Chicago named ‘greenest’ U.S. office market two years running

No city has more certified green office buildings than Chicago, a new report finds

(Credit: iStock)
(Credit: iStock)

Chicago’s red-hot office market is also the greenest office market in the country.

A new study of the most environmentally friendly cities to work in has ranked Chicago tops in the country for the second year in a row, according to Bloomberg.

Chicago has the highest percentage of office buildings that are LEED or Energy Star certified, with 70 percent of office complexes owning that designation. That’s above second place San Francisco (64 percent) and third place Atlanta (58 percent).

The city’s percentage of green buildings increased by four points from last year, according to the report. The national average in the 30 largest cities shows a record 41 percent of office space is green.

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Commercial properties account for 19 percent of total U.S. energy use, according to Bloomberg. Chicago has been working to reduce its carbon footprint from such buildings, including creating its own energy rating system for large buildings and establishing a goal of 100 percent renewable energy in all city-run buildings by 2025.

As competition in large office markets heats up, green certification has become increasingly vital in securing financing and attracting tenants. In fact, it has become a “proxy for good building management,” CBRE’s David Pogue told Bloomberg.

Despite an influx of new product, Chicago’s downtown office market had a strong first half of the year, with vacancy at 12.7 percent in the second quarter. The market has been buoyed by a major increase in co-working space and a bevy of corporate relocations Downtown. [Bloomberg] — Joe Ward