O'Hare Is Going Green

January 15, 2008

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The federal government is footing the bill for the $42 million construction of a new air traffic control tower at O'Hare International Airport. It's scheduled to begin operating in late November. Officials say it'll be the first green air traffic control tower in the U.S.

Air travel may never be completely environmentally clean, but Chicago's trying to make it a little greener.

ANDOLINO: It'll be the first air traffic control tower in the country with a vegetative green roof on the base building of the tower.

That's executive director of O'Hare Modernization Program Rosemarie Andolino. She says the city's working green design into all areas of the airport's $15 billion expansion plan.

It's recycling materials from building demolitions and even making the plumbing more efficient.

ANDOLINO: Low flush toilets and water that comes on and off so it's controlled as well.

Andolino says O'Hare developed its own green design manual because the U.S. Green Building Council didn't have guidelines for airports.