Chicago tops the nation in green building projects

Jul. 06, 2011
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

It makes sense the city dyes its river on St. Paddy’s Day – Chicago is green city.

The U.S. Green Building Council recently noted that the Emerald, er, Windy City has the highest number of square feet of LEED-certified green building projects nationally with 71 million square feet.

That 71 million is made up of 736 LEED projects that are either already certified or currently in process of certification in Chicago. Of those, 122 are certified or registered using LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, which addresses whole-building cleaning and maintenance issues, recycling programs, exterior maintenance programs and system upgrades. Nationally, the amount of square feet of space certified under LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance grew by 72 percent from 2009 to 2010. (Currently, more than 18 percent of all LEED projects nationally fall under the LEED for Existing Buildings rating system.)

Green and energy-efficient features and products continue to influence consumer demand, especially in real estate.

According to a National Association of Realtors survey toward the end of 2010, 13 percent of the national Multiple Listing Services had live searchable fields for green home features. Another 11 percent said they were in the process of implementing these fields, with an additional 13 percent saying they were in the planning stages.