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CHICAGOLAND

Buildings Environments &

$ SPRING 2019

200 North Dearborn Private Residences F E AT U R E S

Q & A on High Rise Condominium Plumbing Riser Replacement Projects How to Make the Most of Small Outdoor Spaces Preventive Maintenance: Penny Wise or Pound Foolish? The Weather and Your Landscape


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CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

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table of contents COVER STORY

03 200 North Dearborn Sustains Energy for Capital Projects By Michael C. Davids MAINTENANCE MEMOS

07 Reducing Energy Expenses with Preventive HVAC Maintenance By Rob Gliniewicz EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

09 Illinois Sustainability Awards By Jim Dexter M A N AG E M E N T TA L K S

12 Preventive Maintenance: Penny Wise or Pound Foolish? By Salvatore Sciacca 13 Industry Happenings Compiled by Michael C. Davids & Sherri Iandolo 16 Editors Message 17 Directory Advertising THE LANDSCAPE BUYER

21 The Weather and Your Landscape By James A. Fizzell A S S O C I AT I O N ' S AV E N U E

23 USGBC Ranks Illinois First in U.S. for LEED Green Building PROJECT MANAGEMENT

24 Q&A on High Rise Condominium Plumbing Riser Replacement Projects By Adam Sanders, QCxP, CPMP S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

29 How to Make the Most of Small Outdoor Spaces By Christen Little

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COVER STORY

200 North Dearborn Sustains Energy for Capital Projects By Michael C. Davids 200 North Dearborn Private Residences is a full amenity high rise building in the Loop neighborhood of Chicago. Originally built in 1989 as an apartment building, it was later upgraded and in 2008 was converted into private residential condominiums.

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t 463 feet tall, the building has 47 floors and features 309 condominium units. The building is ideally situated near the Theater District, Michigan Ave, Millennium Park, and public transportation. Blending wonderful features and finishes throughout with urban sophistication, units have a variety of layouts with open style floor plans. Many residences feature balconies, hardwood flooring, generously portioned walk-in closet space, great views, modern kitchens with highend appliances and granite countertops. The property also features privately deeded parking in its 104-space indoor parking garage. A convenience store, laundry facilities and on-site property management are

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

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BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

available for resident use. 200 North Dearborn also offers a wide array of additional amenities that include 24 hour door staff, indoor pool, fitness center, five elevators and a roof top deck with outdoor space for grilling.

Governance & Management The board of directors for the association has five members that serve two year terms. The association has been professionally managed by Lieberman Management Services, Inc. since 2011.

Award for New Chillers In 2018, the cooling plants servicing the 309 residential units was operating with equipment that was installed with the original building construction and was beyond its life expectancy. The board of directors, in partnership with Lieberman Management Services (LMS), retained an energy consultant (Cyclone Energy) to advise the building on the best plan of action to replace the systems. They had only a few months to review bids, sign a contract and manage the project to comple-

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tion before the first hot days of summer arrived and the demand for air conditioning started. After studying the building systems, the energy consultant first proposed replacing the boilers and then replacing the chillers in a subsequent budget year. The consultant’s engineers created an RFP with a basis of design soliciting designbuild mechanical contractors to bid on the replacement of the chillers. After bids were received, they advised on the bid selection and ensured the contractors had the complete scope of the project included in their fee. Once the $680,000 project was approved by the association board, the energy consultant served as the owner’s representative throughout construction, coordinating details between the selected contractor, (AMS Mechanical) and the building. Upon completion, the energy consultant commissioned the systems ensuring high-efficiency operation. Replacement of the chillers is estimated to save the association $30,000 in energy costs per year.

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

There were numerous unique segments of the project. One innovative aspect of this project included a chiller split barrel design that allowed the chiller to be delivered to the roof in sections through the elevator. This meant that they didn’t have to shut down the busy downtown streets in the Loop for a helicopter to lift the mechanicals to the roof. The design allowed for a simplified manual operation and was built with features for future design integration. Work on the project began in February 2018. Remarkably, the project was completed in only 100 days. As a result, they were able to take advantage of a limited time bonus from the ComEd Energy Efficiency incentive program, which provided $120,000 back to the association for the chiller project. This was 200% more in incentives from Commonwealth Edison than was expected. On December 4, 2018, the project at 200 North Dearborn Private Residences was awarded a 2018 Excellence in Engineering award. The award, given by the

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COVER STORY

Y In addition to the upgrades of the heating and cooling, over the last 5 years the Association has completed a number of capital projects including modernized its elevators and life safety system. Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), recognizes the designer and the owner of a comfort cooling application which highlights innovation and/or new technologies. Prior to replacing the chillers, the as-

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Y Shown here are (from L to R) Regional Director for LMS Eric Ruby, Building Engineer Zlatka Pavelic, Board Treasurer David Crow, and Property Manager Donna Curtin.

sociation also partnered with their energy consultant to replace the boilers. The boiler replacement earned an incentive of $26,600 from People’s Gas. Both projects were delivered on time and under budget. The new equipment is estimated to save the Association $70,000 per year.

Capital Reserve Study & Funding The association updates their capital reserve study every 3-5 years and a new reserve study update is planned for 2019. “At 200 North Dearborn Private Residences, the board relies on the reserve

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study as a baseline of funding, but Lieberman Management encourages associations to partner with consulting engineers as timing for a project draws near,” states building supervisor Eric Ruby. “They perform inspections of larger building components, such as roofs, parking garages and facades, in order to evaluate how those components may or may not have deteriorated since the Reserve Study was performed.” An interim evaluation which might reveal that a costly project can safely be postponed or in reverse indicate that it needs to be performed sooner than anticipated, greatly helps an Association adequately plan its reserves funding. To help fund the chiller and boiler replacement projects, the association used the cash in their reserve fund account as collateral receiving a 4.05% interest rate on a $3, 600,000 ten year bank loan. To finance the loan, the association adopted a $3,900,000 special assessment payable over 10 years.

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Sustainability Efforts “200 North Dearborn employs sustainable practices in as many ways as they can,” property manager Donna Curtin says. “Maximizing energy efficiencies while simultaneously reducing costs are important to the residents.” The building participates in the City of Chicago mandated Energy Benchmarking Program. The building also participates in single stream, source separated recycling. In 2018 the Association performed a comprehensive upgrade of the common area light fixtures to energy efficient LED lighting.

Other Capital Projects In addition to the upgrades of the heating and cooling, over the last 5 years the Association has also replaced the cooling plant, modernized its elevators and life safety system, performed comprehensive repairs to the balconies and replaced the roof of the building. In keeping with a commitment to add value to the association and enhance

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

the living environment for its residents, in March 2019 200 North Dearborn is embarking on a full renovation of its 40 residential floors including new carpet, paint, wallpaper and lighting.

Continued Commitment The onsite management team led by Mr. Ruby and property manager, Donna Curtin, from Lieberman Management, their staff, the 200 North Dearborn board of directors and its residents have shown an outstanding commitment to making their building more energy efficient and to completing ongoing maintenance in a timely and prudent manner, thereby increasing the property values of the residences. And they plan to continue to sustain their efforts for a “healthier and greener” building. Judy Ziner, Vice President of Lieberman Management Services added, “The board and residents at 200 North Dearborn Private Residences have really set an excellent example for other Chicago condo buildings to follow.” $

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MAINTENANCE MEMOS

Reducing Energy Expenses with Preventive HVAC Maintenance By Rob Gliniewicz, Westside Mechanical Group As a commercial business owner or property manager, you are already aware that facility costs account for a large chunk of your spending each year. Besides rent or mortgage expenses, energy costs are some of your most considerable. In fact, U.S. commercial and industrial facilities spend $400 billion on energy alone each year!

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owering your energy spending generates savings that can be better allocated to other causes. A great place to look for energy savings is by preserving your HVAC systems to ensure your equipment’s performance and longevity.

Not All HVAC Systems Have the Same Needs Not all buildings or businesses require the same needs from their HVAC systems. It’s well known that all commercial HVAC systems require maintenance. However, a customized commercial HVAC maintenance plan will provide the specific care your system needs to boost performance. Preventative Maintenance is best performed in the Spring for cooling systems, the Fall for

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heating systems and should be executed by a trained commercial HVAC technician. Preventive maintenance serves as a tune-up for your building’s HVAC systems, helping your systems run more efficiently throughout the season. Several steps will be taken to correct existing issues and prevent future performance problems and breakdowns. Following is a checklist of items that should considered in preparing your HVAC maintenance plan. $

HVAC SYSTEM / PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST FOR OUTDOOR COMPONENTS:

FOR INDOOR COMPONENTS:

n Coil and cabinet are inspected and cleaned

n Blower assembly is checked and cleaned

n Drain pans and condensate lines are cleared of obstructions

n Combustion blower housing is cleaned

n Compressor is inspected n Fan motor and blades are inspected and lubricated n Control box, switches, wiring, and safety controls are inspected

n Belts are lubricated or replaced n Evaporator coil, drip pan, and condensate lines are cleaned and cleared n Burner assembly is inspected and cleaned n Ignition system is cleaned n Safety controls are tested n Heat exchanger is inspected

n Refrigerant level is measured and recharged if necessary

n Flue system is checked for dislocations and wear

n Manufacturer recommended maintenance and kits

n Control box, wiring, and connections are checked and tightened n Air filter is replaced or cleaned n Duct system is checked n Manufacturer recommended maintenance and kits

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CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

Illinois Sustainability Awards By Jim Dexter Twenty-seven Illinois companies and organizations were honored with the Illinois Sustainability Award in October at the Union League Club in Chicago for their significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving Illinois’ economy.

