Chicago’s LEED-ing Initiative

Scott Campbell made the acute realization that sustainable plans of the past have been largely unrealistic, prompting a call for action in favor of redefining sustainability (Campbell, 1). Chicago has responded to this call with a new program known as LEED. LEED is a rating system to measure the level of sustainability of buildings based on the design, operation, construction, and maintenance of green buildings (Green Building). LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED verifies that buildings, homes, and community centers are built based on safe, green criteria, including water saving, energy efficiency, and above-standard environmental quality. Chicago has 124 LEED buildings thus far, beginning with the first in 2002 after Mayor Richard M. Daley opened the Chicago Center for Green Technology (Grist). 32 of the buildings are municipal structures. The Ogilvie Transportation Center, one of two major transportation hubs in Chicago, is one of the most well-known LEED buildings, with a high level of LEED certification. LEED projects in Chicago mostly center around green roofs and buildings that allow for the mass storage of storm water, which Chicago receives much of. Green rooftops are responsible for four million square feet that cool the city and absorb rain water efficiently. The LEED program has aided Chicago in creating a more sustainable city.


3 thoughts on “Chicago’s LEED-ing Initiative

  1. Great post! Green roofs are such a wonderful way to beautify cities and make them more sustainable. They reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect and greenhouse gases because they absorb CO2 and release oxygen we use to breathe (source: Trees also provide shade and can lower energy costs by cooling buildings. This is great for cities because of all the buildings we house and how much energy is wasted through them. I wonder if UIC will ever incorporate green roofs on our buildings?


  2. This is an interesting post. I really like how Chicago has been able to progress its way to be more sustainable through this program. LEED seems to be the program that could potentially inspire others to sustain on the resources used in buildings.


  3. I understand that the GLD cluster (grant lincoln and Douglas halls) is LEED certified! The windows are built with light/heat sensitive glass, which control the temperature and the shades in the classrooms. Also I believe the ground in that area collect rain water which is used for a sprinklwr system of some sort on campus. Pretty interesting, I heard theyre hoping to do the same in the Burnham Adams and Taft buildings as well! (I was taught this all in training to give tours of campus)


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