340 E. Randolph Map
LR Development Company
Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Image courtesy of ImageFiction
340 On the Park is a 62-story, 344 unit condominium tower located on the last available site along Randolph Street between Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue. If you've been to Millennium Park this summer and looked north, you've had a fabulous view of this building being closed in. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2007.
This is the first residential high-rise in Chicago seeking LEED certification, and developer LR should be applauded for this move. However, like every green condo tower currently under construction or proposed in Chicago, the project seeks a bare minimum LEED certified level, including only the most basic green features. The developer is actively marketing the project as green, unlike some other proposed green projects, and much better than some projects marketing highly spurious, skin-deep green claims.
Outside of the standard green roof, low-voc paints, and local and recycled content materials, some mechanical features are the most unusual aspect of the design (skip this paragraph if your eyes are glazing over). Many condo towers use bottom-of-the-line systems, but there are some better practices here. Central kitchen and toilet exhaust fans are variable speed and use heat recovery, both good sources of energy savings. Air conditioning is provided via chilled water from Thermal Chicago - this is an example of an approach that receives little credit in LEED but can be very green because of the high efficiencies that can be achieved with district energy systems. Of course, Chicago's district cooling system would be even greener if we used lake water as a source like Toronto.
The project also includes a large bike room (over 300 spaces) and stormwater collection for irrigation. LR notes they have been surprised by the high level of recycled and regional content they've achieved, but this seems typical for Chicago-area projects. They market bamboo flooring as the 'public face' of their greenness - also a common tactic, and fine as long as there is more to green claims than that!
Other project team members include MEP engineer Cosentini, structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic, LEED consultant and commissioning agent Sieben Energy Associates, landscape architect Wolff Landscape Architecture, and construction manager Bovis Lend Lease.