Mayor Emanuel, City Colleges Announce Malcolm X College Awarded Prestigious LEED Gold Certification

College’s design compliments its high-quality healthcare & general education programs

Mayor’s Press Office, (312) 744-3334


Mayor Emanuel and City Colleges today announced that Malcolm X College has received the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design’s (LEED) Gold certification. The LEED rating system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. Chicago is a national leader in LEED buildings, with more than 115 public buildings earning this certification.

“Malcolm X College’s LEED Gold certification is yet another example of the city’s commitment to building a 21st century economy and fostering opportunities to make sustainability part of the Chicago experience,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago is a global clean energy leader, and will continue to make strides in establishing new norms by powering our public buildings with clean energy.”

Malcolm X College achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“The college’s design serves to compliment the high quality programs Malcolm X College offers to students seeking healthcare careers and planning to transfer to four-year colleges,” said Chancellor Juan Salgado.

Some of the reasons the Malcolm X College & School of Health Sciences project earned its LEED Gold certification—the second highest level—include:

  • Locating the building within a quarter mile of public transportation
  • Utilizing construction materials made of recycled products
  • Constructing “green”(planted) roofs
  • Implementing a rainwater harvesting system (used for irrigation)
  • Using lighting control systems that regulate the use of artificial light

“Making sure the campus was sustainable and energy efficient were top priorities in construction of the college and this rating reflects that commitment,” noted Malcolm X College Interim President David Sanders.

The college was designed by minority-owned architectural firm Moody Nolan. “City Colleges’ aspiration to develop a healthy, sustainable academic environment was clear to us from the start, and we’re thrilled to see them get acknowledged and proud to share in this accomplishment” noted Moody Nolan Partner Renauld Mitchell. “Their ethos fully aligned with our firm’s ongoing commitment to socially/environmentally-conscious design.”

“The work of innovative building projects like Malcolm X College is a driving force in transforming the way buildings are built, design and operated,” said USGBC President & CEO Mahesh Ramanujam. “Buildings that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and reducing operating costs while prioritizing sustainable practices, and the number of green buildings is increasing, which improves the quality of life for generations to come.”

According to a 2017 National Green Building Adoption Index published by CBRE Group Inc. and Maastricht University, Chicago is the national leader in energy efficient office buildings. The city increased its percentage of green office space square footage by 6.5 percent in the last year, growing LEED or Energy Star certified city office buildings to 66 percent. In addition to progress made with commercial buildings, the City of Chicago, together with the Public Building Commission and its sister agencies, has achieved LEED certification on more than 115 municipally-owned facilities, making Chicago the city with the most LEED-certified municipal buildings in the country.  The City met Mayor Emanuel’s 2011 goal of doubling number of LEED certified municipal buildings in 2014.

Malcolm X College is City Colleges’ center of excellence for health sciences.  It is home to City Colleges of Chicago’s School of Nursing and offers students programs in phlebotomy, dental hygiene, medical assisting, radiography, personal fitness training, mortuary science and many other disciplines, including general education courses.

Malcolm X College health sciences students typically pass their licensure exams at a rate of over 90% and many go on to work at leading healthcare organizations in Chicago.