HSBC Seeks USGBC's Gold Certification for new Mettawa Headquarters, Benfield reacts

Planning Stages - Chicago Business: " (Crain's) — In a boost to the suburban commercial real estate market, HSBC North America Holdings Inc. announced Monday it has chosen Mettawa as the site of its new 440,000 square-foot headquarters.

Ground-breaking for the structure will begin in spring 2006, with a completion date set for the first quarter of 2008, the company said. Mettawa is about 5 miles southwest of Lake Forest."

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Development and Construction - International Herald Tribune: "HSBC, the giant London-based bank, has moved its North American headquarters to a sprawling facility that it bills as carbon neutral in this hamlet just north of Chicago.

The 560,000-square-foot building, a five-story, H-shaped structure, was developed for more than $100 million on 29 acres, or 12 hectares, with easy access to Interstate 94, between Chicago and Milwaukee."

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Reaction - Kaid Benfield: "God, where to start. What we really have here is yet another high-tech building calling itself “green” but that warrants the label only if you completely discount the sprawling, totally automobile-dependent location. Research proves that buildings in sprawling locations cause far more carbon emissions from employees and visitors driving to and from them than they save with energy-efficient building technology."

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