Green Buildings

In accordance with the UIC Building Standards and UIC Climate Action Plan, future new construction, remodeling, and renovation projects of $5 million, or greater shall meet the current Leadership and Excellence in Environmental Design (LEED) NC standard, or the most applicable standard of the LEED Family and be certified at the Silver level or better. New construction, remodeling, and renovations totaling less than $5 million should comply with the LEED Silver requirements to the greatest extent practicable including those credits UIC requires as mandatory, as they appear in the UIC building standards.

Since 2007, all new construction has been LEED certified. Learn more about our green buildings below.

  • Grant Hall

    Grant Hall


    Grant Hall is the first building in the University of Illinois system to utilize geothermal heating and cooling. While this project did not seek LEED® certification, the renewal demonstrates and utilizes sustainable design strategies beyond structural reuse. The project served as a successful test case to prove the value of sustainable and green building design on the UIC campus.



    • 81% of geothermal well funded by Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The system provides significant energy cost savings and has been scaled to include Lincoln Hall.
    • The high-efficiency HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system improves indoor air quality and reduced operating costs.
    • Window upgrades and glazing increase indoor exposure to natural light and exterior views to 99% of regularly occupied spaces.
    • Directional daylight shading management controls light intensity for maximum comfort in the learning environments.
    • Interior materials include low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) finishes and high recycled-content furniture.
    • Native or drought-tolerant species used in site landscaping requires no irrigation system.

    Read more:

  • Lincoln Hall

    lincoln hall

    Solar panels on Lincoln Hall have produced 250 MWh, enough to power 25,000 homes for an entire year! This is the same as saving 4,500 trees.

    View live energy data from Lincoln Hall’s Solar PV Array.

    Lincoln Hall is UIC’s first LEED®-certified Building. In 2010 the building’s renovation project earned enough points to qualify for Gold Certification in LEED® for New Construction (LEED-NC). While much of the original Lincoln Hall structure still stands, the project was not eligible for LEED® for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) due to the replacement of most of Lincoln Hall’s original exterior.

    Lincoln Hall soloar panels

    SoCore Energy’s installation at Lincoln Hall. Completetion Date: 11/19/2009. Installation size: 51 kW. Production: 57,500 kWh/year. Percentage of buildings power provided by solar: 14%. Number of Solar panels: 224. Technology used: Enphase Micro-Inverter. One of the largest higher education solar installations in the Midwest! SoCore Energy | 233 N. Michigan Ave | Suite 230 | Chicago, IL See the PV panel installation by clicking on this picture!

    The renovation of Lincoln Hall is a sign that stewardship of the environment and energy savings is a top priority at UIC.  The geothermal system uses water to heat and cool the air in the building. A geothermal system already in place and running in Grant Hall has seen a 50% decrease of energy consumption since its implementation in the fall of 2007.

    Lincoln Hall features double-pane insulated curtain wall covered by a solar film with a high reflective factor which is 40% more effective than plain glass. Shades for the windows increase energy savings by opening or closing with help from solar sensors and a building automation system. Building materials include whiteboards that contain 50% recycled materials, wood doors certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), carpet squares made from recycled content and work stations made with FSC-certified wood veneer, and marmoleum. Native landscaping and a bioswale capture rainwater and reduce the need for irrigation.

    Lincoln Hall earned 43 Total LEED® Points (Gold range is 39-51). Points are accumulated by meeting the established credits in the following environmental categories:

    Sustainable Sites – 10/14 Points

    • Proximity to dense community activities, public transit, and bike parking.
    • No new parking spaces added during construction.
    • 85.9% of non-building site area restored with native species.
    • 45.7% of project site area provides vegetated open space.
    • Swales and detention ponds result in at least 25% reduction in rate/quantity of stormwater runoff.
    • 100% of rooftop surface has minimum coating SRI (Solar Reflectance Index) of 102, reducing Heat Island Effect.
    • Light pollution is reduced by using little or no exterior lighting.

