Sears Tower Will Go Green

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jun 24, 2009 9:20PM

The Sears Tower will receive a $350 million face lift over the next five years to reduce its energy consumption by 80 percent. The building will also receive a new neighbor--an environmentally friendly 50-story luxury hotel, located at Jackson and Wacker. The initiative could create 3,600 new jobs and Sears Tower could become the tallest building to receive LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The plans include replacement of 16,000 window panes and possibly the installation of wind turbines and solar panels on the set-back roofs. The roofs might also go green with grass or trees, too. The heating and cooling systems will be overhauled, and by revamping the water systems, the building will conserve 24 million gallons of water a year. The concrete plaza at Wacker and Adams streets will be landscaped into a park.

The hotel will be designed by architect Adrian Smith, designer of the Trump Tower, on the same block as the Sears Tower. The original Skidmore Owings & Merrill plans for the tower allowed space for it, but current zoning needs to change before the hotel could be built.

Sad news, though: They still intend to call it Willis Tower.