Public Building Commission Projects Honored with Awards for Design Excellence and Sustainable Building Practices

AIA Chicago Names Jones College Prep as Distinguished Building; IL Governor's Sustainability Awards Honor PBC's Green Building Practices for State's First LEED Platinum High School

Molly Sullivan, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277

The Public Building Commission has been honored with two awards for its projects, recognizing design excellence and sustainable building practices, PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi announced today.

On October 24, PBC and the architecture firm of Perkins+Will were honored with the American Institute of Architects Chicago Chapter Design Excellence Award for William Jones College Preparatory High School in the city’s South Loop community.

The project was awarded the AIA Chicago’s Distinguished Building Award Honor during AIA Chicago’s annual Designight event. AIA’s Design Excellence Awards honor the best of outstanding work from Chicago architecture firms.

“We are honored to join Perkins+Will in accepting this award on behalf of Chicago Public Schools and our board because it recognizes the outstanding design that makes this downtown high school a world-class building,” Lavin Cabonargi said. “Jones Prep has been recognized by people across the city and country as a building with unique and great design features, and we are proud to have delivered this facility for Chicago Public Schools students and the South Loop community

“On behalf of the entire design team, we’re thrilled to receive the Distinguished Building Award from AIA Chicago,” said Mike Palmer, Managing Principal, Perkins+Will. “We also want to thank our client, the Public Building Commission, for providing the opportunity to design this distinctive public high school – a vertical building on a tight urban lot that features bright open areas on each floor that encourage circulation, interaction and learning among students and faculty. “

The selective enrollment high school located at 700 South State Street, has a number of innovative design features, including creative use of space and light and how it can enrich student learning in an urban, vertical built environment. Jones is an example of how a major new building on a site of its size can reflect its neighborhood and be sensitive to its community.

Administered by the Public Building Commission of Chicago on behalf of Chicago Public Schools, Jones College Prep was commissioned as part of the city of Chicago’s efforts to expand high-quality education options for children throughout the city. The school will allow CPS to nearly double student admission to a total of 1,700 by 2016, increasing opportunities for selective enrollment and access to a rigorous academic curriculum. The new building expanded the existing Jones school into a two-building campus. The original Jones school was also designed by Perkins + Will in 1967.

Sustainable design is an essential part of Jones and the new Chicago Public Schools model. Creative and efficient use of sustainable design is used in many ways at Jones, inside and outside the building. Among the green design features of this LEED Gold building are a reflective and green roof, multiple outdoor terraces, including a reading garden and abundant natural daylight in 95 percent of the learning spaces.

The PBC has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and this was recognized with an honorable mention for the PBC’s Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy at the 2014 Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award ceremony on October 23.

Goode, located in the Ashburn community on the city’s Southwest Side, is the first public high school built by CPS to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the result of strong leadership from PBC on sustainability requirements, creative engineering and integrated design. Among other innovative sustainable features, Goode has 170 geothermal wells to heat and cool the school, and solar panels that help to heat the building’s water, including its swimming pool and a water cistern that captures rain water for irrigation of the landscaped areas around the building.

“We are grateful for the Governor’s Sustainability Award because it acknowledges that our commitment to sustainability is an important part of the work we do and demonstrates that it makes an impact on our communities’ environment in positive and lasting ways,” Lavin Cabonargi said.

Since 1987, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has presented organizations in Illinois that demonstrate a commitment to the economy, society and environment through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices. The Governor’s Award is given to companies and organizations that implement techniques or technologies that reduce or eliminate pollutants, toxicity and other environmental impacts, including the amount of and/or toxicity of pollutants that would have otherwise been released into the environment.

These are the latest awards given to Jones and Goode, which together have been recognized with almost a dozen awards over the past two years for design and sustainability. Goode has been recognized with awards from the Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO), the American Society of Landscape Architects, Illinois Chapter, the Brick in Architecture Award, the Learning by Design Publisher’s Commendation Award, Friends of the Chicago River Green Ribbon, the Chicago Association of Realtors Good Neighbor Award and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Award of Engineering Excellence.

Jones College Prep has been honored with the Chicago Association of Realtors Good Neighbor Award and the Chicago Building Congress Merit Award for Construction Over $55 Million.