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Chicago, IL

Chicago Center for Green Technology

LEED® Platinum resource center for sustainable education and initiatives uses energy-efficient Sloan XLERATOR® hand dryers.
In 1995, the Chicago Department of Environment (CDOE) faced a formidable task. CDOE began clean-up of over 17 acres and 600,000 tons of concrete and construction debris dumped illegally by a company that was permitted to collect and recycle construction and demolition material but that had far exceeded the parameters of its permit.

The CDOE successfully fought the company in court and not only closed down its operation but became the owner of the site itself. It was then CDOE's job to clean up this brownfield. The 18-month clean-up involved hauling over 45,000 truckloads of debris off the property, some of which was recycled and used in other municipal projects such as for the parking garage foundation at Chicago’s Millennium Park.

By 1999, CDOE was the proud owner of a clean, uncontaminated site with a vacant building. CDOE seized the opportunity to design a sustainable building and to convert it into the new Chicago Center for Green Technology.

“This was the perfect opportunity to show that old buildings in urban landscapes can be renovated to the highest level of environmental sustainability,” says Sarah Moloney, project coordinator for the City of Chicago.

The building became the nation’s first rehabilitated municipal building to receive LEED® Platinum rating. Erected in 1952, the building now showcases over 40,000 square feet of state-of-the-art environmental features, including solar panels, rainwater collection for irrigation, recycled materials, smart lighting, a geothermal exchange system and a green roof.

The Center is home to a number of companies that focus on environmental and sustainable design. It also acts as a community resource and CDOE satellite office, offering more than 150 educational classes for professionals and homeowners.

The Center, which also tests the latest in green technology, decided to put energy-efficient hand dryers to the test in its own facility by installing two high-speed XLERATOR® hand dryers. The dryers have custom graphic covers with an educational “Good for the Environment” message to inform restroom visitors about the efficiency benefits.

XLERATOR hand dryers offer a 95% cost savings compared to paper towel use, and doing away with paper towels also keeps the restrooms cleaner and easier to maintain. “With over 30,000 visitors per year, we were using an awful lot of paper towels,” says Moloney.
Unlike conventional hand dryers, which average 30-45 seconds of drying time, XLERATOR dryers completely dry hands in 10-15 seconds and use 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers. According to Moloney, “Guests are totally satisfied with this hand dryer and are amazed by how quickly it works!”

XLERATOR is also the only hand dryer to be Made In USA Certified™ and the first hand dryer to be GreenSpec® listed. Because of the energy savings, XLERATOR dryers help facilities qualify for LEED credits.

Products Used


Sloan® XLERATOR® Sensor-Operated Wall - Surface Hand Dryer


Sloan® XLERATOR® Sensor-Operated Wall - Surface Hand Dryer