Chicago’s City Hall is one of the city’s most prominent green roofs.Photo courtesy of Center for Neighborhood Technology via FlickrSkyscrapers and other enormous buildings are environmental horror shows. Countless tons of steel, concrete, and glass are required to build them. Endless streams of energy keep them warm enough in winter and cool enough in summer. Lights and computers are kept on all night long. And just imagine the water that goes into flushing all those toilets.
So you might think that Chicago — birthplace of the skyscraper and home to nine of the world’s 100 tallest buildings — is like a City of the Eco-Damned. Not so. Chicago has the highest number of LEED-certified buildings in the United States, the highest square footage of green rooftops, and a longstanding commitment to green building.
The Windy City counts 124 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design buildings, including 32 municipal ones, scored by the U.S. Green Building Council for factors such as water conservation, use of energy-saving building systems, and proximity to public transportation. Four million square feet of green rooftops cool the city ... Read more