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12th Annual Emerald Awards Announced

April 12, 2017

Top Leaders and Projects Recognized for Positioning Illinois as National Green Building Leader
Read More!

George Malek and Google to be honored on May 18th

May 5, 2017

Announcement from the USGBC-Illinois Board Chair

I’m happy to announce that the USGBC-Illinois Board of Directors has selected George Malek and Google to receive the 2017 Chapter Mission Awards. Celebrate with them and over 400 other green building professionals at the Emerald Awards Ceremony held at Limelight on May 18th.

The Mission Awards recognize achievements in Illinois that reflect USGBC-Illinois’ mission to bring the benefits of green building best practices to more people and more buildings.

Individual Mission Award: George Malek is honored for his many years of leadership in advancing energy efficiency in Illinois. In his professional capacity at ComEd and as a volunteer with a number of organizations over the years, he has demonstrated a true passion for piloting new ideas and advancing best practices that have positively impacted our communities.

Project Mission Award: Google’s Chicago office in the West Loop is raising the bar by being one of the first projects in the world to certify under LEEDv4, achieve Living Building Challenge Petal certification and WELL Building certification simultaneously!

I hope you’ll celebrate with George, Google and other sustainability leaders from across the region. Purchase tickets for the awards ceremony and celebration here to support our advocacy, education and community engagement to advance green buildings that strengthen our neighborhoods.

More details about the event and our sponsors can be found here.
Read the press release about all the Emerald Award winners this year here.


Chris Dillion, President of Campbell Coyle and
2017 Chair, USGBC-Illinois Board of Directors

Three Illinois Schools Recognized for Sustainability Efforts

February 14, 2017

Chicago, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and US Green Building Council – Illinois (USGBC-Illinois) announced on February 14th, 2017 the state’s three winners of the Illinois Green Ribbon School Award program. The program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, protect student and staff health and wellness, and offer environmental education. The three recipients are Chiaravalle Montessori in Evanston, Maercker Intermediate School in Westmont, and Western Trails Elementary School in Carol Stream.  Click here to view the entire press release.

Program Sponsor Opportunities

March 7, 2017

Reach your target audience by sponsoring one of our upcoming education and networking events.  Program Sponsors are recognized in marketing materials, day-of signage, event announcements and through social media. Various levels to meet any budget and all sponsors receive complimentary tickets and a marketing table for the event.

3/15 Drink Up & Drawdown (Carbon)

3/21 Prioritizing Sustainable Actions

3/23 Emerging Professionals House Party

4/12 Chiaravalle Montessori LEED Platinum Tour

4/20 Chicago Thrives! Resilience Symposium

5/18 Limelight Fundraiser

Contact Joan Martin for more information at 312-245-8300 X 205

Special Message from our 2017 Limelight Honorary Co-Chairs

March 14, 2017


Illinois in LEED Top 10 list for 4th consecutive year

January 25, 2017

Illinois earned third place in USGBC & LEED annual Top 10 list.

The results are in! All of the states that make up USGBC’s LEED Top 10 list have done an extraordinary job promoting LEED and making sustainable solutions a priority. View the list »

Illinois certified 151 projects representing 36,188,485 square feet of real estate, or 2.82 square feet per resident, in 2016.

“Illinois remains a green building leader year in and year out thanks to the passionate and committed network of sustainability professionals here,” said Brian Imus, executive director, USGBC – Illinois Chapter. “Building on this success and expertise, our network is already gearing up for more in the years to come. That means implementing green buildings and carbon drawdown strategies that will strengthen the health and livability of every neighborhood in Illinois.”

Take a second to congratulate yourself, your colleagues, your legislators, and your friends on a job well done!


Share the good news using the hashtag #Top10LEED on Twitter and Facebook.

2017 Board of Directors Announced

December 27, 2016

Rand Ekman, HKS
Susan Heinking, Pepper Construction Company
Patricia Lloyd, Leopardo Companies, Inc.
Jeremy Manion, Office Depot
Dhruti Patel, Goby Inc.
Rick Tonielli, ComEd

Rand Ekman, Susan Heinking, Patricia Lloyd, Jeremy Manion, Dhruti Patel and Rick Tonielli will join the following current board members to complete the 2017 Board of Directors:  

Christopher Dillion, Campbell Coyle Real Estate (Incoming Chair)
Sandra Henry,
Ellen Bell
, Environmental Defense Fund
Patrick Boyle,
Luke Leung, SOM
Jamie Peters, EnergySavvy
Tony Spata,
Hyatt Hotels
Jason Westrope,
DMA Property, LLC
Megan Zack, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

A HUGE thank you to our board members with terms ending in December 2016,  Anil Ahuja, Jenny Carney, Marya Ryan, Laci Wilkes! We appreciate all of your time, dedication and leadership with USGBC-Illinois over the past several years.


Volunteer with us in 2017!

December 21, 2016

In fall of 2016, we announced our new four year EPIC CHALLENGE and the bold new direction for USGBC-Illinois.  Many of you filled out our volunteer interest survey at that time (thank you!).  We now have opportunities available to volunteer on specific projects in 2017.

