Illinois is No. 1 in the nation when it comes to environmentally-friendly buildings. The state tops the U.S. Green Building Council’s list of the states with the greatest amount of LEED-certified building space per resident. To attain that certification, buildings have to use sustainable designs that less use energy and water, saving money and reducing carbon emissions.
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“It’s not something that’s just happening in Chicago. It’s happening all over the state,” said Brian Imus, executive director of the council’s Illinois chapter. “So some of the buildings that were certified as LEED: the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie, the Caterpillar Visitors’ Center in Peoria.”
171 projects in the state were certified as green last year, totaling 29 million square feet. Imus predicts that with more environmentally-friendly projects in the works, Illinois should be able to keep its top ranking in 2014.