Green designer passes

Chico-raised sustainable-building designer dies at 55 years old

Kevin Kurtz Pierce, a Chicago-based sustainable-building designer who was raised in Chico, died on May 2 at age 55 after a fight with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor.

Pierce (pictured) designed the Chicago Center for Green Technology, the Windy City’s flagship green building and the first U.S. municipal structure to earn a Platinum certification by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), according to his obituary on He served as sustainability consultant for the Green Exchange, a sustainability-focused business group, and also designed more than 300 affordable, sustainable housing units in Chicago and Indiana.

Pierce and his wife, Annie Morse, shared a modest brick house in Chicago, and their devotion to reusing found materials and recycling was well known. Several of his family members, including his mother, artist Ann T. Pierce, still live in the Chico area.