Again this year, Chicago area businesses and organizations were prominent among the winners. Through high-tech upgrades, the Downers Grove Sanitary District is now a net-zero energy wastewater treatment facility. Energy extracted from sewage sludge now provides heat and electricity to turn a historically energy intensive process into a zero-energy one. An innovative solution to vactor waste is helping DuPage County municipalities keep pollutants out of the environment. Vactor - mixed solid and liquid wastes collected from street cleaning and storm drains - can now be quickly separated and the water treated before release. Waste reduction was a strong focus of Hilton Chicago team members during 2018. More than 1,000 pounds of partially used soap products went to the Clean the World Foundation to be recycled and used as hygiene kits for those in need. Thousands of unwanted school supplies were donated to Chicago Public Schools and the Ronald McDonald House. The hotel also cut 4.7 million kWh of energy with LED lighting upgrades, and installed two hydroponic organic growing chambers producing locally sourced microgreens for their kitchens.

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The Village of Hoffman Estates performed lighting upgrades in and around Hoffman Estates' Sears Center Arena which will annually save a projected $55,000, and avoided 972 tons of carbon dioxide. Community collaborations also led to the creation of a butterfly garden and greatly increased residents' access to broad recycling opportunities. Chicagoland is home to Illinois' first curbside compost collection program thanks to the installation of an aerobic digester by Lakeshore Recycling Systems in Morton Grove. Food and landscape waste is transformed into nutrient-rich fertilizer without harmful bacteria, methane emissions, or water pollution. During its centennial year (2017), the Village of Mount Prospect committed to an expanded recycling program. Its Public Works facility offers everyday recycling drop off, and curbside service for yard waste, old clothing, and food scraps. The Village also accepts electronics (including mercury), pharmaceuticals, and also sponsors document shredding events. Since the completion of its LEED Gold Certified Village Hall, Mundelein has made continuous efforts to reduce its environmental impact. These include major efficiency upgrades in lighting and water treatment, a

Y Debra Jacobson, Associate Director, ISTC Technical Assistance Program, Joshua Connell, Managing Partner, Lakeshore Recycling Systems and Richard J. Winkel, Jr., Deputy Executive Director, Prairie Research Institute

Y Debra Jacobson, Bob Swirsky, Sewer System Downers Grove Sanitary District Maintenance Supervisor and Richard J. Winkel, Jr.

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BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

Y Debra Jackson, Kathy Heneghan, Hotel Manager and John Wells, General manager Hilton Chicago and RichardJ. Winkel, Jr.

Y Debra Jacobson, Kathia Benitez, Sustainability Director at Northwestern University, Julie Cahillane, Associate Sustainability Director and Richard J. Winkel, Jr.

Y Debra Jacobson, Randy Opdyke, Nicor Manager, Planning, Evaluations and Analytics, Gary Cushman, energySMART Analyst, EEP Demos and Pilots and Richard J. Winkel, Jr.

Y Debra Jacobson, Tim Harbaugh. DuPage County Deputy Director of Facilities, Mike Tuman, Assistant County Engineer and Richard J. Winkel, Jr.

phosphorus fertilizer ban, as well as moves to promote tree planting and to allow citizens to opt for renewable power sources.

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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

Northwestern University in Evanston issued its first five-year Strategic Sustainability Plan in 2017. In a fast start towards meeting those goals, the university diverted 38 percent of landfill waste, reduced its energy use intensity by 12 percent, and cut greenhouse emissions 13 percent during that year. Keynote addresses at the awards ceremony were delivered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region V Acting Deputy Administrator James Payne, and by Jacob Madsen, director of sustainability at SC Johnson. A panel discussion on the Water/Energy Nexus was also part of the program including: Ashlyn Stillwell, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois; Randy Connor, commissioner at Chicago’s Department of Water Management, Aaron Durnbaugh, directory of sustainability at Loyola University: Kim Leftwich, president and CEO, ColesMoultrie Electric Cooperative; and Catherine O’Connor, director of engineering for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation of Greater Chicago. Since 1987, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has presented Sustainability Awards to organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices. Any Illinois public or private organization is eligible to apply for the award. ISTC technical assistance experts select the winners through a rigorous process of review and examination. ISTC is a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For complete information about the winners and their achievements visit http://hdl.handle.net/2142/101884. $

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Illinois Sustainability Award Winners Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District Urbana

Illinois Department of Corrections Springfield

College of Lake County Grayslake

Illinois Farm Bureau Bloomington

dormakaba USA Inc. Steeleville

INTERRA, Inc. Bolingbrook

Downers Grove Sanitary District Downers Grove

Lakeshore Recycling Systems Morton Grove

DuPage County Wheaton

Lewis and Clark Community College Godfrey

South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium Chicago Heights

Madison County Planning & Development Department Edwardsville

Sterling Lumber Company, LLC Phoenix

Menasha Packaging 21G Edwardsville

Village of Hoffman Estates Hoffman Estates

Nicor Gas Naperville

Village of Mount Prospect Mount Prospect

Northwestern University Evanston

Village of Mundelein – Mundelein

First Presbyterian Church of Danville Danville Golden State Foods McCook McCook Greenville University Greenville Hilton Chicago Chicago

Riggs Beer Company Urbana Sheridan Correctional Center Sheridan Smart Energy Design Assistance Center Champaign Solberg Manufacturing Inc. Itasca

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BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE:

Penny Wise or Pound Foolish? By Salvatore Sciacca, Chicago Property Services Now that community living has become mainstream, it is more essential than ever for the board of directors and the management company to run the operations of the association in a proactive manner.

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f course, the term proactive could mean many different things to many different people. Proactive could mean ensuring that the building insurance gets paid so that it does not get cancelled or it could mean that the homeowners are sent an email reminding them to keep their heat above 55 degrees when leaving for their winter home in Florida. It could also mean that the management company reminds the board to set the next board meeting date and time at the end of each board meeting to proactively schedule the next board meeting. Of course, an even more proactive approach would be to request the board to schedule all the board meetings for the calendar year at the end of the prior calendar year.

Building Maintenance & Systems But what about the building life and safety mechanical systems such as smoke alarms and fire extinguishers? Or what about door closers, locks, lighting sensors, battery backup lighting and water spigot shutoffs? Does it make sense for the association to take a proactive approach for these items? Or should the association let these items fail and then repair or replace them as necessary?

“Romanticist” and “Classicist” The book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig is a great example of the pros and cons of proactive versus reactive maintenance. In this book, the author compared two motorcycle owners who were referred to as a

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For example, you can install smoke alarms that require battery changes every 6 months or you can install a smoke alarm with a sealed 10 year life battery. Regardless of which one you install, they should be tested on a regular basis to ensure they are working. For larger buildings, they should be tested monthly and for smaller buildings every 3 to 6 months. It goes without saying that smoke alarms save lives and to not check them on a regular basis is just a really BAD idea. Fire extinguishers are also items that should be checked proactively. They should be inspected and certified by a qualified fire safety company on an annual basis and should be visually inspected on a more frequent basis. Coincidentally, one of our buildings just had a fire inside one of the units due to a malfunctioning dryer and the homeowner went out into the hallway, grabbed one of the fire extinguishers and used it to suppress the fire.

Lighting Systems “romanticist” and “classicist”. The “romantic” owner chose to not maintain his expensive motorcycle and took a “hope for the best” attitude. He didn’t want to know about the details of how the motorcycle worked and wanted to simply enjoy the ride. Not surprisingly, when his bike broke down, the romanticist become quite frustrated and had to rely on expensive reactive maintenance and mechanics to fix the motorcycle. On the flip side, the “classical” motorcycle owner who owned an older and much less expensive motorcycle, took a very detailed and proactive approach to maintaining his motorcycle. His motorcycle was always well maintained and had very few unexpected mechanical failures. Although this approach required an investment in time and effort, the “classicist” enjoyed getting to know the inner workings of the motorcycle and truly enjoyed this symbiotic approach.

Life Safety. Mechanical & Security Systems Similarly, when it comes to community association life safety, mechanical and security systems, the same two options apply. You can take a hands off approach and close your eyes and hope for the best or you can take the time to understand your building systems and develop a preventative maintenance program that will check the systems that are designed to keep the homeowners safe and comfortable while ensuring the systems are there and ready to activate in the event of a life/safety emergency.

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

Battery backup lighting is another system that is often overlooked. These systems are designed to activate and illuminate stairwells and hallways in the event there is a power outage. However, the battery inside the unit typically lasts about 2 years and if you don’t check it regularly and/or replace the battery once it fails, the system will stop working. This may result in accidental homeowner injuries the next time there is a power outage and an evacuation as the stairwells and hallways could be pitch black.

Door Closers & Locks Checking door closers and door locks is another classic example of the benefits of preventative maintenance. You can wait for the door knobs and door handles to fall off and wait for an emergency call from a homeowner saying that they can’t open the door and get inside the building or you can have a technician go around the association on a regular basis and inspect and tighten all loose door handles and door locks. Similarly, you can wait for door closers to slam doors shut or keep doors open as temperatures rise and fall or you can periodically adjust them to take into account effects of the changing seasons before homeowners file a complaint.

Penny Wise of Pound Foolish? In the end, what approach do you want to take? Classicist or Romanticist? Do you want to spend a penny or a pound? The choice is up to you. $

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INDUSTRY HAPPENINGS

INDUSTRY HAPPENINGS Balanced Environments, Inc.

