UPDATED January 2017
The Chicago Sustainable Development Policy has been continually implemented since June 2004. The goal of the policy is to enhance the sustainable performance of projects receiving City assistance. It requires development projects that are receiving financial assistance or special approvals from the City to include sustainable elements.
It has been a driving force in making Chicago a global leader in the green roof movement as well as the number of LEED certified projects. As of 2013, the City of Chicago had more than 500 green roofs totaling nearly 5.6 million square feet. More than 500 development projects have been LEED certified, which equates to roughly 180 million square feet.
The Chicago Sustainable Development Policy was updated in 2016 with the assistance of an Advisory Committee comprising experts in a variety of sustainability fields and extensive public input.
The new policy allows development teams to choose from a menu of strategies that can be tailored to fit the project’s characteristics. Each strategy is assigned a point value. New construction projects are required to achieve 100 points and renovations of existing buildings are required to reach 25 or 50 points depending on the scale of the renovation.
The updated policy provides two compliance paths. One path does not require the building to be certified through a listed building certification program. Projects choosing this path must meet the points required through the strategies listed in the menu.
The second path is for projects that are choosing to achieve building certification. Points are automatically given to these projects depending on the type of building certification being achieved and also the level of certification in some instances. Additional points are required except for projects that are being certified under the Living Building Challenge program.
Some strategies are not available to projects achieving building certification and are marked “NA” in the summary spreadsheet. They are not allowed because they would have been required to reach that type of certification.
The updated policy framework and requirements apply to all Redevelopment Agreements, Planned Development Agreements, Site Plan Approvals and Planned Development Amendments reviewed by the Department of Planning and Development’s Design Review Committee after Jan. 9, 2017.
The following projects are subject to the policy.
New Construction (100 points required)
Renovations (25 points required for moderate renovations, 50 points required for substantial renovations)
Renovation projects are defined as follows.
The following content and forms are provided regarding the Chicago Sustainable Development Policy.