LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design)

November 11th, 2015

Mirror, mirror on the wall…


rebuilding exchange

Chicago’s Rebuilding Exchange is offering a variety of workshops, including one this Saturday, November 14th, 2015 to build a mirror from reclaimed wood and mirrors at their exchange.

The Mirror Make It Take It workshop allows participants to choose a salvaged mirror and then build their own frame from pre-selected reclaimed wood to fit the mirror.

If your house already has enough mirrors, they are also offering workshops for coat racks, cutting boards, side tables, or holiday wreaths.  Tickets are limited and workshops do sell out, so be sure to reserve your spot in advance.

A complete list of upcoming workshops can be found on the Rebuilding Exchange’s event website.

Rebuilding Exchange is a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to create a market for reclaimed building materials. Since their inception in 2009, Rebuilding Exchange has diverted 9444.64 tons of building materials from the landfill, and has simultaneously created over $2 million worth of quality reuse materials available to the public.  Find out more at rebuildingexchange.org

August 26th, 2015

Free Energy-Saving Products Available for Homeowners

Did you know that Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, and ComEd offer a variety of free and discounted energy-savings products to homeowners?

The Home Energy Jumpstart program offers free energy assessments to single-family homeowners, two-flats, and individually metered condos and townhomes. Participants will receive a personalized assessment with recommendations for energy upgrades that qualify for Home Energy Rebates.  This program offers HVAC, water heater, and weatherization rebates.

These assessments also include the installation of free energy-saving devices including:

Smart thermostats and Energy Star certified LED light bulbs are available at a discounted price and include free installation.

More information about the program can be found on the Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, and ComEd websites.

Properties with three or more units are eligible to participate in the Multi-Family Energy Savings Program, which provides many of the same opportunities for free and discounted energy savings products to larger buildings.

Refer A Friend. Get Entered To Win A Little Something Extra.

For a limited time, you can also refer others and get entered to win one of three gift cards in a monthly drawing. After the energy advisor installs your free products, they’ll give you a unique referral code. For each of your referrals who participates in the program using your unique code, you’ll be entered into a monthly drawing for a $25, $50 or $100 gift card. If you have previously participated in the program or would simply like a code to share, call 844-367-5867 to get your unique referral code. Certain terms and conditions apply.

July 21st, 2015

Incentives available to reduce energy costs

Chicago Metro Metal Consortium, the Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing, and S&C Electric invite you to join them on July 30th, 2015 (8:00am – 10:00am) to learn about energy incentives available for manufacturers.

This free program will feature:

  • An overview of S&C Electric’s energy conservation and efficiency efforts
  • Presentation by Hill Mechanical, a contractor that performs the construction work for these initiatives, on solutions — and cost offsets — for building systems retrofits.
  • Information on utility programs & rebates available from ComEd and People’s / North Shore Gas

The event will conclude with a tour and demonstration of S&C’s smart grid and an opportunity for networking with energy and innovation experts. A complimentary continental breakfast will be served.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Ptak
Cook County Bureau of Economic Development

Register online at the Energy Incentives for Manufacturers website.

June 29th, 2015

Summer Institute on Sustainability & Energy – Applications due July 1st

SISE logoUniversity of Illinois at Chicago is hosting the 5th Annual Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy from August 6th through August 18th.  Applications are due July 1st, 2015.

The SISE Program

The Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) is a two-week intensive workshop and lecture series for students and professionals.  From August 6-18, a diverse body of participants will engage a broad spectrum of energy and sustainability-related topics through daily presentations, collaborative projects, mentoring activities, site visits, and networking opportunities with leading research institutions and companies in the digital technology and energy sectors. The issues presented will be of interest to scientists, economists, political scientists, urban planners, engineers, architects, and entrepreneurs.

2015 Theme: Digital Rebirth

SISE will 1) explore the crossroads of digital manufacturing, smart cities, and energy; 2) dive deep into specific applications such as smart grid and the connected vehicle; and 3) theorize how these innovations can usher in a more sustainable future. Topics will revolve around integration; sourcing and use of supply; reduction of waste; energy and resource demands; big data collection and use; anticipation, reaction, and adaptation to the unexpected; and sensors, connectivity, and cybersecurity.

Applications and more information on the program can be found at: sise.uic.edu

October 28th, 2014

Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award Winner

Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award 2014 web

Gabriel is proud to announce that we have been awarded a 2014 Governor’s Sustainability Award for the continuous improvements we have made at our Chicago headquarters.

Since 1987, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has presented Governor’s Awards to organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices.

At a luncheon last week, Gabriel was recognized with several other Illinois companies and communities for our achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy.

“Investing in sustainability creates jobs, boosts our economy and is an investment in our future,” Governor Quinn said. “These awards foster innovation and encourage our universities and businesses to help us build a stronger, greener Illinois.”

Since earning our initial Governor’s Award in 2011, Gabriel has undertaken several additional sustainability initiatives:

  • Installation of 126 additional solar photovoltaic panels (total number of panels is now 162, with a capacity of 42,000 watts)
  • Purchase of three electric vehicles (Nissan Leaf – 100% electric; Chevy Volt and Ford C-Max Energi – plug-in electric/gas hybrids)
  • Installation of three Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations
  • Installation of experimental geothermal system for our walk-in cooler

These efforts have resulted in an overall 282% increase in solar energy generated and a decrease of 25,870 lbs (11.7 metric tons) of CO2 emissions (compared to traditional energy sources).