Please take a look at the opportunities below and click the application link to learn more. Each opportunity will require a different skill set and time commitment.

1. Community Engagement Committee:

Are you outgoing? Like to make an impact in your community?  Do you like to be in everyone’s business?  Well, then we have the right committee for you.  Join the Community Engagement Committee and support our epic challenge by growing and engaging our membership. Learn more and apply here.

2. BIT AIDs:

Become a BIT AID in Chicago – BIT is looking to pair individuals with an interest or expertise in sustainable operations and maintenance with non-profit facilities operators who have requested volunteer support to help them implement the 16 BIT Building sustainability best practices, including energy, water, and waste baselines and working towards improvements.  Learn more and apply here.

3. Standing Programs Committee:

Engage with leading thinkers in sustainable design and drive the conversation in Illinois’ green building community on the standing Programs Committee.  Committee members will lead the selection, development and implementation of monthly education programs, panel discussions, and tours by volunteering time and expertise on the committee.

More information coming soon.

4. GreenBuilt Home Tour: 

We want your smiling face to be a part of the 5th annual GreenBuilt Home Tour (July 22 & 23 from 10 AM – 4 PM)!  Each year the GreenBuilt Home Tour features homes throughout Illinois, which highlight attractive, affordable, and sustainable building practices.  The tour includes Illinois’ finest builders, designers and homeowners who have created healthy, energy saving green homes.

More information coming soon.

5. Green Apple Day of Service: 

Parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations work together to transform schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service events.  This year, Green Apple Day of Service is Saturday, September 30th.  Choose a track that focuses on a low-to-no-cost carbon drawdown, sustainability solution and work with a school in your community to support a project on or around September 30th (projects can take place anytime during the year).

More information coming soon.

If you are interested in getting more involved with the Epic Challenge, but the current opportunities aren’t quite right for you, please complete this survey (if you haven’t already) to help us better understand your interest in advancing sustainability in Illinois and engaging in our Epic Challenge!

Thank you for considering these volunteer opportunities, and please share with your friends and colleagues if you think they would be a great fit as well!

2016 Chicago Energy Benchmarking report now online

January 25, 2017

New Report Shows Chicago Reduces Overall Carbon Emissions by 7% While Economy Expands, With Major Reductions Due to Improved Energy Efficiency in Buildings

On January 24th, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced in a press release that the city has reduced carbon emissions by 7% from 2010 to 2015, while also experiencing a 25,000 increase in population and a 12% increase in the region’s economy. Over 84% of the emission reductions that were achieved came from the energy used in buildings and from construction. For a summary of the report’s results, please see the Infographic.

Together, the energy used to power residential, commercial, and institutional buildings make up 73% of Chicago’s greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions from this sector have been reduced by 10% from 2010 to 2015.  Many of the decreases are due to lowered electricity consumption as well as switching to a less carbon-intensive fuel mix to power the electricity supply. Some specific initiatives supporting energy efficiency improvements include Retrofit Chicago and the City’s Energy Benchmarking Ordinance.

By encouraging voluntary action, the Retrofit Chicago program celebrates and promotes additional energy efficiency improvements in commercial, institutional, municipal, and residential buildings across the City. Under Retrofit Chicago, energy efficiency improvements are planned, underway, or completed in over 23,000 homes and 132 large buildings collectively spanning over 75 million square feet. Also, 11 new properties have joined the Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge, in which buildings commit to a 20 percent energy reduction within five years.

The City has now also released the third annual Chicago Energy Benchmarking Report, which provides an update on implementation of the City’s energy benchmarking ordinance. This policy now covers more than 3,500 properties across every neighborhood in the City, including all commercial, institutional, and residential properties 50,000 ft2 or greater. Nearly 2,700 properties spanning 733 million ft2 have reported energy use information under the ordinance. With a reporting rate of 91% (by square footage), participation levels in benchmarking and reporting remain at high level in Chicago. Collectively, the estimated savings achieved by properties benchmarking and reporting for either two or three consecutive years are approximately $17.8 million.

Also, the City has released energy data for more than 1,500 properties that reported for the first time in either 2014 or 2015. The dataset may be downloaded from the City’s Data Portal or may be viewed online in an interactive mapping tool allowing customized comparison, developed in partnership with the City Energy Project.

In addition to Retrofit Chicago and the Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, Chicago has worked to improve the transparency of energy use information in the residential sector, and is the first and only jurisdiction to have energy use data into real estate listings (MLS) in the United States. Chicago has also utilized its buying power to remove coal from the power mix from the over $70 million of electricity its purchases annually to power public buildings, streetlights, and airports.
Chicago continues to lead the nation in providing comprehensive support for energy efficiency through these and other efforts.

The full greenhouse gas emissions report will be released later in 2017 and will provide information about comparisons between emissions for 2005, 2010, & 2015.  The preliminary carbon reduction report can be found at:

A summary Infographic is online at:

The Energy Benchmarking Report can be found at:

Going Bold

December 16, 2016

Sustainable communities are more important than ever…
Read more

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