Buildings consume 70 percent of the electricity load in the United States – adding the 15 million new buildings that are projected to exist by 2015, our energy consumption will only increase. In 1885, Illinois met the growing demands for space by constructing the world’s first skyscraper. Today, Illinois is again leading by example to meet our existing challenges through research, construction and review of Green Buildings & Energy Efficiency – the subject of this month’s ISTC Catalyst.

Green buildings are not new to our state. Illinois ranks sixth in the United States for its number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings, with Chicago itself housing more LEED certified buildings than any other city in the country. Chicago also has a leading number of Energy Star rated buildings, and, notably, is home to the tallest Energy Star rated building in the world. The Aon Center, which rises a full 83 stories, was designated as a top-performing energy efficient building with an Energy Star rating of 80 out of a possible 100. While these accomplishments invoke a sense of pride, our community continues to work tirelessly not just to implement but to create best practices in these areas. This is evident, for example, in the Chicago Climate Action Plan which identifies nine mitigation strategies including water conservation, rooftop gardens and new guidelines for renovations to continue Chicago and Illinois’ leadership in Green Buildings & Energy Efficiency.

While Illinois is already a leader in embracing “green,” there are simple things every resident can do to support this trend. Did you know that if every Illinois household replaced five incandescent light bulbs with five compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), the state would save enough energy to power 120,000 homes? Not only do CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, they last up to 10 times longer. This is one of the many ways in which Illinois can continue its leadership in Green Buildings & Energy Efficiency. To find out more about this growing movement in Illinois, we encourage you to explore the articles and videos below.

Watch and Listen:

Aon Center Tallest ‘Green’ Building in Nation


Learn more about Illinois’ accomplishments in Green Buildings & Energy Efficiency.

More News:

2010 Sustainable University Symposium
Friday, August 27, 2010
I-Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 South First Street, Champaign, IL

Join this year’s Green Governments Coordinating Council Symposium, hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in learning how to make your university or college campus more sustainable. This symposium is an opportunity for college and university administrators, engineers, architects, professors, and student leaders to exchange ideas in the effort to enhance sustainability at Illinois institutions of higher learning and identify new programs to apply at your university.  The annual event also seeks to empower young adults to pursue careers in the environmental sciences and make an investment in the sustainability of our state and our planet.

Speakers, workshops, and panel discussions will cover topics such as sustainable renovation and construction, energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and service learning, water conservation, and waste reduction.