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Green & Healthy Homes and Communities

LEED for HomesWe spend 90 percent of our time indoors.  Green homes are resource efficient, economical to operate, and promote the health of the families who live there.  Green homes run the gambit of the housing market from affordable, market rate, and custom. At USGBC-Illinois, we believe that LEED-certified homes bring benefits that help people, the planet, and of course, help your pocketbook.

What is LEED For Homes?

Designed for new homes and major renovations, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) for Homes is a voluntary rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. It is applicable to many home types including affordable housing, mass-production homes, custom designs, stand-alone single-family homes, duplexes and townhouses, suburban low-rise apartments, urban high-rise apartments and condominiums and lofts in historic buildings.   more>>

New! Download a one-page snapshot summary of the LEED for Homes rating system.

What does a LEED certified home look like?

LEED Silver - Bloomingdale, IL

LEED Silver single-family
Peluso Residence
Bloomingdale, IL
Project Profile

LEED Gold - Highland Park, IL

LEED Gold multi-family
Hyacinth Place
Highland Park, IL
Project Profile

LEED Platinum - Chicago, IL

LEED Platinum single-family
Yannell Residence
Chicago, IL
Project Profile

LEED Platinum gut rehab - Chicago, IL

LEED Platinum single-family gut-rehab
Helenowski Residence
Chicago, IL
Project Profil

Click images to view Project Profiles for LEED Certified homes, courtesy of AES.

Why live in a LEED home?  This video below explains the benefits.


What other rating systems exist?
More than 70 local or regional green home building programs exist in the United States. Each of these programs is unique, with its own specifications and requirements. Please note that these guidelines may not require documentation and independent, third-party verification. These programs are neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the USGBC and are provided for informational purposes only.

What does USGBC-Illinois do to support the advancement of green homes in Chicago?
USGBC-Illinois supports green home retrofits and sustainable home building through education and advocacy to advance housing equity, health, and quality of life for all Illinois’ citizens. Our work in this regard includes:

  • Working with affordable housing developers to educate them on green building principles and build their capacity to implement LEED for Homes projects
  • Working with local realtors to provide education on a regional Green MLS for home buyers and sellers
  • Providing education to 325 homeowners, homebuyers, and renters on the benefits of green homes and LEED for Homes
  • Providing outreach to over 750 homeowners through regional Green Homes 101 programs, which are implemented in public libraries and community centers through the Chapter’s branch network and focus on affordable green development and practical and affordable green remodeling
  • Supporting  home retrofits for disadvantaged families through volunteer work days featuring over 40 Chapter members as a part of Rebuild Chicago Together

How can I get involved with USGBC-Illinois efforts to support green and healthy homes?
The Chapter is always looking for community members to help us advance our mission through participation in our many committees. Please go to our committees page for more information, or contact Liz Kuehn to get involve


Illinois Energy Code
On January 29, 2010, the state of Illinois has adopted the 2009 version of the International Energy Conservation Code, IECC 2009, which is applicable to most municipalities except those with over 1 million residents (i.e. Chicago).  This code is the first statewide energy code, or remodeling code, ever adopted. It requires builders, remodelers, and architects to be well-versed in building science. The code goes above IECC 2003, the current baseline for an ENERGY STAR or LEED-certified home. This will result in many new homes meeting the requirements for ENERGY STAR certification, the first step towards LEED certification. Learn more about IECC 2009 at or view a comparison of LEED vs IECC 2009.

The Green Home Guide
The USGBC’s Green Home Guide website includes resources for finding green architects and builders, what makes a home green, green home programs, living green, REGREEN remodeling guidelines, and news and events. more>>

ASID and USGBC partnered to develop best practice guidelines and targeted educational resources for sustainable residential improvement projects. This resource also includes a green product checklist and case studies. more>>

Healthy House Institute
The Healthy House Institute (HHI) provides consumers information to make their homes healthier. HHI strives to be the most comprehensive educational resource available for creating healthier homes.  more>>

Frequently Asked Questions for Home Builders
Frequently Asked Questions for Home Buyers

USGBC-Illinois Chapter Residential Green Building Committee

LEED for Homes news and developments in Illinois


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