Kemper Lakes Business Center, Lake Zurich, IL Balanced Environments, Inc. has earned the 2018 National Association of Landscape Professionals Award of Excellence Gold Award for its outstanding efforts at Kemper Lakes Business Park in Lake Zurich, IL. Kemper Lakes Business Center is a world class multi-tenant corporate campus with four interconnected buildings totaling more than 1.1 million square feet for three world headquartered corporations on site. The client expects the 150 acre grounds to be continuously maintained with a polished appearance that is consistent with the impeccable interior office spaces and common areas.  All of these expectations are achieved through a close partnership and collaboration of achieving a workplace unlike any other within distinct budget constraints. Surrounded on three sides by a connected chain of lakes, shared with the adjacent renowned Kemper Lakes Golf Club, the property possesses changing water tables and soil types resulting in challenging irrigation requirements and demands.  Landscape maintenance crews are present on the property every weekday morning to police the grounds and deadhead seasonal color plantings preparing the property for the 4000 plus daily workforce. Experienced foreman and site supervisor are responsible for regularly inspecting the property.  The on-site property management team is an integral partner during the seasonal color display selection process. High expectations are set to achieve vibrancy and intensity of color using consistent varieties at different moisture and exposure conditions. The adjacent world class golf course provides a beautiful backdrop surrounding these grounds but periodic golf tournaments including the 2018 women’s PGA championship create unique challenges for our normal maintenance practices. 

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FirstService Residential FirstService Residential, North America's property management leader, is expanding its Chicago property management portfolio with the acquisition of Lieberman Management Services, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Simultaneously, the company is partnering with Draper and Kramer, Incorporated, which is exiting condominium management and transferring its condominium management division, DK Condo, to FirstService Residential. The addition of Lieberman, a market leader with 250 properties and 40,000 units under management, will triple FirstService Residential's client base in the Chicago area and bring the company's management portfolio to more than 8,500 properties and over 1.7 million residential units throughout North America. FirstService Residential was founded on a "best of both worlds" philosophy pairing the strength of corporate resources with the local leadership expertise of associates who take great pride in enhancing the quality of living for residents. "We are delighted to add this important Chicago market leader to our portfolio," said FirstService Residential CEO Chuck Fallon. "Lieberman's business is highly complementary with ours. They have a diverse footprint in the Chicago area and are led by strong management who are aligned with our culture. We welcome the Lieberman organization and look forward to their contributions in enhancing services to our clients and growing our business in the region." Founded in 1971, Lieberman is a leading residential property management organization in the Chicago metropolitan area – the third largest market in the United States. Day-to-day operations for Lieberman will not change and will continue to be

led by CEO Carla Kennedy and her management team, all of whom have been with the company over the past decade. FirstService Residential, which currently manages the largest portfolio of luxury condominiums in North America, continues its growth in Chicago through a strategic partnership with DK Condo to transition properties as Draper and Kramer exits the condominium management sector. "The opportunity to work with DK Condo, which has become the gold standard for high-rise condo management in the market, is the cherry on top of this strategic business push in Chicago," said Fallon. "FirstService Residential has a substantial force of associates with expertise in condos and luxury high-rises ready to collaborate with the talented management teams at these communities to continue delivering first-class service without missing a beat." As part of the strategic partnership, Draper and Kramer Vice President Ian Novak will maintain his role and oversight over the former DK Condo portfolio within FirstService Residential. Other members of the DK Condo team, which includes over 100 licensed community association managers, will join Novak in the transition. "Marrying our vast corporate resources with the personal touch of local experts who are part of the fabric of the communities we manage has been a hallmark of our success in Chicago and across North America," added Asa Sherwood, president of FirstService Residential Illinois. "The winning combination of FirstService Residential, Lieberman and DK Condo makes us the powerhouse in the market."

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BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

I NDUSTRY HAPPENI NGS

MCD Showcases the Races

The annual MCD Showcases the Races event will be held on August 22nd, 2019 at Arlington International Racecourse. Last year, over 175 guests enjoyed a day at the races along with industry networking, resources and idea exchange. For more information visit www.condolifestyles.net. You can view photos from past years MCD Showcases the Races events at Facebook.com/MCDMedia. For more information visit www.condolifestyles.net or call 630-932-5551.

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Lieberman Management

ACTHA

Lieberman Management Services (LMS) is pleased to announce that Liz Teague, LCAM, and Kim Hart, CMCA and AMS, have been promoted to the position of Senior Property Manager. These suburban property managers were granted the positions because of excellent client feedback, training and project facilitation work, above average organizational skills and dedication to LMS’s Core Values. “The increased levels of responsibility allow LMS to leverage their skills and experience to mentor other managers,� said Michele Trina, Director of Suburban Operations. “Liz and Kim are valuable members of the Lieberman family and we’re excited to see them grow professionally.� Liz has been with LMS for nine years, and Kim has been with LMS for 4.5 years.

On February 12, ACTHA held a seminar on “The Legislative Process and Your Association� at the Northbrook Public Library. Marshall N. Dickler of Dickler, Kahn, Slowikowski & Zavell, Ltd. presented information and updates on a variety of legal issues for community associations. Marshall explained how to go about making your voice heard as an Association, what issues impact your Association, how can you become involved and he introduced how to fill out a Witness Slip. ACTHA will hold its 2019 Spring Conference on Saturday, March 30 from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. According to new ACTHA president Diane Pagoulatos, “education sessions will be held on the topics of setting your course for success, the role your board, managing meetings, rules and regulations, legal consequences, who’s on your team, collaborate for the common good and ask an attorney. Pagoulatos added, “we’re very excited to introduce some changes and news about ACTHA at the conference including the introduction of two new board members as long time industry experts Tom Skweres and Marcia Caruso have both joined the ACTHA board.� For more information on ACTHA, visit: www.actha.org/event

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INDUSTRY HAPPENINGS

Westward360 Westward Property Management and TriView Property Management have joined forces to become one of the premier provider of real estate management services for community associations and multi-family buildings, executives announced recently. Now called Westward360, the new company manages roughly 600 buildings comprising approximately 25,000 units. With the merger, it has 200 employees total. The new board of directors and leadership team will consist of seven partners: TriView’s Brent Straitiff will be CEO, Nathan Brown will be Chief Investment Officer and Brawley Reishman will be CTO. Westward’s David Westveer will take on the CFO role, Ian Duni will be Chief Sales Officer, Travis Taylor will be COO and Patrick Gill will serve as CMO. Why merge? “To make complementary offerings available to a larger audience and allow deeper market penetration,” said Straitiff. “Scale allows us to invest in infrastructure to provide a better customer experience at a better value, and to build out new service offerings our clients will appreciate.” Straitiff continued, “This is part of a larger growth strategy of acquiring companies that fit our model and culture. We expect to announce more transactions in the near future.” Westward, which began operating in 2005, manages more than 400 community associations, and prides itself on providing a better customer experience to Chicagoans by investing in quality personnel and state-of-the-art technology and business process. It offers full or a la carte services including property management, accounting services, property maintenance, construction oversight and 24-hour support. “There’s an exciting opportunity to build on the full ecosystem of services we’ll now be able to offer. That will make it easier for the consumer to manage what is typically their largest asset – their home or real estate investment. Said, Westveer. “Until now, customers would have to rely on various resources to care for and manage their home or investment. Now they can work with one team who knows their property and can provide everything from day-to-day management to brokerage services and maintenance.” Also founded in 2005, TriView was fueled by the desire to break the industry mold. It sees property management as a people business, and invests in innovation and open communication to find better ways to serve homeowners’ associations, landlords, renters and buyers. It manages more than 200 properties including condominium associations, townhome associations and investment properties consisting of single-unit condos, 2-4 unit buildings and residential apartment buildings (up to 200 units). “We’re confident in the team we’ve assembled and the investments we’ve made. Said, Straitiff. “Our holistic offerings, which are unique to the industry, will provide an ongoing competitive advantage. 2019 will be a very exciting year for Westward360.”

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MCD Golf & Bocce Invitational The 23nd annual MCD Golf & Bocce Invitational will be held on July 12, 2019 at Eaglewood Resort in Itasca. Last year, over 200 participants played golf or bocce and enjoyed industry networking at a special reception. For more information visit www.condolifestyles.net or call 630-9325551. To view photos from past mcd media events, visit Facebook.com/MCD Media.

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editor’s message

EDITOR’S MESSAGE

Chicagoland

Buildings Environments &

Volume 14, No. 2, Spring 2019

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lthough this winter started relatively mild, we had several significant snow events and some historic cold that hit us hard in mid to

late January. An ensuing brief warm spell caused problems with burst pipes in many buildings. February brought more bitter cold spells, some more snow events along with several freezing rain/ice events. So keeping up with snow removal and de-icing applications has been quite a challenge this winter.

Volume 24, No. 2, Autumn 2019

Hopefully some warmer weather will provide an opportunity to get an early start on exterior maintenance, repair, and restoration projects. Economic conditions have remained fairly good and many property managers report that they plan to undertake (or continue) some type of capital projects this year.