Additionally, we’ve seen a 70% annualized reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the three vehicles replaced with the electric vehicles.  In 2013, our annualized GHG emissions were reduced by 18.12 MTCO2e.

For more information about Gabriel’s sustainability efforts, visit our Environmental Commitment webpage.

For more information about the Governor’s Sustainability Awards, visit ISTC’s Award webpage.



October 14th, 2014

Free E3 (Economy, Energy and Environment) Assistance Available

E3 logo horz

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC), ComEd, Cook County, Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, and Calumet Area Industrial Commission have partnered to provide free E3 technical assistance to South Cook County Industrial facilities.

Economy, Energy, and Environment (E3) ensures that a company’s environmental resources and 3M resources – Manpower, Machine, and Money – are utilized as effectively as possible, with minimal impact on the earth’s ecology.

E3 joins forces with local communities to connect small and medium-sized manufacturers with experts from federal agencies, states, and regions. In each E3 community, teams conduct customized technical assessments and offer practical, sustainable approaches that manufacturers can incorporate into their operations.

Learn more at the South Cook County E3 Kick-off Meeting on Thursday, October 30th, 2014 (9am – 11:30am), at Prairie State College Conference Center (202 S. Halsted St, Chicago Heights).  RSVP to Vinod Patel by October 24th to vapatel@illinois.edu.

Attendees will learn about the E3 program, including free on-site services and technical assistance.  E3 performance focus areas include:

  • Energy Conservation
  • Cooling Water Tower & Energy Management
  • Water Footprinting
  • Waste Reduction at Source
  • Lean & Green Manufacturing Practices
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

This program is intended for the manufacturing and industrial sectors in south Cook County.  Learn more about this E3 partnership with their brochure.



September 24th, 2014

Join Gabriel for the Illinois Solar Tour


Gabriel is proud to be a host site for this year’s Illinois Solar Tour on Saturday, October 4th.  This free, self-guided tour will be held from 10:00am – 2:00pm.

Stop by our Chicago headquarters to view our 162 solar panels, geothermal systems, and rain barrel system, as well as learn about the economics of our solar energy system.

The Illinois Solar Tour gives you the opportunity to:

  • Visit multiple renewable energy installations in your neighborhood
  •  See and learn about:

– solar electric (PV)
– solar thermal (hot water and space heating)
– small wind (horizontal and vertical)
– geothermal
– and passive solar design

  • Speak with knowledgeable professionals and homeowners
  • Meet like-minded neighbors
  • Hear the owners’ stories about why they chose to install renewable energy, their experiences with it, and how this decision has enhanced their lives.


This is a self-guided tour, so you get to choose which homes and businesses (host sites) to visit, how many, and when, within the 10:00am – 2:00pm time span.  Host sites have been chosen within each geographic region for their proximity to others and to facilitate the option of visiting all of them. Each host site tour will take anywhere from 15 – 45 minutes, depending on the size of the site and the number of renewable energy installations.

For more information on  the Illinois Solar Tour, visit illinoissolartour.org/The_Tour

Solar Array on Gabriel's Roof

Part of Gabriel’s solar array

September 15th, 2014

2014 Governor’s Sustainability Award Finalist

ISTClogoGabriel is pleased to announce that we have been named as a Finalist for the 2014 Governor’s Sustainability Award.  The Governor’s Award is given to companies and organizations that implement techniques or technologies that reduce or eliminate pollutants, toxicity and other environmental impacts, including the amount of and/or toxicity of pollutants that would have otherwise been released into the environment.

Gabriel made the Finalist list due to our recent solar panel expansion as well as our use of electric cars and hybrid cars.  We increased our solar panel array from 36 PV panels to 162 panels, for a total capacity of 42,000 watts (visit our Picasa photo album of the expansion).  Our fleet currently features three Prius hybrids, a Nissan Leaf (all electric), Chevy Volt (electric-gas hybrid), and Ford C-Max (electric-gas hybrid).

Winners will be announced on October 23rd, 2014, so stay tuned for another announcement next month!

May 2nd, 2014

Strack & Van Til Celebrates LEED Store

LEED silver certificationOn April 22nd, Gabriel joined Strack & Van Til to celebrate their first silver LEED certification at their Cedar Lake, IN grocery store.  At this Earth Day event, the first 100 shoppers received reusable grocery bags and other eco-friendly products, including giveaways from Gabriel.

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.

Gabriel is proud to be one of Strack & Van Til’s LEED partners for this innovative store.  We assisted our clients by conducting LEED air quality sampling and analysis.  Strack & Van Til achieved their Silver Certification by using sustainable site development, increasing energy efficiency, decreasing water usage, and maintaining indoor environmental quality.

“Companywide, we’re trying to reduce our energy stamp. It makes sense now to spend the extra money,” said John Ritchie, director of facilities for Strack & Van Til.

Strack - LEED Silver

To learn more about how Gabriel can help with your project’s LEED certification, contact Bill Gray (bgray[at]gabenv.com) or John Polich (jpolich[at]gabenv.com).

More information about Strack & Van Til’s LEED-certified store is available at:



More information about LEED certification is available at www.usgbc.org/leed

Photo credit: Northwest Indiana Times

Photo credit: Northwest Indiana Times