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2017 Emerald Award Winners

May 2, 2016

Press Release

Brian Imus
Executive Director
312.245.8300 x201

April 12, 2017

For Immediate Release

12th Annual Illinois Emerald Awardees Announced

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

Chicago, IL – The U.S. Green Building Council-Illinois (USGBC-Illinois) announced the winners of the 12th annual Emerald Awards for 2017. The Emerald Awards showcase of the best and brightest contributors to a more sustainably built environment by recognizing outstanding individuals, organizations, projects and technologies.

This year, leaders and projects reflect the national recognition Illinois enjoys as a leader in sustainable technology and design. For the fifth year in a row, Illinois had the distinction for being among the top states for LEED projects.

“The achievements this year uniquely illustrate the future of sustainability and how Illinois will continue to lead the nation in green buildings and sustainable communities,” said Brian Imus, Executive Director of USGBC-Illinois. “These leaders and projects build on the success of LEED in Illinois by advancing new strategies that reduce carbon emissions while strengthening the health and economy of our communities.”

The 12th annual Emerald Award winners include:

Charles Renner, who serves as Director at the Cyclone Energy Group, will be honored with the Intent to Matter: Individual Leadership award for his professional leadership and community service in advancing sustainable communities. He is committed to broadening and deepening the conversations that support green buildings and sustainable communities by fostering opportunities for interaction and connection between sustainability professionals and other civic, professional, and advocacy organizations.

Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), will be recognized with the Intent to Matter: Outstanding Organization award. Based in Chicago, the non-profit organization is making a national impact towards tackling the global climate crisis by promoting high-performance passive building as the mainstream market standard. Founded in 2007, PHIUS has trained over 2,000 industry professionals and their design standard recently surpassed a milestone, certifying over 1 million square feet.

Ozinga, a 4th generation family business based in Chicago, will be honored with the Emerald Award for Green Building Innovation for their work with CarbonCure technology. The cutting edge green building technology is a true example of a no-regrets carbon drawdown strategy. Using the technology at their Chinatown Ready Mix Plant, they are taking waste carbon dioxide and recycling it back into concrete in a way that results in the offset of carbon emissions and enhances the performance of the concrete.

The College of Lake County New Science Building, located in Grayslake, will be recognized with the Green Building Innovation award for unique sustainability approaches to a traditionally energy intensive building type. Examples include implementation of intelligent controls to address ventilation and air flow challenges characteristic of the building type and a geo-exchange system that employs 48 vertical wells at 500 feet each coupled with central heat recovery chillers.

For the first time, the Emerald Awards will feature two projects or people that exemplify the goals of the Epic Challenge of the Chicago green building community to impact more people in every neighborhood with the carbon drawdown strategies and sustainability best practices. This year, the Intent to Matter: Community Impact award will spotlight the work of the Cedar Concepts Corporation and Greenline Homes.

Cedar Concepts Corporation, owned by Linda McGill Boasmond, is creating green manufacturing jobs in a LEED certified factory and exemplifies her environmental stewardship and commitment to her community by bringing jobs and sustainability to the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Greenline Homes and MK Construction and Builders is proving that green homes can be affordable and accessible to everyone. Their most recent project in the Woodlawn neighborhood is a LEED Platinum candidate and will produce more solar power that it consumes.

The public is invited to celebrate these sustainability leaders at Limelight on May 18, 2017 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications at 360 North State Street, Chicago. Tickets to the event and presentation of the Emerald Awards are available online. For more information regarding Limelight, contact Joan Martin at (312) 245-8300 x205 or visit

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About the U.S. Green Building Council-Illinois
USGBC-Illinois ( is a non-profit, membership organization that represents the entire spectrum of Illinois’ green building community, from real estate professionals, architects, engineers, designers and trade associations to contractors, product manufacturers, state and local government officials, homebuilders and homeowners. USGBC-Illinois works to promote green buildings and foster a robust sustainability community with nearly 100 annual programs, events, education and research initiatives, advocacy campaigns, and resources.

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

Thank you to our Gold and Platinum Level Sustaining Sponsors!

USGBC-IL Platinum and Gold Level Sponsors