City Cast

Illinois is a LEED Leader

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on January 26   |   Updated on May 29
A lit up 800 Fulton Market sitting across from cloudy weather

800 Fulton Market on the Near West Side. (Wikimedia Commons)

Who was the No. 2 state in green buildings last year? Illinois.

We’ve been in the U.S. Green Building Council’s top 10 since the rankings started in 2010. Today, we’re diving into green buildings around the city.

First, what is the LEED certification program?

Since its inception 25 years ago, LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — has been used to rank buildings’ sustainabilityon factors like materials, energy use, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and location.

When did Illinois become a leader in green buildings?

A North Chicago development was the fourth LEED-certified project in the U.S. in 2001, the city hosted a green architecture expo in 2007, and Illinois has long pushed for environmental policies, the Tribune reported.

Where are some of the newest LEED buildings in Chicago? 

More than 90 buildings were LEED-certified in the state last year, many of which are in the Chicago area. Here’s one from each LEED category:

  • 800 Fulton Market is a Near West Side platinum-certified office building. 
  • Altgeld Family Resource Center is a gold-certified building with a library branch, child care center, and community space in Altgeld Gardens. 
  • Ogden Commons, certified silver, is a multi-use North Lawndale development with a health center, restaurants, and more. Housing will be developed in a later phase of the project. 
  • Beard Elementary School Pre-K Annex in Norwood Park got the most basic LEED certification.

Check out more LEED buildings in Illinois and across the country.

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