Green Building Resources and Energy Efficiency

NEW GREEN BUILDING ACT FOR STATE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

An energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly green building act for state construction projects was signed by Governor Quinn on July 24, 2009.  Public Act 096-0073 requires state buildings to meet strict national "green" building standards, reduce the state's energy usage, and make state buildings better for those who work in them and the area surrounding them.

Buildings consume 65 percent of our nation's total electricity, emit 30 percent of our total greenhouse gases, and account for nearly 60 percent of total non-industrial waste in the United States.

The Green Building Act for State Construction, which was based on guidelines, mandates that all state-funded building construction and major renovations of existing state-owned facilities are required to meet current Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards that are practical for that project. The Capital Development Board (CDB), which manages all state construction, repair and renovation projects, developed the new guidelines and will oversee their implementation.

Exciting new technologies combined with traditional solutions may be seen in future state building projects under the new guidelines. These could include geo-thermal climate control systems, roofs made of heat-reducing white material or covered with live vegetation ("white" and "green" roofs), photovoltaic systems to produce electricity, the use of recycled materials, no-water landscaping, and allergen-reducing ventilation and interior finishes.

New buildings and major renovations of 10,000 square feet or more must achieve the silver building rating of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's rating system for new commercial construction and major renovation projects, as established by the United States Green Building Council, or an equivalent standard, including, but not limited to, a two-globe rating in the Green Globes USA design program. 

In addition to any required LEED, Green Globes, or the equivalent criteria, the Board shall require that all projects referenced in subsection (a) implement at least one LEED alternative transportation criterion for public transportation or bicycle access. 

In addition to the act, a Measurement & Verification Tool was created to help collect building and site characteristics data and building cost and performance metrics. These are important indicators in tracking and determining the building performance information.

Several state-funded building projects already underway or planned incorporate the new Green Building Act.

    Links to other valuable info relating to green construction are available via the Resources Page and the Illinois Codes.