Chicago named nation's

Commercial, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Regulation  -  July 11, 2017

Chicago named nation's 'greenest city'

Chicago has been recognized for success in its commercial building sustainability by being named the "Greenest City" in America by CBRE Group Inc. and Maastricht University's Green Building Adoption Index study.

The study ranks the nation's 30 largest cities according to the percentage of office buildings that hold either an U.S. EPA Energy Star label or LEED certification, or both. Chicago was awarded the top spot with 66% of its buildings being considered "green."

According to the study, 10.3% of all office buildings surveyed for the study are Energy Star labeled, and 4.7%  are LEED certified. An online map depicting the results of the study includes the location of each building in each of the top 30 cities that has one of the certifications.

Chicago was ranked second in last year's study, behind San Francisco in the number one spot. This year, San Francisco fell to number two with 62% of its office spaces holding a green building certification.

The study looked into the role that municipal energy disclosure regulations had on the percentage of green buildings in that market. According to CBRE, nine of the top 10 cities have benchmarking ordinances and those with such ordinances have 9% more Energy Star and LEED certified buildings and 21% higher Energy Star and LEED-certified square footage.

"Even though the current federal legislative agenda has shifted the focus away from energy efficiency and sustainability, the momentum in the commercial real estate industry toward improving building operating performance and enhancing building quality is hard to derail," Dr. Nils Kok, associate professor at Maastricht University, said in a statement.

Bloomberg reported July 6 that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel in April committed to shifting all city-owned buildings to 100% renewable energy by 2025 and that the city passed a benchmarking ordinance in 2013, covering 900 million square feet of commercial buildings.

The news service also reported that Chicago cut carbon emissions by 7% from 2010 to 2015, despite a population increase of 25,000.

Chicago and San Francisco were followed in the list of the highest percentage of green commercial spaces by Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Los Angeles, Denver, Washington D.C., Seattle and Manhattan.

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