FBI Goes Green in Chicago

The FBI Regional Facility building, located in Chicago, Ill., has become the world’s first to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification under the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) newest platform for existing buildings.

The 10-story building was certified platinum under the LEED EBOM (Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance) program, which was launched in 2008 to assist building owners and operators in minimizing their environmental impact while maximizing operational efficiency.

“It’s exciting for us to be part of such a significant achievement,” said Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in Charge of the FBI Chicago office.

LEED certification is determined based on a building’s overall ability to meet or exceed standards in six main areas ranging from “Water Efficiency” to “Innovation and Design Process.” To receive Platinum certification, a building must score above 80 percent on the measured standards.

The FBI building in Chicago achieved platinum LEED certification by increasing energy efficiency and minimizing waste.

The FBI building in Chicago achieved platinum LEED certification by increasing energy efficiency and minimizing waste.

Why Build Green

According to the U.S. EPA, buildings account for:

  • 38 percent of CO2 emissions
  • 39 percent of total energy use
  • 68 percent of total electricity consumption
  • 12 percent of total water consumption

Green buildings reduce environmental impact while decreasing operating costs associated with building use. Many companies are building green to improve overall building health for occupants as well.

Platinum LEED Buildings

There are less than 20 Platinum certified LEED EB (Existing Buildings) in the world. Here are some who have been awarded the prestigious designation:

  • Armstrong Headquarters- Located in Lancaster, PA, this building uses wind energy to supply 75 percent of the building’s power and is currently recycling over 60 percent of all waste.
  • Discovery Headquarters- The Discovery building saves 24,000 gallons of water per year as a result of their green makeover.
  • Clinton Presidential Library- Located in Little Rock, Ar., the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum added a vegetated roof, switched to the use of green cleaning products and remains carbon neutral.
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  1. Hi All,

    We are an HVAC design and Build contractor and Service contractor in Indianapolis. From a service standpoint is there any regulations that keep “Green LEED Buildings” in regulation after year one of recieving their certification from the HVAC side? I am being told told that after they receive the documents that buildings/Owners have no obligation beyond that. IE…replacing filters in rooftop units with MERV 13 filters for example. Thanks for anyone’s input. Thanks

  2. Author

    Hi Mike,
    The initial costs of meeting LEED certification criteria are usually great. However, the increased efficiency and energy savings produced as a result drive the continuation of the program. You are correct in that there are currently no follow-up regulations, however the USGBC is working on developing a system to regulate LEED certification and make sure sustainable practices are continued after the initial certification.
    Thank you,
    Lori Brown

  3. sod roofs,The angle of the sod roof,is there a point where it is not able to house plants etc”?Now i can understand a flat roof.For instance we have a food bank here in issaquah.The roof is obviously capable.The other thing that comes to mind,is structure.If lets say you have an older type of building ,the wood is begining to decay or could have termites.Then what?To be cost effective leave it alone build support beams tear it down and create something that could afford the weight.I will give you a few examples here in issaquah.There is a old railroad,logtype set up.This represents how the old timers in issaquah did the logging cutting and so on.So right across the parking lot you have a old werehouse that has the old machinery that was used at the time of the loggers.If you do not know the whare abouts of the display,i;m sure that the police,mayor or and city worker.I could continue but oh i forgot the warehouse was take up by the food bank of issaquah,to bad in some instances to leave things the way they use to be,It;s a shame klaus ristau

  4. OK so i saw you people line up to get there awards for the fine job the FBI personel with a glee on ther faces and to be proud of ther acomplishments of a gree veggy garden on the ROOF.I take that offencive .Wait by the way we have a building or two that could do the same thing as you people It;s called the food bank in Issaquah washington the roof is flat and god knows they are alway;s in the need of more food do you know that one our food bank counted a grand total of food that weighd over ! million pounds.I worked for the food bank for many years.Let me tell you about the thing that i did in the food bank in Issaquah.When i first went to the food bank i would show up sometimes at 3;00 in the morning i worke my but of.Between you and i they would not have made that gross weight of food if it was not for myself one day all this produce arrived paletts after pallets so much produce it would not have even fit in the walk in i was climbing around to the ceilling to get it all in at least a 1000 lbs of food.So that is only the tip of the iceburge get it.So lets just say this i had the best time of mylife you know why be cause i did it to where no one else would put up with all the things i acomplished PS spring is on it;s way so could you make a phone call to the Issaquah food bank and have them adopt the roof growing project.O one other quick note we have a place that has a gardin that the crops did not come out so good it;s called the united way in issaquah and the yeild was just pitifull i;m sure with the success of you project give them i few pointers.OH it;s a rip of

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