A city like Chicago with a ton of buildings uses a lot of energy. A policy that Chicago implemented was to have LEED come in and have the buildings tested to see if they are eco friendly. LEED has been testing buildings in Chicago since 2004.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is changing the way we think about how buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated. Leaders around the world have made LEED the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings, with around 1.85 million square feet being certified daily. Chicago’s Sustainable Development Policy mandates that projects receiving financial or zoning assistance from the city include sustainable elements such as green roofs, LEED certification, or designs that allow structures to absorb large amounts of storm water. While higher building costs were associated with constructing the city’s first LEED certified buildings, prices have gone down as architects and contractors become more familiar with the practices and materials used in sustainable building. Some of the building’s environmentally friendly features are a geothermal heating system, a green roof, ceiling tiles made of recycled newspapers, and floors of recycled carpeting and cork. Since Chicago has had ‘LEED’ test the buildings, Chicago has one of the highest number certified buildings in the U.S.