PBC of Chicago Marks 20th LEED Certified Building

Chicago leads nation in green building, says national council

Kevin Smith, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277

The Public Building Commission of Chicago is celebrating the notice that it has received LEED certification on its 20th project. Chicago leads the nation with a total of 27 municipally-owned buildings that have achieved this high level of recognition.

The volume of public buildings certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards is a strong indication of the commitment to sustainable design embraced by the PBC and its client agencies, among them the City of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Park District.

“To have twenty of our projects achieve LEED certification is a remarkable achievement, one that exemplifies the strong leadership in Chicago that is is committed to environmental stewardship,” said Erin Lavin Cabonargi, Executive Director of the Public Building Commission, herself credentialed by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Accredited Professional. “To have more LEED certified public buildings than any other city in the nation is an accomplishment that we are very proud of. The PBC and the City have long recognized the tremendous impact that capital development can have on a community. We implement provisions in our development contracts and processes that support sustainability – both environmental and economic sustainability – in every project that we take on.

“We want these buildings to have as little an environmental footprint as possible, and we want them to serve as examples to developers, both public and private, about the benefits of sustainable development practices,” Lavin Cabonargi added. “With these twenty certified projects — and with another forty projects registered and seeking certification – we are demonstrating that Chicago is matching its words with deeds and investing in the future with a depth unmatched by any other city in the nation.””

The U.S. Green Building Council announced last month that the Chicago Fire Department’s Engine Company 70 – a PBC project that opened at 6040 N. Clark Street in August of 2008 – had been awarded “Silver” level certification under the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The firehouse was the 20th Public Building Commission project to be LEED certified by the Green Building Council, following other projects including police stations, libraries and schools.

There are 27 total government-owned buildings in Chicago that have achieved LEED certification, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, and most of them were built by the PBC. The Green Building Council reported that Chicago’s 27 municipally-owned LEED certified buildings put it well ahead of other United States cities, with Seattle in second place with 16 municipally-owned LEED certified buildings and Los Angeles in third with 12 municipally-owned LEED certified buildings.

LEED-certified projects constructed by the PBC:

  • The Chicago Center for Green Technology (Platinum)
  • Engine Company 18 (Silver)
  • Engine Company 70 (Silver)
  • Engine Company  102 (Gold)
  • Engine Company 121 (Silver)
  • 7th District Police Station (Gold)
  • 9th District Police Station (Gold)
  • 22nd District Police Station (Silver)
  • 4th Ward Yard (Silver)
  • Tarkington School of Excellence (Certified)
  • Albany Park School (Certified)
  • Avalon Library (Certified)
  • Bucktown/Wicker Park Library (Certified)
  • Budlong Woods Library (Certified)
  • Logan Square Library (Silver)
  • Oriole Park Library (Certified)
  • Vodak/East Side Library (Certified)
  • West Chicago Avenue Library (Certified)
  • West Englewood Library (Certified)
  • West Pullman Library (Certified)

LEED-certified projects constructed by other agencies:

  • Chicago Marine Safety Station (Certified)
  • 28th Ward Yard (Gold)
  • Department of Streets and Sanitation, Forestry Bureau offices (Gold)
  • Cook County Domestic Violence Court (Silver)
  • McCormick Place West Expansion (Certified)
  • Chicago Transit Authority Headquarters (Gold)
  • O’Hare North Air Traffic Control Tower (Silver)

The PBC also expected to complete an additional 18 projects by the end of 2010, and each of them targets LEED certification of “Silver” or higher.

The PBC manages construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its other sister agencies. Mayor Richard M. Daley serves as the PBC’s chairman. Additional information about the PBC and its projects is available at the agency’s Web site: www.pbcchicago.com.

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