In this series, we’re exploring state and local building efficiency regulations to give you a bird’s-eye view of the policies that may impact your portfolio.
The Windy City’s Climate Action Plan calls for a 25% reduction in citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (relative to 1990) and an 80% reduction by 2050. Chicago boasts 23,000 commercial and industrial buildings and more than one million residential units, which means that enhancing building efficiency will be essential to meeting its goals.1
Fortunately, Chicago is a well-known pioneer of “Green Building,” and was named the 7th LEED Platinum city in the world in 2017.2 It has notably committed to meeting LEED Silver and higher standards for all its municipal buildings and has 5.6 million square feet of green roofs.3 The city also requires buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to participate in energy disclosure and to publicly display building efficiency ratings (see the table below for more info).
Beyond policy and regulation, Chicago also offers multiple voluntary programs. As a participant in the Better Buildings Challenge, the city is targeting a 20% building energy reduction by 2022 relative to 2011 levels and has set a goal to transition to 100% renewable energy in buildings across the city by 2035 (as a part of Resilient Chicago). The city has also seen success with its Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge, which provides rebates and rewards for building efficiency upgrades.
We’ve compiled the key building energy requirements, policies, and plans for the Chicago area. Keep reading for the full list: