CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the U.S. Green Building Council has ranked Illinois number one among all 50 states in the sustainable building design movement. Illinois has more than 29 million square feet of certified green buildings, or 2.29 square feet for every resident. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
“Both the public and private sectors in Illinois recognize that long-term investments in 21st century infrastructure should be done in ways that reduce energy consumption and protect the environment,” Governor Quinn said. “Illinois is proud to be the nation’s green buildings leader, and we are proof that a smaller environmental footprint can help us step toward energy independence.”
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) ranking of the Top 10 States for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) highlights the regions around the country that are at the forefront of the movement for sustainable building design, construction and operation. Utilizing less energy and water, LEED-certified spaces save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
“In the face of the extraordinary global challenge of climate change, our national imperative to create resource-efficient and cost-effective green buildings has never been greater,” USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi said. “Illinois has a strong base of dedicated individuals who are using LEED to transform its built infrastructure into high-performing spaces that promote the health of our planet and the people who use these buildings each and every day.”
“Illinois’ national ranking is the result of the robust network of businesses committed to sustainability working together with elected officials who understand the benefits of green building,” said Brian Imus, executive director of the Chicago-based USGBC Illinois Chapter. “It’s great to see passion from so many people making an impact and moving Illinois closer to the goal of everyone living, working and learning in a green and healthy building.”
The per-capita list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects that were certified throughout 2013. Illinois certified 171 projects representing 29,415,284 square feet of real estate, or 2.29 square feet per resident, in 2013. USGBC calculates the list using per-capita figures as a measure of the human element of green building, allowing for a fair comparison of the level of green building taking place among states with significant differences in population and, accordingly, number of overall buildings.
A few notable projects that certified in Illinois in 2013 include:
- The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, LEED Gold
- Choices Mental Health Facility in Ottawa, LEED Platinum
- 300 North LaSalle, a 57-story, 1.3 million-square-foot tower in Chicago developed and managed by USGBC Platinum Member Hines, LEED Platinum
- The Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria, LEED Gold
- Engine Company 16 in Chicago, LEED Platinum
- Lincoln Hall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, LEED Platinum
- Powell Elementary School in Chicago, LEED Gold
- Lincoln Land Community College Workforce Development Center in Springfield, LEED Silver
The full ranking of the top 10 states includes:
||Projects certified in 2013
||Square feet LEED certified in 2013
||Per-capita square footage
*Washington, D.C., is not ranked as it is a federal district, not a state.
Collectively, 1,777 commercial and institutional projects became LEED certified within the top 10 states in 2013, representing 226.8 million square feet of real estate. Worldwide, 4,642 projects were certified in 2013, representing 596.8 million square feet.
More than 20,000 projects representing 2.9 billion square feet of space have been LEED-certified worldwide, with another 37,000 projects representing 7.6 billion square feet in the pipeline for certification.
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. Their LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. More than 57,000 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising 10.5 billion square feet of construction space in 147 countries and territories. In addition, more than 50,000 residential units have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system. Learn more at usgbc.org/LEED.