Editor & Publisher Michael C. Davids Vice President Sherri Iandolo Art Director Rick Dykhuis Contributing Writers James A. Fizzell, Cathy Walker, David Mack, Pamela Dittmer-McKuen Circulation & Administration Carol Iandolo, Mary Knoll, Arlene Wold

Our cover story for this issue of CBE features 200 North Dearborn Private Residences which has done several capital improvement projects including replacement of their boiler and chiller equipment. This property profile article highlights the achievements and leadership that the owners, board and management have shown in preserving and improving property values. Preventive maintenance is important in all aspects of your building maintenance. An article with this emphasis that appears in this edition explains how you can reduce your annual energy expenses and increase your building’s energy performance with a preventive HVAC maintenance program. Many high rise buildings are facing issues with their plumbing (riser) pipes as the risers are reaching the end of their useful life. Inside this issue we have an article that provides answers to many common questions about high rise plumbing riser replacement projects. Our special feature on the winners of the Illinois Sustainability Awards highlights some recent accom-

Chicagoland Buildings & Environments (and The Landscape Buyer) is published in Spring and Fall by MCD Media as an independent magazine to inform owners, managers and others involved with commercial, multi-family, institutional and government properties about sustainability as well as property maintenance and restoration. CIRCULATION: Chicagoland Buildings & Environments (and The Landscape Buyer) maintains a circulation of 9,500. Subscriptions are available for $19.95 per year. Group subscriptions are available at $13.95 each, per year (orders of 5 or more). Single issues are available for $10.95.

plishments of the growing number of Illinois companies, institutions and organizations that have been recognized for their leadership and achievements in sustainability. Illinoisans can be proud that our state ranks first in the nation in USGBC LEED certified buildings (per capita) with 172 that received this designation in 2018. Jim Fizzell’s regular feature (in The Landscape Buyer) on the weather and your landscape provides some helpful tips on preparing your outdoor landscape for the coming season and what to watch for in terms of winter damage on your plants. Also, inside this issue is an article on making the most of small spaces in your outdoor environment. Our regular Industry Happenings column along with highlights from a variety of special events can also be found in this issue. We will continue to explore many other restoration, maintenance and building trends and green initia-

All material herein is copyrighted. No part of this publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher.

tives in coming issues of CBE. If you have a story to share please let us know. If your property has a special need or challenge, MCD media produces special events that feature a variety of resources and experts to assist you. Many members of our CBE advisory board will attend these events. There are also key resources from

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is issued with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal or accounting services. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

our sister publication –Condo Lifestyles available at our special events. Please consider attending our upcoming MCD Golf Invitational on July 12 and our luncheon at Arlington International Racecourse on August 22nd. You can view photos from various events we produce and others we participate in at the mcd media Facebook page. Thanks to the many new subscribers that have found our publications useful and informative. Special

Contact us at:

thanks to the firms, associations and groups that are Authorized Distributors of Chicagoland Buildings and

935 Curtiss, Suite 1A, Downers Grove, IL 60515

Environments, the Landscape Buyer and Condo Lifestyles. Those of you who are interested in becoming sub-

Phone us at:

630-932-5551 E-Mail us at:

scribers can obtain subscription information on our website www.chicagolandbuildingsandenvironments.com

mdavids@condolifestyles.com

Regards,

Visit us at:

Michael C. Davids

www.chicagolandbuildingsandenvironments.com

$

Editor and Publisher

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

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Professional Services Directory ARCHITECTS / ENGINEERS

ARCHITECTS / ENGINEERS

BTL Architects, Inc. 312-342-1858

Superior Reserve Engineering and Consulting 888-688-4560

Bringing Buildings Back to Life Contact Delph Gustitius www.btlarchitects.com

Engineering Support Services 630-904-9100 Construction Specifications / Roof Evaluations Forensic Engineering / Project Management Contact Greg Lason, P.E. www.engineeringsupportservice.com

Full Circle Architects, LLC 847-432-7114 Daniel Baigelman, AIA dan@fullcirclearchitects.com Capital Improvements • Reserve Studies • Engineering Reports

www.fullcirclearchitects.com

Kellermeyer Godfryt & Hart, P.C. 847-318-0033 Investigations and Repair Documents for: Exterior Walls, Windows, Roofs, and Parking Garages Condition Surveys and Reserve Studies www.kghpc.com

BANKING Seacoast Commerce Bank 331-305-0869

www.superiorreserve.com

Full Service Banking and Lending Services Specializing in Homeowner Association & Property Management Solutions rrowley@sccombank.com www.sccombank.com

ATTORNEYS

BUILDING RESTORATION & MAINTENANCE

Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit 855-537-0500

Bral Restoration, LLC 847-839-1100

www.ksnlaw.com

Masonry and Concrete Restoration www.bralrestoration.com

Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC 312-476-7556

Dakota Evans Restoration, Inc. 847-439-5367

Howard Dakoff / hdakoff@lplegal.com www.lplegal.com

Tuckpointing / Masonry Repairs / Waterproofing Structual Repairs / Balcony Restoration / Concrete Restoration Terra Cotta Repairs / Caulking & Sealants / Cleaning

BALCONY REPAIRS

www.dakotaevans.com

The Restoration Group 24 Hours- 630-231-5700 Structural Repair Services / Balcony Repair and Replacement Stair Tower Repair and Replacement Fire and Water Response and Restoration

dwells@trgrestore.com www.trgrestore.com

Holton Brothers, Inc. Masonry Repair Services, Tuckpointing, Caulking and Concrete Restoration

847-253-3886 TEL / 847-253-3255 FAX John@holtonbrothers.com www.holtonbrothers.com

BANKING

LMC Construction 708-714-4175

Klein And Hoffman 312-251-1900

Alliance Association Bank (888) 734-4567

Masonry Concrete General Contracting Roofing www.LMCTeam.com

Delivering Consistently Exceptional Results Architectural & Structural Engineering Building Envelope Evaluation, Planning & Project Coordination www.kleinandhoffman.com

Full service banking and lending solutions for management companies and associations. Contact: Diane White dwhite1@allianceassociationbank.com www.AllianceAssociationBank.com

LS Contracting Group, Inc. T 773-279-1122 / F 773-279-1133

Mueller and Associates

Mutual of Omaha Bank Community Association Banking 312-209-2623

STRUCTURAL CONSULTING ENGINEERS

312-253-7322 Assessment Evaluation & Planning New Structure Design / Existing Structure Modification Building Envelope / Condition & Reserve Studies www.muellerandassociates.org

HOA Banking - Internet Cash Management HOA Loans - Online Payment Systems Dedicated Customer Service tom.engblom@mutualofomahabank.com www.mutualof omahabank.com

Waldman Engineering 630-922-3000

Wintrust Community Advantage 847-304-5940

Energy Benchmarking Studies & Compliance Services, Reserve Studies, Specifications www.waldmaneng.com

Loans, Reserve Investments & Lock Box Services

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www.communityadvantage.com

Contact: Tom Laird tlaird@lscontracting.com www.lscontracting.com

W. J. McGuire Company 847-272-3330 Tuckpointing, Caulking, Masonry and Concrete Restoration

CONCRETE RAISING CRC Concrete Raising & Repair 847-336-3400 We Save Concrete, You Save Money! www.SaveConcrete.com

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

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CONSTRUCTION/REMODELING

ENERGY USE/BENCHMARKING

FIRE SAFETY & PROTECTION

Firecon Construction Services, Inc. 847-534-9400

Westside Mechanical Group 630-768-6562 / 630-369-6690

USA Fire Protection 224-433-5724

24 Hour Emergency Services www.FIRECONCONSTRUCTION.com

DOORS Door Systems ASSA Abloy Entrance Systems 800-THE-DOOR PEDESTRIAN DOORS / REVOLVING DOORS SECTIONAL DOORS / STEEL ROLLUP DOORS / FIRE DOORS HIGH SPEED DOORS / DOCK LEVELERS

www.doorsystems.com

FACILITY MAINTENANCE

www.usafireprotectioninc.com

SP+ Facility Maintenance 773-847-6942

HVAC

Daily Cleaning Services / Power Sweeping and Washing Painting and General Repairs / Seasonal Services

Hill Mechanical Group 847-451-4200

SNOW/ICE REMOVAL

Parking Facility, Surface Lot, PedestrianPlaza, Large Venue or Commercial Retail Building. Contact: Daniel W.Nicholson at dnicholson@spplus.com

Window and Related Masonry Interior & Exterior Doors | Siding & Gutters www.woodlandwindows.com

FIRE / FLOOD RESTORATION

Brouwer Bros. Steamatic 708-396-1444 All types of Environmental Cleaning. www.bbsteamatic.com

ELEVATORS/CONSULTANTS

www.spplus.com/FacilityMaintenance

Brouwer Bros. Steamatic 708-396-1444 All types of Environmental Cleaning. Air & Exhaust Duct Cleaning • Mold Remediation Garbage Chute Cleaning • Carpet & Drapery Cleaning Photo Inventory, Moving, Storage or Removal www.bbsteamatic.com

Firecon Construction Services, Inc. 847-534-9400

Suburban Elevator Co. 847-743-6200

24 Hour Emergency Services www.FIRECONCONSTRUCTION.com

Simplifying Vertical Transportation Contact: Max Molinaro www.suburbanelevator.com

Perfection Property Restoration 877-962-9644

ENERGY GAS & ELECTRIC CenterPoint Energy 630-795-2594 Natural Gas & Electric Energy Reliable Service. People You Trust. Contact: Vickie Farina Vickie.Farina@centerpointenergy.com www.CenterPointEnergy.com/CES

ENERGY USE/BENCHMARKING Waldman Engineering 630-922-3000 Energy Benchmarking Studies & Compliance Services, Reserve Studies, Specifications www.waldmaneng.com

Fire alarm / Sprinkler systems Fire pumps / Fire extinguishers Backflow prevention / Fire panel / Monitoring Installation | Inspection | Testing | Maintenance 24/7 EMERGENCY SERVICE: (847) 816-0050

Woodland Windows & Doors 630-529-Door (3667)

DUCT CLEANING

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Serving the Tri-State Area Since 1970 Contact: Rob Gliniewicz * rgliniewicz@wsmech.com www.wsmech.com

courtneyschmidt@callperfection.com www.callperfection.com

Rainbow International Restoration 708-460-0911

HVAC & Plumbing Services www.hillgrp.com

Westside Mechanical Group 630-768-6562 / 630-369-6690 Serving the Tri-State Area Since 1970 Contact: Rob Gliniewicz * rgliniewicz@wsmech.com www.wsmech.com

