Frank Lloyd Wright once said that, “Chicago may eventually be the last beautiful, great city in the world.” What Mr. Wright didn’t know at the time is that Chicago would also become the greatest green city in the world, leading a revolution in sustainable building.
This past week Chicago hosted the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo for the second time, uniting individuals from different backgrounds, professions and even nations around one common cause: building a better, healthier, more sustainable world.
Chicago’s iconic skyline provided the perfect backdrop to inspire the tens of thousands of professionals involved in green building and manufacturing who attended Greenbuild 2010. The Merchandise Mart is the largest commercial building in the world, and the largest to receive a LEED Silver rating. The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the tallest building in North America, is undergoing a massive energy-savings retrofit. Across Chicago’s majestic skyline are more LEED-certified buildings than any other city on earth.
For years, we’ve asked ourselves: Can we build it taller? Can we build it faster? Can we build it cheaper? At the USGBC, we ask a different question: Can we build it better? Can we build in ways that are more sustainable, more energy efficient and that provide clean air and good lighting? In ways that can create jobs, restore our economy, and build healthier, more livable communities?