By LINDSAY WELBERS
Harper Court recently announced it achieved the highest sustainability rating in the state for a project of its kind, making it among the most environmentally friendly buildings in the nation.
The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Harper Court leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) certification for Neighborhood Development Gold rating.
LEED ratings are awarded to buildings that have achieved certain benchmarks towards creating a sustainable structure. Buildings that achieve benchmarks for waste reduction, lower operating costs, water and energy conservation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions can qualify for financial incentives and tax rebates.
Harper Court received the designation for its location in a densely populated neighborhood with multiple public transit options, access to the 53rd Street commercial corridor, walkability, and its future bike share and environmental education programs.
Harper Court is a partnership between the University of Chicago, local officials, Harper Court Partners, LLC and the City of Chicago. It will include a U. of C. office space, a Hyatt Hotel, parking, LA Fitness, Chipotle, ULTA, Starbucks and other retail establishments. The development is 90.4 percent leased. It is expected to open in 2013.
Harper Court developers will also seek LEED Core and Shell certification for the retail portions, LEED New Construction certification for the Hyatt Hotel and LEED Commercial interiors certification for the office interiors.