Inspiration Kitchens

Wheeler Kearns Architects received almost $47,000 in grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation for their Garfield Park project, Inspiration Kitchens, a resource for food-service training and job placement for Chicagoans in need. The 7,800-square-foot facility, just off the Central Park Green Line El stop, includes an 80-seat restaurant and a kitchen from which a 13-week service, catering, and training program is conducted. In order to keep the costs of running the nonprofit organization low, Wheeler Kearns was tasked with the goal of making the space as efficient as possible. To do this, they utilized low-flow plumbing fixtures in restrooms and the commercial kitchen as well as drought-tolerant native landscaping. The architects also added two arrays of evacuated solar tube panels, which generates up to 55 percent of the domestic hot water used in building.