CHICAGO (December 12, 2011)—The new Testa Produce distribution center, which is poised to become the first LEED® Platinum-certified food distribution facility in the nation, has been selected as Best Green Building Project of 2011 by ENRMidwest (Engineering News-Record). The annual awards program recognizes outstanding design and construction in a variety of categories. Testa Produce was nominated by Chicago-based Summit Design + Build.
Winning projects were selected on the basis of design and construction quality, quality, innovation, safety, and the ability of their project teams to overcome unique challenges. Testa Produce’s $24-million, 91,000-square-foot distribution center, built on former brownfield space in the Chicago Stockyards Industrial Park, generates a 60% savings in utility consumption as a result of renewable energy systems, including 180 photovoltaic solar panels and a 750kW freestanding wind turbine. Roof-mounted solar panels generate 100% of the facility’s hot water, while a 5,000-gallon water storage and treatment system recycles rainwater for non-potable uses throughout the building. Other “green” features recognized by ENR include a partially vegetated, barrel-shaped roof, permeated pavers, bioswales and a retention pond for managing storm water runoff.
The Testa distribution center, which opened in May 2011, was designed by Epstein architects. Summit Design + Build served as the construction manager and WBS Equities served as owner’s project consultant. Construction and permanent financing was provided by MB Bank. All are local Chicago-based concerns.