Mayor Rahm Emanuel, newly elected Chair of the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC), today pledged to double the number of municipally-owned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings in the City of Chicago over the next four years. The Public Building Commission in partnership with the Department of General Services is committed to meeting this goal.
“Investments in energy efficiency upgrades creates jobs, save money and lessen our impact on the environment,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Together, using boldness and innovation, Chicago will lead the world in designing a path to a stronger environmental and economic future.”
The City of Chicago leads the environmental sustainability movement in the United States and currently has 41 LEED Certified municipally-owned facilities, more than any other city in the nation.
The bulk of these facilities, 32, have been developed by the PBC. The PBC also has an additional 38 municipally-owned facilities registered to achieve LEED certification. More than 20 of the registered projects are already in construction.
“Being good stewards of the environment helps us to improve the quality of life in Chicago because when we include elements of environmentally sustainable design in our projects, we lower life cycle costs, reduce costs for utilities and minimize the drain of our natural resources,” said PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi.
The Department of General Services (DGS) will also seek LEED for Existing Buildings Certification at more than 20 locations. This certification will ensure that over their lifetime city buildings maximize operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts.
The PBC also implements an economic sustainability program for each project it takes on that includes bid incentives for the employment of apprentices, and minority and female workers; community hiring and resident workforce requirements; and contract provisions that require minority- and women-owned business participation and local business participation.