We're No. 1 — for new green buildings
Illinois leads nation in per capita square feet of newly certified LEED buildings
By Ted Cox
Illinois leads the nation in square feet per capita of newly certified green buildings.
The U.S. Green Building Council put out a report last week finding that Illinois had the highest concentration of newly certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design buildings for 2018.
California, New York, and Texas might have had more square footage certified, but accounting for the smaller population of Illinois, at just under 13 million, and its more than 68 million square feet of newly certified LEED buildings, the Land of Lincoln came in first, with 5.31 square feet per person, just edging Massachusetts at 5.3, followed by Washington state, New York, and Texas.
The state got a not insignificant boost from its flagship University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The latest alterations to the 56-year-old State Farm Center basketball arena, also known as Assembly Hall, earned the stadium LEED certification last June from the USGBC. Designed by university alumnus Max Abramowitz, it’s old enough to have played host to one of Elvis Presley’s last concerts, in 1976. It was renamed State Farm Center five years ago as part of a sponsorship deal that helped pay for a major renovation. It has a capacity of 15,500, 16,500 for a concert with seating on the floor.
“The benefits of LEED extend well beyond measures like reduced water and energy usage, affecting the health and prosperity of entire communities,” the USGBC declared. “LEED-certified projects save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, in addition to reducing carbon and creating a healthier environment in which people can thrive.”
Illinois is off to a good start to retain the title in 2019, as the newly renovated Governor’s Mansion in Springfield was certified last month.