HVAC CLEANING Brouwer Bros. Steamatic 708-396-1444 “All types of Environmental Cleaning” www.bbsteamatic.com

INSURANCE Heil Heil Insurance Agency 847-530-3888 afullerton@heilandheil.com www.heilandheil.com

LAKE & POND CLEANING Organic Sediment Removal Systems, LLC 855-565-Muck(6825)

www.rainbowrestore.net

osrsystems@pondclean.com www.pondclean.com

FIRE SAFETY & PROTECTION

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS

Chicago Fire Pump Testing 773-609-1510

Alan Horticultural Services, Inc. 630-739-0205

www.chicagofirepumptest.com

www.alanhorticultural.com

ConTech MSI Co. 847-483-3803 Fire Detection & Signaling Systems / Fire Alarm Systems Chicago Life Safety Evaluation Solutions Security Systems/CCTV / Card Access Systems www.contechco.com

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

Balanced Environments 847-395-7120 / 630-916-8830 www.balancedenvironmentsinc.com

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LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS

PAINTERS

PLUMBING

ILT Vignocchi 847-487-5200

ABC DECO 773-701-1143

www.ILYTVignocchi.com

info@abcdecoonline.com www.abcdecoonline.com

Great Lakes Plumbing & Heating Company 773-489-0400

Landscape Concepts Management 847-223-3800 www.landscapeconcepts.com

Sebert Landscaping, Inc. 630-497-1000

CertaPro Painters of Aurora 866-715-0882 Interior & Exterior Painting / Drywall Repair Metal & Iron Painting / Light Carpentry Commercial Roofing Repair / Power Washing

Cdidech@certapro.com oswego.certapro.com

www.sebert.com

CertaPro Painters of the North Shore 847-989-4791

Semmer Landscape 708-926-2304

Interior & Exterior Painting Wallcoverings • Decorating • Remodeling Drywall Repair • Decks & Staining Tile Installation • Metal & Iron Painting www.certacommercial.com rmuldoon@certapro.com

gsemmer@semmerlandscape.com

LAWN CARE

PAVING

Spring Green Professional Lawn & Tree Care 800-830-5914

DuBois Paving Co. 847-634-6089

www.spring-green.com

LOCKSMITH NonStop Locksmith 312-929-2230

info@duboispaving.com www.DuBoisPaving.com

SP+ Facility Maintenance 773-847-6942 Contact: Daniel W.Nicholson at dnicholson@spplus.com

www.spplus.com/FacilityMaintenance

Locksmith Services, Intercom & Access Control Systems, CCTV, Overhead Garage Doors

www.nonstoplocksmith.com

MOLD REMEDIATION Brouwer Bros. Steamatic 708-396-1444 All types of Environmental Cleaning www.bbsteamatic.com

Perfection Property Restoration 877-962-9644 courtneyschmidt@callperfection.com www.callperfection.com

PAINTERS AAA Painting Contractors, Inc. 630-231-8350

Twin Bros. Paving & Concrete 630-372-9817

Lifeline Plumbing 847-468-0069 Plumbing - Heating & Air Conditioning Water Heaters - Sewer Cleaning & Repair Hot Water Drain Jetting www.INEEDLIFELINE.com

POWER WASHING Power Clean, Inc. 630-545-9551 Mobility Efficiency Safety Professional Power Washing powercleaninc@netzero.net www.powercleaninc.com

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT ACM Community Management 630-620-1133 www.acmweb.com

Associa Chicagoland 312-944-2611 / 847-490-3833 www.associachicagoland.com

Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating / Concrete www.TwinBrosPaving.com

Draper and Kramer 312-346-8600

PEST MANAGEMENT SERVICES

www.draperandkramer.com

All-Over Pest Solutions 773-697-1100 Bed Bug Specialists. Results Guaranteed! www.all-overpest.com

Smithereen Pest Management Services 800-336-3500 www.smithereen.com

PLUMBING

www.aaapaintco.com

Hill Mechanical Group 847-451-4200 HVAC & Plumbing Services www.hillgrp.com S P R I N G 2019

Plumbing / HVAC / Fire Protection Riser Replacements / Site Utilities www.glph.com

Contact: Ian Novak

RealManage 1-866-473-2573 www.realmanage.com

FirstService Residential 312-335-1950 Contact Asa Sherwood www.fsresidential.com

The Habitat Company 312-527-5400 Contact: Christine Ford www.habitat.com

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Heil, Heil, Smart & Golee LLC 847-866-7400 Quality, Service, Performance and Integrity aschroeder@hhsg.net www.hhsg.net

Lieberman Management Services 847-459-0000 / 312-202-9300 www.liebermanmanagement.com

RESERVE STUDIES Reserve Advisors, Inc. A remarkably simple reserve study system Custom, Comprehensive Studies Conducted by Professional Engineers

312-625-4958 Contact Corinne Billingsley corinne@reserveadvisors.com www.reserveadvisors.com Long-term Thinking. Everyday Commitment.

Superior Reserve Engineering and Consulting 888-688-4560 www.superiorreserve.com

REAL ESTATE TAX ATTORNEYS Elliott & Associates 847-298-8300 Property Tax Attorneys www.elliottlaw.com

ROOFING

SIDING / RENOVATIONS

All American Exterior Solutions (847) 438-4131

All American Exterior Solutions (847) 438-4131

Roofing, Siding & Windows www.aaexs.com

Roofing, Siding & Windows www.aaexs.com

American Building Contractors, Inc. 847-670-1887 Roofing • Siding • Windows • Gutters Maintenance • Capital Budget Projects A+ BBB Rating

www.abc-usa.com

CSR Roofing Contractors 708-848-9119 Industrial/Commercial/Multi Tenant/High Rise All types of Roofing Leak Trouble Shooting/Roof Repairs Roof Check 365 Maintenance Programs Conventional and Single Ply Roofing www.csr-roofing.com

Woodland Windows & Doors 630-529-Door (3667) www.woodlandwindows.com

TOWING Contract Towing 779-707-6935 24/7 HOTLINE (877) 613-5040

Hammerbrush Painting & Construction 630-320-9676 Concrete & Masonry / Roofing & Siding www.Hammerbrush.com

M&T Exteriors Inc. 331-248-0447 Roofing Siding Windows and Service. www.mt-exteriors.com

Outsource your parking to the EXPERTS in towing. Jason Buffone / www.contracttow.com

TV / BULK TV & BULK INTERNET XFINITY Communities 1 800 XFINITY www.comcast.com/xfinitycommunities For more information E-mail: xfinity_communities@cable.comcast.net

S&D Roofing Service 630-279-6600

WASTE SERVICES/REC YCLING

250,000 roofs installed since 1963 TEAR OFFS • SHINGLES • FLAT ROOFS Multi-Family ROOFING Specialist Our experience & technical know-how gets the job done right the first time! www.sdroofing.com | sales@sdroofing.com

Lakeshore Recycling Services 773-685-8811 WINDOWS/REPLACEMENTS

www.sarnoffbaccash.com

Van Doorn Roofing, Inc. 847-228-5800

All American Exterior Solutions (847) 438-4131

Worsek & Vihon LLP 312-368-0091

A Respected Name in Commercial Roofing For Over Three Decades ROOFING/SHEET METAL/MAINTENANCE/REPAIR www.vandoornroofing.com

Roofing, Siding & Windows www.aaexs.com

McCracken McCracken Behrens 312-263-4308 Concentrating in Property Tax Appeals since 1976 www.mmbtaxlaw.com

Sarnoff & Baccash 312-782-8310 Attorneys at Law

www.wvproptax.com

ROOFING Adams Roofing Professionals, Inc. 847-364-7663

SECURITY SERVICES Admiral Security/Door Staff Solutions 847-588-0888 www.admiralsecuritychicago.com

Roofing -Siding -Gutters - Insulation www.adamsroofing.com 20

Inside Out Painting Roofing & Construction 630-406-3000

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

www.LakeshoreRecyclingSystems.com

Forde Windows and Remodeling, Inc. 847-562-1188 Trusted since 1987 www.fordewindowsandremodeling.com

Woodland Windows & Doors 630-529-Door (3667) www.woodlandwindows.com

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THE LANDSCAPE BUYER

In the Chicago area, official lows of -24 and -21 were recorded on January 30th and 31st as a polar air mass called a "Polar Vortex" brought extremely cold temperatures this winter.An alltime record low for the state was set at 38 below zero recorded at Mt. Carroll, Illinois.B y the end of January, there had been fifteen straight days of measurable snowfall, and almost two feet of snow had accumulated.

Planning and communication are key elements for all involved in meeting the challenge of snow and ice removal. Photo credit: Landscape Concepts Management

The Weather and Your Landscape by James A. Fizzell

It sure has been bitterly cold, something we have not seen a lot of the last couple of years. This had an effect on those of us who needed to be outdoors, and certainly affected our plantings.

B

efore we get into that, it might be good to explain some of the words that are floating around in the media, and to remember some of the weather events of the last several months.

Meteorological Terminology Lately, because of the record cold weather, we are hearing terms like Polar Vortex, Stratospheric Warming, El Nino, La Nina, Rossby Waves, Madden-Julian Oscillation, etc. The same terms were bantered about a few years ago when we suffered through a similar cold spell. For as long as I can remember we have had these spells of arctic cold weather in the winter, but these weather terms never became familiar. Maybe it is because there is so much air time available now, and the media wonks are intent on filling the time slots. Actually the media have latched onto these unfamiliar meteorological terms, often not knowing exactly what they are. Thus, they have been heard by many (readers) and now are familiar words even if they are not really understood. Some of these terms have become part of the lexicon.

