Four Additional PBC Projects Achieve Leed Gold Certification

Progress Achieved On Chairman Emanuel's Goal to Double the Number of Municipally-Owned LEED Certified Buildings

Mimi Simon, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277

The Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) today announced the achievement of LEED Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) on four recently constructed projects. These projects include Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language, Mariano Azuela Elementary School, 23rd District Police Station and Valley Forge Park Fieldhouse.

The City of Chicago has more municipally-owned LEED certified buildings than any other city in the nation, with a new total of 45. The PBC has developed 36 of these facilities and currently has 35 additional projects registered for LEED certification.

These milestones represent significant progress on Chairman Emanuel’s pledge to double the number of municipally-owned LEED certified buildings in the City of Chicago.  Emanuel serves as both the Mayor of the City of Chicago and the Chairman of the PBC Board of Commissioners.

All PBC facilities are designed to achieve a minimum LEED Silver Certification.  Sustainability features routinely included in PBC projects include aggressive stormwater management, automatic low-flow plumbing features, lighting sensor and daylight harvesting, recycled building materials, green roofs, water reuse systems, and native and adaptive landscape species.

PBC is also taking the lead on strategies for sharing resources among municipal agencies.  For example, Engine Company 109 and Little Village Library are in development within close proximity and as a result share a single geothermal heat exchange wellfield.  Geothermal systems use the earth’s heat to temper the amount of energy needed to cool in the summer and heat in winter.

“We are proud of the progress we have made on Chairman Emanuel’s pledge and we will continue to find new ways to broaden our environmental sustainability program because when we include elements of sustainability design, we lower life cycle costs, reduce utility costs and minimize the drain on our natural resources.” said PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi.

The efforts of the PBC have resulted in an impressive LEED “Harvest” to date:

  • Over 12 million gallons of potable water saved annually;
  • Nearly $600 million in energy savings per year;
  • Total Green Roof Area of almost one million square feet;
  • Over 1,000 shade trees planted;
  • 445,000 gallons of stormwater diverted from sewers;
  • 97,000 tons of construction and demolition waste diverted from landfills;
  • $23 million of recycled content in building materials used;
  • $38 million in building materials manufactured in the Chicago region;
  • 33 electric vehicle charging station included in PBC projects; and
  • Promotion of utility scale renewable electricity through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates equivalent to 3.5 million kWh.

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.

The Public Building Commission of Chicago manages construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its sister agencies. Mayor Rahm Emanuel serves as the PBC’s chairman. Erin Lavin Cabonargi serves as the Executive Director of the PBC.  Additional information about the PBC and its projects can be found at