More and more, developers and boards are opting to “go green” when embarking on new construction projects or updating an existing property. Innovations and upgrades include solar roofs, energy efficient lighting and appliances that use fewer resources to deliver superior results and save money. With these inherent benefits, boards and managing agents are expressing interest in all things green, which is in line with Illinois’s celebrated reputation as a leader in sustainable residential design and development.
In January 2013, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that Illinois was ranked fourth in the nation in new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications.
“Illinois has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable-built environment within a generation,” Jason Hartke, USGBC vice president of advocacy and policy said. “I applaud the extraordinary leadership of those in Illinois—designers, architects, chapter advocates, public officials, everyday citizens—who are working to create the healthiest possible environment for people to work, live and play in.”
The annual study ranks states based on the amount of LEED-certified space per capita. With 140 million square feet of LEED-certified space, Illinois certified 1.94 square feet per resident—behind only the states of Virginia, Colorado and Massachusetts. Last year, Illinois certified 156 LEED projects including the Chicago Center for Green Technology and the KONE Centre in Moline, which is the first Illinois project to earn a platinum rating.
“We are so proud of our state’s achievements in green building,” states Katie Kaluzny, interim executive director, USGBC Illinois Chapter. “We look forward to continued partnerships with state and local leaders to advance sustainable building and communities across Illinois.”