Polar Vortex The severe cold of late January was a result of the fracturing and splitting of the Polar Vortex. The Polar Vortex is a whirling cone of low pressure normally developing over the pole. Typically, the vortex will stay over the pole, North or South. We are concerned only with the North Pole. If the vortex is strong and deep enough it stays tightly wound up, and little cold seeps south into

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our part of the world. If something weakens the vortex, it can become disorganized and lobes of it slip south. This season, the polar vortex has been taking a beating. The mechanism was Stratospheric Warming, probably due to the effects of the Madden-Julian oscillation and the El Nino Southern oscillation. The cold lobes of the vortex tend to move eastward around the world with the jet stream which, when it loops, develops into a Rossby Wave. So the situation is not static and will pass with warmth and often more cold to follow. So much for the overly-simplified Polar Vortex lesson. The weather the past several years has been a challenge. In fact the severe cold this winter is not the first time we have worried about the effect of weather on our plantings. The past year is no exception:

2018 Weather Spring 2018 started slowly, cool and wet, with near-record snows in April and more than 10 inches of rain in both May and June. At the end of June the rain stopped and less than an inch fell in the next five weeks. Soils dried rapidly. Temperatures were in the 90s. Plants that had developed lush foliage during the wet weather, began shedding older leaves as things dried out. Rains returned in August. September started out hot and wet, but dry through the middle of the month. Then, cool, wet weather continued through most of November. Some trees began to color up in

late summer but the good weather stalled the color with trees staying green and keeping their leaves until they were knocked off by heavy snow late in the month. By the end of November nearly a foot of snow had fallen, but warm weather at the end of the month made quick work of it, and by early December the ground was green again. December stayed mostly mild and little snow accumulated. Most of the precipitation fell as rain. It had been a wet year with nearly 50 inches of precipitation in the twelve months.

2019 Weather Impact The new year opened with continuing mild weather but our long-range prognosticator was telling us that winter was on the way. Things fell apart on January 19th when six inches of snow fell on Chicagoland followed by more snow and freezing rain later that week. A quick freeze made removal of the frozen mess impossible. More light snow added to the accumulation.

Historic Cold By January 24, things had deteriorated with more snow and descending temperatures. Lows were in the minus numbers with day time highs below freezing. That was just the beginning. On January 28, temperatures dipped below zero and did not recover to the plus side for three days. The lows were record-setting. An all-time record low for the state was set at 38 below zero recorded at Mt. Carroll, Illinois. In the Chicago area, official lows of -24 and -21 were recorded on January 30th and 31st. At Niles, a reliable thermometer recorded a low of -27 degrees at seven a.m. on the 30th. And, by the end of January, there had been fifteen

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

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BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

There may be even more losses as a result of the mild weather last fall and the refusal of plantings to achieve dormancy. The sudden and severe cold that caught them unprepared will show up as dead stems, and limbs. We’ll likely even see the failure of some plants to leaf out in the spring. straight days of measurable snowfall, and almost two feet of snow had accumulated. What a month!

summer drought followed by the cool, wet, extended fall, set up plantings for winter damage.

Brief Warm Up

Fluctuations Cause Plants Damage

As January came to a close, things rapidly improved with temperatures rising an incredible 75 to 80 degrees to highs near 50 degrees by the 3rd of February with virtually all the snow melted away. To continue with the weather stuff, we contacted our resident weather guru, Meteorologist, Greg Soulje, for his take on the seasons to come. According to Soulje, the cold weather is a long way from being over. He expects the rest of winter to be tiresome, on top of what we have already been experiencing. The remainder of February and March will have seen an active weather pattern with possibly extreme temperature swings and a bitter cold wave extending into March. Additional winter-cold, snow, and a possible late season snow are in the works. The last full week of winter may be the harshest.

Some plants had broken dormancy with new growth that appeared during the favorable conditions in late fall. Many trees had yet to shed their leaves when winter cold and ice arrived in November. More mid-December warmth and the sudden and severe cold after the mild start to winter caught many plantings insufficiently dormant and unable to cope. Fifty degree temperatures in early January followed by the arctic plunge once again set up plantings for trouble. Most plants, especially natives stand the absolute low cold, but rapidly falling temperatures of 20 to 30 degrees will cause damage to even mostly dormant plants.

Roller Coaster Weather, No Early Spring Likely Wild, roller coaster weather in April and May will likely bring some summer temperatures and possibly a couple of late snow events. Late May and June will be cooler and wet. There will be no early arrival of spring, Soulje advises. We can expect the ever-present wind off cold Lake Michigan to keep temperatures chilly. Summer temperatures will remain cool at least during the earlier weeks of the season, and there will be no shortage of moisture to mid-summer. The US Weather Service is predicting spring temperatures and rainfall to be about average. Early summer will be mild but wet, they say. There is no mention of the big temperature swings that make up the averages.

Adverse Weather and Your Plants Our plantings have been suffering from the adverse weather conditions for several years. Last summer trees and shrubs began to expire from assorted problems associated with past alternating wet and dry seasons, and extreme temperature fluctuations. We lost a lot of trees, and a lot of dieback in their branches was evident last year. Winter drought in past years allowed deep frost and subsequent root mortality.

Flooding Last Spring & Summer The past months have not helped matters. Particularly damaging were the flooding events last spring and summer, and the following droughty periods. The extremely wet early season, the mid-

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Expect More Plant Losses This Year We can expect a continuation of the tree and shrub losses. There has been no improvement in the conditions that precipitated the damage. There may be even more losses as a result of the mild weather last fall and the refusal of plantings to achieve dormancy. The sudden and severe cold that caught them unprepared will show up as dead stems, and limbs. We’ll likely even see the failure of some plants to leaf out in the spring.

Current Damage to Landscape from Winter The snow and ice in November pulled down trees and shrubs and broke a lot of branches. Rodent and deer damage has already shown up. These animals have chewed back plants and have begun to girdle unprotected trees and shrubs. Damaged trees and shrubs will need trimming or replacing The heavy snow cover during the worst of the cold was decidedly beneficial for lawns and lowgrowing plants. Where snow was more than a foot deep the ground beneath it remained unfrozen. Subsequent cold without protective snow did freeze up any bare areas. The heavy salting for snow and ice control may have damaged turf grass plantings adjoining walks and drives. Be prepared to remove the damaged turf and to replace it as soon as the weather breaks in spring. Sodding can be done early; seeding needs to wait until the soil warms. The mechanical damage from plowing and snow blowers can be repaired as soon the ground has thawed and dried Snow-covered turf grasses should have survived mostly unscathed. Where exposed grasses went

CHICAGOLAND BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

dormant, desiccation may be expected. Any place where melt-water tended to stand, snow mold can be expected. Where large piles of snow have been plowed from onto turf grass or ornamental beds, the salt, chemicals, and trash as well as the weight of the piles can damage the area for some time after the snow has melted. Try to make sure the piles are limit to paved areas. This is a good reason to meet with your snow removal/maintenance personnel next year before the season begins. Native perennials, and others well protected from the elements should have been unaffected. Native plants are well able to tolerate the cold where-as introduced kinds may not be hardy. Late flooding may result in losses from rotting of immersed plants. Bulbs in poorly drained plantings might not have survived. If early growth is poor, it might be advisable to consider early replacement

Preventive Measures Can Be Taken While some damage probably has taken place already, some things need to be done to help prevent any additional troubles. Inspect your property on a mild day. Protective fences and screens need to be examined to make sure they are still doing the job. Rabbit guards, deer fencing, screening to protect plantings from salting, and wrapping on evergreens for sun and wind protection need to be repaired if they have become damaged. There is still a bit of winter yet and these protections can still be valuable. Make sure mouse baits are still effective. Replace or refill them. Where the snow has melted, apply more fungicide for snow mold. The standing water from the melting snow is a perfect environment for this disease.

Make Notes & Communicate Make notes of things that will need attention when spring arrives. Pass the notes along to your landscape related contractors. Better yet, ask your contractor to tour the property with you. Both of you will then know what needs to be done. If you have not already done so, contracts for landscape maintenance need to be completed as soon as possible. The contractors appreciate having an idea of the things they will be doing when the weather breaks so they can adequately plan. The sooner you get in the loop, the more likely you are to get your work done on time. Things get especially hectic once spring arrives. This year spring appears to late arriving and the few good days early in the season will be especially trying. $

S P R I N G 2019


A S S O C I ATO N ' S AV E N U E

USGBC Ranks Illinois First in U.S. for LEED Green Building Illinois takes top spot for the first time since 2015 Washington, D.C. — (Feb. 4, 2019) — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently released its annual list of Top 10 States for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the world’s most widely used green building rating system. Illinois came in at number one on the list, which ranks states based on the number of LEED-certified square feet per person. This is the first time Illinois has taken the top spot since 2015. “Over the past 25 years, the U.S. Green Building Council, its member companies and the green building community have come together to make our planet stronger, greener and more sustainable through LEED,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “These Top 10 states are examples of how we can create lasting, measurable change and improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities. A better future requires a universal living standard that leaves no one behind—and that future would simply not be possible without the extraordinary work being done in these states.”   The states that made this year’s Top 10 are home to 128 million Americans, and the more than 1,800 buildings that certified in 2018 represent more than 468 million gross square feet of space. Buildings that are LEED-certified create healthier spaces for people, as well as use less energy and water, reduce carbon emissions and save money for families, businesses and taxpayers. Illinois has continually been among the top states for the number of buildings that earn LEED certification every year, and has been a part of the Top 10 States for LEED list every single year since the list’s inception. As the number one state for LEED certification in 2018, Illinois certified 172 green building projects representing 5.31 gross square feet of LEED-certified space per person. Notable projects that certified in 2018 include: » Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, LEED Silver, part of a redeveloped healthcare campus that optimizes human health and wellbeing through design techniques such as natural lighting, high quality indoor air and a visual connection to nature; » Sunset Ridge School, LEED Platinum, located in Northfield, is the first public school in Illinois designed to be Net Zero Energy, and incorporates a number of design tactics to enhance students’ learning environment and well being;

