geothermal HVAC, biodiesel factory, three-story tall hops trellis —this green demonstration project offers education aplenty. Loyola University built its $58 million Institute of Environmental Sustainability to show what it teaches.

Chicago architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz designed the sustainable building as an educational showcase. Crowned by a greenhouse dome, rainwater cascades into a 3,000-gallon cistern. The collected water irrigates greenhouse plants. Glass panels on the building’s main floor make visible its geothermal HVAC system. The institute recycles used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel, some of which will be used to power boilers as backup to the geothermal. The institute also sells a soap made from the biodiesel, and its restaurant features seriously local food: produced in the building to be consumed in the building.

Watch a video on the institute.

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