Navy Pier Features Sloan flushometers and faucets

January 17, 2019

Sloan and Navy Pier: Keeping the Jewel of Lake Michigan sustainable

The Great Lakes are the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem, and Chicago’s Navy Pier is the largest tourist attraction on the Great Lakes.

How could Sloan not be involved?

We’re huge boosters of our home town attractions, and we’re all about sustainability. So when Navy Pier needed sturdy, stylish, sustainable restroom fixtures for its new People’s Energy Welcome Pavilion, we’re glad they came to us.

From freighter dock to tourism juggernaut

Visiting Navy Pier today, it’s hard to believe it was once little more than a pier used by the Navy.

But for its first half century, that’s about all it was — a dock for freighters and passenger ships, then a training center for the U.S. Navy. As ship traffic to Chicago dwindled, Navy Pier hosted some college classes and summer music events, but by the 1980s it had fallen into a steep decline.

That all changed in 1995, when Navy Pier re-opened as a mixed-use venue with retail, dining, entertainment and cultural spaces. For several years it was the home of the Chicago Children’s Museum and a popular Ferris wheel. Chicago Shakespeare Theater made Navy Pier its permanent home in 1999. There is no more popular place in Chicago to watch July 4th fireworks.

Today, after a sweeping renovation (with a bigger Ferris wheel), Navy Pier hosts more than 9 million guests every year. Managing the environmental impacts of that many people is an ongoing challenge.

Sustainability at Navy Pier

Navy Pier is committed to several on-going initiatives to minimize its impact on Lake Michigan and the environment in general:

  • The green roof and LED lighting of the new Welcome Pavilion make the building more than 20 percent more energy-efficient than traditional structures.
  • A new stormwater management system captures and filters runoff through permeable pavement and landscaped areas made up of native plantings and locally-sourced trees.
  • A 30-year Sustainable Master Plan establishes clear targets for conservation, reduced production, and community development with target areas of energy, water, waste, transportation and community.
  • Navy Pier has joined forces with several green partners to reduce energy use, water use, heating costs and sewer costs.

Considering this level of commitment to sustainability, it was only natural Navy Pier turned to Sloan for its new Welcome Pavilion.

Sustainability, durability and style

Of course, sustainability wasn’t the only goal in building the Welcome Pavilion’s restrooms. With 9 million visitors a year, the restrooms had to be built to withstand heavy, year-round traffic. And to maintain its status as a premier tourist destination, the Pavilion had to maintain its elevated style throughout — even in its restrooms.

Sloan was able to meet all three criteria — sustainability, durability and style — to make the Welcome Pavilion restrooms magnificent:

Saving millions of gallons of water on the shores of Lake Michigan was a challenge we couldn’t pass up. We’re proud and delighted we were able to help Navy Pier accomplish that goal with durability and style.

Want to know more about Sloan innovations that save building owners billions of gallons of water every year? Talk to Sloan!

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