“The City of Chicago and State of Illinois were some of the very first government entities to set an example for green building development in the country. Illinois has consistently been at or near the top of this list since its inception, and moving into the number one spot this year proves that the state’s leadership and hard work to advance green building in the state are paying off,” said Sheri Brezinka, regional director at USGBC. “We hope that with LEED v4.1, the expertise of builders and developers, and the dedication of our USGBC members, we can continue to lead the growth of green building in the country in the coming year.” Now in its ninth year, the 2018 Top 10 States for LEED list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects that earned LEED certification in 2018. The full rankings are as follows:

2018 Top 10 States for LEED Rank

State

Certified Gross Square Footage (GSF)

GSF Per Capita

Number of Projects Certified

1

IL*

68,133,942

5.31

172

2

MA*

34,718,212

5.3

122

3

WA

28,555,753

4.25

137

4

NY*

72,881,287

3.76

214

5

TX

88,404,993

3.52

277

6

CO*

17,042,295

3.39

114

7

HI*

4,504,287

3.31

20

8

VA*

25,348,631

3.17

136

9

CA*

112,388,968

3.02

521

10

MD*

16,869,680

2.92

113

**

DC

37,147,538

61.74

145

*Included in 2017 Top 10 States for LEED list **Washington, D.C. is not ranked as it is a federal district, not a state

USGBC calculates the list using per capita figures to allow for a fair comparison of the level of green building taking place among states with significant differences in population and number of overall buildings. In the U.S., 2,886 commercial projects certified in 2018. Globally, there are currently more than 96,275 registered and certified LEED projects in 167 countries and regions around the world.

Y The Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL Recently, USGBC introduced LEED v4.1, the latest update to the rating system, and released beta versions for existing buildings (LEED v4.1 O+M), new construction (LEED v4.1 BD+C) and interiors (LEED v4.1 ID+C). LEED v4.1 emphasizes human health and integrates performance metrics using Arc to encourage ongoing tracking. Recent research shows green building will continue growing through 2021. Client demand remains the top reason to build green in the U.S. and occupant health and well-being emerged as the top social factor. Through LEED, USGBC pushes the market toward higher performing buildings that also improve quality of life. The impact of buildings, cities and communities on people continues to be a priority for USGBC and across industries. In an effort to expand USGBC’s global green building efforts and ensure that LEED is not only the de facto leadership standard, but also the pre-eminent living standard, USGBC launched the Living Standard campaign at 2018’s Greenbuild in Chicago. Focused on the belief that storytelling can lead to a more sustainable world, the campaign aims to highlight stories – big and small – that capture how USGBC, LEED and other sustainability programs are raising the quality of life for people around the world. By visiting livingstandard.org, individuals and companies can join the campaign and submit stories. For more information, visit usgbc.org $

» Willis Tower, LEED Gold, the second tallest building in the United States and one of the most visited locations in Chicago, incorporated efficiency measures into renovations to offset the Tower’s energy load and water use; » Merchandise Mart, LEED Gold, the largest building in Illinois to earn LEED certification in 2018, originally certified in 2013, and re-certified using LEED v4.1 last year; and » Chinatown Branch Library, LEED Platinum, which incorporates Feng shui design elements into the building and a green roof that helps mitigate water runoff and regulate building temperature.

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BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

Q & A on High Rise Condominium Plumbing Riser Replacement Projects By Adam Sanders, QCxP, CPMP - Elara Engineering As of 2019, galvanized plumbing piping systems that were installed in buildings before 1980 are typically nearing the end of their useful life expectancy. Common indications that plumbing piping has reached its life expectancy include pinhole pipe leaks, swing joint failures, lack of hot water, clogged piping and plumbing fixtures, discolored water, water with unusual taste and decreased water pressure or water flow.

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eplacement of galvanized piping presents a challenge in occupied condominium buildings as this piping is located behind the walls within unit bathrooms and kitchens. Thus, replacing galvanized piping within condominium buildings is typically one of the most expensive and intrusive projects the building will undertake. Where failing plumbing piping is not addressed with proactive replacement, increasing emergency repair costs, occupant complaints, and liability for major pipe leaks is often the result. Over the past several years, numerous condominium buildings within the Chicagoland area facing plumbing piping failures of varying degrees have enlisted Elara Engineering to lead project efforts to replace the existing galvanized plumbing piping serving their building with new copper piping. For the projects that Elara has partici-

pated in, common questions have consistently arisen that will be addressed in this article to assist Condominium Associations better understand a potential plumbing piping replacement project for their building.

Common Plumbing Piping Replacement Questions In Condominium Buildings

How much money should we budget for this project? Answer: There are many factors that need to be reviewed which can greatly affect the project budget. As a first step, the Condominium Association’s attorney should provide a legal opinion of the declaration to indicate the minimum amount of piping the Condominium Association is responsible for along with the Condominium Association’s obligation for the restoration of finishes within the building’s units. The attorney should also provide opinions based on the

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declaration about other topics in the project, ie: what options does the declaration give to the association to fund the project, who should pay for removal and reinstallation of personal property, what scope items can the association include in the project such as possible toilet or shower valve replacements, etc. Another major factor affecting the project budget is whether drain and vent piping requires repair or replacement as part of the project. Finally, accessibility of the plumbing piping to be replaced is a significant factor in the project cost. Commonly, the cost to open and restore walls to access plumbing piping is greater than the cost of the pipe replacement itself. Access to the piping can be made easier or more difficult depending on the building floor plan in the areas of bathrooms and the kitchens. As the piping replacement project will be repetitive in nature, even small details have a major impact on the budget. For example, if a 600-unit condominium building decides to install access panels for the code required remodeling valves with an installation cost of $400 each, the project budget will increase by $480,000 (assuming each unit requires an access panel in one bathroom and one kitchen). A detailed review of the project requirements along with decisions from the Condominium Association will greatly impact the budget required for an individual building. The Condominium Association should make these decisions in collaboration with professionals familiar with this type of project who can also prepare a cost estimate based on their specific building.

Can this project be phased over several years to accommodate the Condominium Association reserves? Answer: Yes, plumbing piping replacement can be phased over several years. The phasing should be thought through ahead of time from both an engineering and financial stand point. When possible, the plumbing piping should be replaced beginning at the incoming water service and working its way towards the plumbing fixtures. This approach minimizes the likelihood of rust flakes breaking off the galvanized piping and settling in the new copper piping to create a dissimilar metal situation. Of course, this cannot be completely avoided in an existing,

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Y Shown here is the inside of a hot water pipe which has been sand blasted.

S P R I N G 2019

Y Pictured here are typical existing conditions in a plumbing wall.

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aged plumbing system especially with regard to hot water return piping; which should be accounted for in the design. This approach also replaces the main distribution piping first; resulting in lower potential for main piping failures affecting the building for extended time frames. By replacing the main piping first, new isolation valves can be installed to isolate portions of the building at later stages of the project to minimize the number of occupants impacted by water outages. By doing so, major water outages affecting the entire building population can occur early in the project with less impact as the project moves forward for individual risers.

When should we start this project? Answer: The condition of the existing plumbing piping system drives the urgency of the project. A general condition of the plumbing piping system can be determined by compiling logs of the history of known leaks, pipe clogs, and hot water delivery issues; and performing an engineering review of pipe samples. Other investigations such as reviewing video camera footage of the interior vent/waste piping can also be completed. The compilation of available data should then be reviewed by professionals with knowledge of plumbing systems in similar buildings experiencing similar issues. We have found the issues identified above tend

to increase exponentially throughout the years as the piping further deteriorates. The increased maintenance associated with addressing these issues should be considered as building staff must spend more time correcting them at the expense of other building needs. Based on our company’s experience, buildings constructed before 1970 can generally be in more urgent need of piping replacements compared to younger buildings.

How long will the project last? Answer: The timeframe of the project depends on the size of the building and the accessibility of the plumbing piping. Riser pipes that can be accessed from a corridor will be replaced quicker than piping accessed from a finished kitchen or bathroom. The Condominium Association’s ability to accommodate the Contractors also factors into the project length (How many elevators can the contractor utilize daily? How many workers can the building physically accommodate daily? How much onsite storage can the contractor utilize? etc.). Phased projects have the potential to create a yearly cycle of construction until the project is completed. Based on experience, we have found Condominium Associations often prefer to perform the project continuously, all at once for decreased project costs and one period of inconvenience rather than yearly construction activi-

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ties. A high-rise Condominium Association should expect the planning portion of the project to last at least a year while the construction will last months. The planning portion should be initiated well in advance of the actual riser replacement construction project.

How long will contractors be inside the condominium units and what kind of water outages will the occupants experience? Answer: If the only piping being replaced is domestic hot and cold water piping it’s common for units to be entered by the construction team for 10-20 consecutive business days depending on details of the project. When possible, piping is replaced from outside of the condominium unit. However, at least one entrance into the unit to make final connections to plumbing fixtures will still be required. If waste and vent piping need to be replaced the amount of days in a condominium unit could double or more.

