How an entrepreneur could help green Chicago

Vince Cushing Jr. has a pretty impressive pedigree when it comes to building things. His grandfather, John Cushing, was a civil engineer, and the namesake of  Notre Dame’s Cushing Hall, where Vince Jr. heard lectures while pursuing his own engineering degree.

Now Cushing has a new project in the works and it could mean a more energy-efficient city. QCoefficient Inc. turns skyscrapers into their own private powerhouses for heating and cooling, potentially lowering energy costs by up to 40 percent according to the company. For companies that use QCoefficient’s sevice, software is installed in their building that monitors temperature forecasts. If a particularly hot day was on the way, the building’s thermostats would be set to super-cool the building overnight, when energy is cheaper and cooler outside temperatures make it easier. The cold would seep into the building’s core structure, then slowly be released during the day, functioning as a kind of air conditioning.

QCoefficient Inc. is gaining speed at an opportune time; President Obama is visiting Argonne National Laboratory in the western suburbs this Friday. The topic of his speech there: Energy.

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