Cascade Blog And Press

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Lendlease is proud of our efforts to improve the performance of our buildings in Chicago and around the globe, and our residents are a big part of our success!

Read on to learn about our sustainability practices and how you can help support these goals and a healthier planet while living at Cascade and Cirrus.

How Will Lendlease Achieve Absolute Zero?

  1. Create a decarbonization investment strategy by 2021
  2. Phase out diesel and gas in our operations
  3. Use 100% renewable electricity before 2020
  4. Collaborate with supply chain partners to set pathways to achieve absolute zero carbon by 2030
  5. Collaborate with our tenants and residents to transition to renewable electricity and achieve absolute zero by 2040

Sustainability and Maker’s Space

Our Sustainability and Maker’s Space amenity offers our residents the opportunity to undertake creative projects and explore sustainable living. In this space, residents can learn simple yet effective ways they can incorporate sustainability into their daily lives. Learn about upcycling, waste best practices, and transparency around Cascade’s sustainability with the information available in this space.

In addition to educational resources, the Sustainability & Maker’s Space offers everyday conveniences such as gardening kits, sewing machines and patchwork kits, shoe polishing materials, hot glue guns for repairing products, and more – all to help our residents explore minimizing their eco-footprints. We also host events throughout the year in this space on a variety of topics, which will be posted in the resident mobile apps.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency is built into Cascade, and we continue to monitor building performance every year. Both buildings have been designed to ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standards - an international basis for energy efficiency. Cirrus and Cascade are designed to achieve a 26.6% and 27.3% reduction from baseline in modeled energy costs. In 2023, Cascade earned EnergyStar certification with a score of 85%, meaning that it performs better than 85% of the buildings of its type in the USA!

We continue to monitor our performance quarterly and annually to identify opportunities for improvement. Additionally, all our base building electricity is sourced from renewable power while we also procure renewable energy credits for our gas consumption (RECs), to help offset the buildings’ carbon emissions. Residents are responsible for procuring their own electricity in units and are encouraged to source renewable energy.

Water Use

Equipped with strategies like low flow water fixtures, which help to reduce water consumption in our buildings, Cascade has been able to reduce water consumption from baseline by 30%. We leverage submetering throughout the property to track water flow and consumption. Our landscaping practices utilize zoning controls, moisture sensors, and drip irrigation, the most efficient form of watering for a site. Cascade hosts a 10,000-gallon cistern for rainwater collection, which is used to irrigate most of our landscaping.

Enhancing Biodiversity

Biodiversity is critical to supporting healthy ecosystems in urban environments just as much as in rural and natural areas. Cascade has integrated green roofs, open spaces, and bee hives to support biodiversity and ecosystem health in our neighborhood:

Green Roofs and Open Space

Cascade has benefits from green roofs and extensive open space. Did you know that over 60% of Cascade’s rooftop is vegetated and 85% off the project sites, are open space?

When Cascade opened its doors in August of 2021, we launched a partnership with The Roof Crop, a local organization focused on promoting sustainability ecology, and community engagement through green roofs and urban farms.

Green roofs and green open space can provide a multitude of benefits:

  • Improved stormwater management - helping reduce flood risk and runoff of pollutants into natural waters
  • Increased energy savings through reduced need for heating and air conditioning
  • Habitat creation for plants and animals critical to local and regional biodiversity
  • Natural sanctuary for people in urban spaces, a benefit shown to reduce stress and increase sleep quality, productivity, and creativity


Our partnership with The Roof Crop includes hosting five bee hives on the roof of Cascade each summer season. Bees provide an invaluable service to the ecosystem by supporting pollination of plant species. At least one third of human food supply from crops and plants depends on insect pollination, most of which is done by bees. Throughout the year we will host educational tours for tenants to see the hives in person and learn more about our hives and the benefits they are serving. You can find these events in the resident mobile app.

Alternative and Fossil Fuel Free Transportation

Looking to get around without a vehicle? Try out Divvy Bikes, a bike share program that you can book directly through the Lyft app. Take a ride along the lakefront, just steps away, where there is a dedicated bike lane and a beautiful lakefront view. You can also find a covered bus stop just a five-minute walk at Randolph and Field that can connect you to the vast public transport network we have here in Chicago. Convenient access to the nearby Pedway System will also connect residents to a variety of locations throughout the city without having to step a foot outside.

Avoiding Waste

The best way to support the planet is by reducing the number of resources you consume and dispose of. During construction, both Cirrus and Cascade were able to divert over 75% of our construction waste from landfill, and we hope by educating our residents they will continue to support waste diversion practices in operation.

How can I reduce my waste?

  • Donate Clothing: Throughout the year we host a clothing and shoe donation drive to help give lightly worn clothing a second life.
  • Compost: Composting is available to all residents and compost bins can on LL5. We offer complimentary countertop compost bins by request at the front desk.
  • Sort Cardboard: Our onsite cardboard baler also helps to recycle cardboard and reduces contamination by having its own waste stream. Oversize cardboard can be placed in the boxes provided in the waste rooms.
  • Battery Waste: Our battery recycling bin can be found in the Sustainability and Maker’s Space.
  • Electronics: Your local Best Buy, Staples, or Dell offers complimentary recycling of e-waste and properly disposes of the materials.
  • Thin Plastics: Plastic bags and the plastic wrap from toilet paper and paper towels can be recycled at local retailers like Jewel, Mariano's, and Best Buy.

Encouraging Active Living

At Cascade, we understand that individual health and mobility are critical elements of sustainable living. That’s why we offer 12 complimentary fitness classes every week for our residents. With a variety of dedicated fitness spaces including cardio and strength rooms and a versatile fitness studio, the options are endless.

Our walkable location minimizes the need for cars and promotes physical activity and connections with nature. We are centrally located and connected to the rest of the city, earning our property a Walk Score of 85, a Transit Score of 89, and a Bike Score of 85. Additionally, both properties are ActiveScore certified – a standard that determines a given site’s active travel friendliness- with Cascade achieving Platinum certification.

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