What kind of water outages will the building occupants experience during the project? Answer: The design documentation and contractor should state the acceptable hours that water outages can occur, for example 8:00

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AM – 4:00 PM daily. In this example every day at 4:00 PM the water will be fully restored to the building occupants. Units will experience water outages while the main distribution piping is being replaced and when the local riser piping serving the unit is replaced. Building occupants can utilize common area facilities during these hours if they do not have a second bathroom that is not being affected during their water outages. It’s not uncommon for unit occupants to experience 10 days of water outages or more which are typically spread throughout the course of the project.

Shown here is new copper piping being installed.

Who will the project team consist of and will it impact the building staff? Answer: The building staff will be part of the project team and will need to support the project daily. For example, the Building Manager will be responsible for assisting in communication with building owners and the building engineering staff will drain/fill the domestic water piping to accommodate construction daily. The typical project team is reflected in the diagram shown below.

The Professional Engineer performs the initial engineering review, prepares the detailed design, bids the project to contractors, and provides technical assistance during construction until the project is complete. The Project Manager assists with condominium unit owner communication, project team coordination and is the main source of project organization during construction on behalf of the Condominium Association. The building staff utilizes their knowledge of the building and its occupants to assist the progress of the project. The General Contractor leads the actual construction efforts and coordinates with the owner representatives on the project. It is critical to the success of the project that each team member works collaboratively and remains in regular communication throughout the project.

The answer to each question that a Condominium Association has must be individualized for each building and each Association’s decisions. Similar buildings with similar constraints may have different project costs, durations and inconveniences due to the factors listed above. All answers listed above are based on average experiences throughout a variety of highrise condominium projects. Condominium Associations should begin the plumbing system piping replacement project by engaging a professional engineer with experience in similar projects in their area. $

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How to Make the Most of Small Outdoor Spaces Photo credit: Old Town Fiberglass

By Christen Little, Moore Landscapes, LLC In dense urban areas, every leaf is important. Even the smallest spaces provide an opportunity to add plants and create an amenity where your tenants or residents can connect with nature.

A

ccording to Christopher Lyon, president of Tournesol Siteworks, “The inclusion of amenity spaces has absolutely skyrocketed in the past few years to the point that tenants and residents expect them.” These amenity spaces may be designated outdoor workout areas, social gathering spots, employee break areas, outdoor kitchens, or just a place to spend time and relax. What the spaces have in common, Lyon says, “Is that building managers and owners want to soften the space and make it inviting. Plants are always a part of that.” Designers have responded to the surging popularity of amenity spaces with new products, materials, and construction techniques that provide an unlimited variety of structural elements and planting options for small spaces. Let’s explore the outdoor small-space trends and the freshest outdoor colors for 2019.

S P R I N G 2019

Creative solutions transform small spaces Green wall applications are growing When side to side dimensions are limited, going vertical is a practical and attractive way to introduce green elements. Green walls are threedimensional structural elements that can be attached to a wall, building, or planter, which serves as a support system for climbing vines. Mike Bell, principal of MAB Group, explained that the benefits of a green wall such as the welded-steel greenscreen® modular walls include temperature mitigation, visual screening, buffering, and creating shade. Bell said, “Absolutely, we’re seeing more demand for green walls and containers in downtown environments. Tenants and residents now expect green elements in their urban living and work spaces.” Bell noted that green walls need

Containers in vivid colors and metallic tones add plantings and visual interest to small spaces.

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BUILDINGS & ENVIRONMENTS

a soil source which can either be in-ground planting beds or containers.

Container versatility is limitless There is truly a planting container for every use and style. Two of the trends with the most traction are described by Bell and Lyon: • Rustic and natural materials are very on-trend, Lyon shared, particularly those with sustainable qualities. For example, Tournesol manufactures weathered steel containers that develop rust but don’t degrade. Wood furnishings and flooring products produced from thermally-

modified, sustainably-grown U.S. hardwoods have the beauty of natural wood with a 25-year useful life. • More contemporary, less traditional containers in every color under the sun are trending quite strong, Bell noted, along with increased demand for custom shapes and sizes. The Old Town Fiberglass product line of fiberglass planters with polyurethane coating can be shaped into virtually any application an architect or landscape architect designs.

Customized site furnishings provide complete solution Customization doesn’t end with planters and containers. Benches, tables, seating, trash and recycling receptacles, pedestrian and traffic control structures, and planters that incorporate seating are items that can be customized to create cohesive pieces for small spaces.

A view from the top When Bulley & Andrews (B&A) constructed their new headquarters two years ago in the vibrant Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, a rooftop space was always part of the plan according to Sloan Watson, marketing director for the general contracting and construction management firm. The 1,200-square-foot space was designed to host planned and impromptu client and employee gatherings and is furnished with ample comfortable seating, tables, games, fireplace, big screen TV, shade awning, and 11 large planters. Given the firm’s culture which values relationships, they wanted their outdoor spaces to foster connections among employees as well as clients, so they made the space more inviting by adding color as well as texture with the furnishings and planters. The columnar containers, inspired by species native to prairie states, were planted with grasses, sedum, sweet potato vine, and thistle that provided various heights and shades of bright greens and deep purples plus a pop of pink. The containers are strategically placed at the terrace entrance to welcome guests outdoors and to soften the hardscape elements without impeding the incredible views of the neighborhood, several nearby B&A projects, and the Chicago skyline.

2019 color trends Color has a big impact in small spaces and this year’s trending colors are perfectly suited for landscape applications. The popular cool deep bluish- and gray-green tones create soothing, destressing environments while vivid pinks and coral energize a space. Here are a few ways to keep intimate spaces fresh by incorporating the newest color trends. • “Living Coral,” Pantone’s 2019 color of the year, is gorgeous in the landscape and contrasts especially well with deep blues, purples and greens. • Pink is an empowering color that imbues confidence, joy and playfulness. This year, layering multiple shades of the pink spectrum from the palest light pink Helleborus to vivid pink tulips or deep red pansies, and even brown eucalyptus, is a trend that guarantees an uplifting, multi-dimensional color display. • Bright containers, especially those produced in company colors, are an increasingly popular way to extend a corporate brand to outdoor

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spaces. While most neutral container shades work well with any flower color, bright container colors need to be considered when selecting annuals, perennials and holiday décor to avoid clashing with the strong base color.

Ready to transform your small space? If your building has a small underutilized or outdated outdoor space, following is a step-bystep design approach to help you create a useful and welcoming outdoor asset. 1. Inventory existing conditions The landscape designer’s first step of any design project is an inventory and assessment of the site’s existing conditions. For urban spaces, particular attention is paid to nearby environmental factors that generate noise, distracting views and odors, such as parking garages, traffic and dumpsters. Consideration of microclimates is especially important for both plant selection and the comfort of users, as some small spaces may not receive any direct sunlight and likely have altered air circulation patterns due to the position and density of urban structures. Rooftop spaces may be subjected to intense heat and unrestricted winds.

The style of any existing landscape and building furnishings will be assessed, so that additions are cohesive. For example, a formal boxwood hedge would be incompatible with prairie-style perennials. Accessibility for landscape maintenance tasks will be evaluated. Elevations and grade changes will be measured, so appropriate flooring options can be designed. 2. Define purpose and use The next step is to define the general purpose of the space. Will it be an active place for employees to enjoy lunch and breaks outdoors or a mini oasis to de-stress and connect with nature? Is the space large enough to host gatherings, outdoor classes, or performances? What time of day, evening or night will the space be open for use? 3. Determine requirements for structural elements and furnishings The purpose of the site guides design decisions about the type of fixed structural elements and furnishings that are needed to support the proposed uses. For example, dense screening may be needed to block or filter noise, odors and undesirable views. A lunch table with four chairs will require at least 120 square feet of space. Seat walls can do double duty by containing raised planting beds and offering informal seating. Fireplaces and water features require

infrastructure support and additional maintenance considerations. Flooring establishes the tone for a space and can visually expand small spaces by providing continuity to adjacent indoor spaces or the streetscape or can provide definition and separation. There are several important factors to consider when choosing between deck versus patio flooring materials. • Patios are built directly on the ground or more specifically, on a prepared sub-base. Elevation differences between the outdoor space and building thresholds must be resolved for accessibility. If a grade change is significant, building up the site with stone, fill dirt or retaining walls can get expensive so introducing multiple levels or using a deck may be a more costeffective option. • Decks need a minimum of 18 inches of space between the ground and deck surface to accommodate structural supports and prevent wood rot issues. • Specialty lightweight hardscape applications for rooftop flooring include wood, concrete and porcelain pavers. When installing flooring on an existing rooftop, an underfloor system is typically installed to provide a level surface for the paving material.

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[ Natural materials with sustainable qualities are especially desirable for intimate outdoor gathering spaces.

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While shade and site conditions may limit the number of colorful tree and shrub options, annual flowers, certain perennials, and interesting containers can provide the intense bursts of color, strong focal points, and soothing hues that small spaces need. 5. Site design and furnishings specification With the site uses and parameters defined, the creative process fully engages to develop imaginative solutions and define specifications for plant material and hardscape elements. Population density continues to increase, yet urban residents still crave a connection to the natural environment. Maximizing every opportunity to turn small spaces into valuable amenities will delight tenants and residents and enhance the desirability of your property. $

Coral color tulips pair beautifully with deep purple and yellow pansies for an on-trend seasonal color display.

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Photo credit: Bulley & Andrews

Photo credit: Tournesol Siteworks

4. Establish plant palette Sun exposure, location and problems to be solved strongly dictate plant material selection. For example, spaces with deep shade, planting areas exposed to salt spray from sidewalk and street de-icing treatments, or areas frequented by dogs will all require plant material capable of tolerating those elements.

[ Bulley & Andrews’ rooftop terrace provides a comfortable outdoor space to host planned and impromptu client and employee gatherings.


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