    Water Efficiency – 4/5 Points

    • Use of native and/or drought-tolerant species in landscaping requires no irrigation. The original irrigation system will be removed.
    • 42% reduction in potable water use from a calculated baseline design through the installation of low flow urinals, dual flush water closets, low-flow lavatory faucets and automatic sensors.

    Energy & Atmosphere – 14/17 Points

    • 32.8% energy cost savings from baseline using ASHRAE 90.1-2004 Appendix G methodology
    • Building design includes improved thermal envelope, high efficiency glazing, reduced lighting power density, light sensors, and geothermal source heat pump (see Grant Hall above).
    • A solar photo-voltaic (PV) system on the roof offsets 9.4% of the building’s energy cost and has generated 38 MWh to date (July 27, 2010). A monitor installed in the lobby shows the electricity production to students, faculty, and staff.
    • Building Automation Systems and management plan reduce energy consumption.
    • Use of refrigerants that minimize or eliminate emissions of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global warming

    Materials & Resources – 3/13 Points

    • 81.278% of construction waste generated on-site was diverted from landfill.
    • 81.143% of wood-based building materials in the project were harvested from FSC certified forests.

    Indoor Environmental Quality – 8/15 Points

    • CO2 and ventilation monitors present in HVAC system.
    • Low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings used in construction
    • Carpeting system certified by Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Plus program.
    • Composite Wood and Agrifiber uses no urea-formaldehyde.
    • Lighting and Thermal systems have advanced controls and sensors.
    • 100% of regularly-occupied spaces have direct access to outdoors views.

    Innovation & Design Process – 4/5 Points

    • Exceptional potable water use reduction (42%).
    • High use (85.9%) of native or adaptive species in landscaping and stormwater runoff management.
    • 45.7% of project site area provides vegetated open space.
    • LEED-accredited professional worked on project.


    Read More:

  • Douglas Hall

    douglashallSee live energy data from Douglas Hall’s Solar PV Array.

    Surrounded by permeable pavement, allowing stormwater to return to groundwater.


    Native plants are low-maintenance and don’t require irrigation

    Douglas Hall, the home of the College of Business Administration is the second building on UIC’s campus to gain a LEED honor by receiving gold certification.  Douglas Hall shares the geothermal ground source heat pump system that Grant and Lincoln Halls currently use.  Other highlights include solar panels, recycled rubber floors on the second and third floor and  the photovoltaic system on the roof that was partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.  More information about Douglas Hall can be found at the College of Business website.   See also Press Release.

    Floors from recycled rubber, natural lighting, high-efficiency windows

    Following are brief descriptions of points that are included in the Certification application:

    Sustainable Sites

    • Development Density and Community Connectivity
    • Public Transportation Access
    • Bicycle Storage
    • Maximize Open Space

    Water Efficiency

    • Landscaping Water Reduce by 50%
    • Water Efficient Landscaping – No Potable Use or No Irrigation

    Energy and Atmosphere

    • Optimize Energy Performance
    • On-Site Renewable Energy*


    • Lighting Controls
    • Daylighting in 75% of Spaces
    • Views for 90% of Spaces

    *On-Site Renewable Energy-  Photovoltaics is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity.  The Douglas Hall array is composed of 245 solar panels mounted on ballasted racks.  The system, with a rated capacity of 54.81 kW, is expected to generate 67,000 kWh of electricity annually, or approximately 8% of the building’s needs.

    The photovoltaic system on the roof of Douglas Hall was partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

    More information:

  • Mile Square is a LEED Gold building! (certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.)


    Mile Square Health Center, opened January 6, 2014

    Christy Levy, UIC News:

    “As soon as people step onto the pathway and start their passage into the building, they feel a sense of well-being,” said Grainne Cassidy, assistant director of Capital Programs. “There’s a lot of natural light and sky views. It has a very therapeutic feel to it.”

    Renovations to two classroom buildings, Douglas Hall and Lincoln Hall, also earned LEED Gold certification. LEED [Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design] is an internationally recognized designation that means a building was designed and constructed using sustainable practices. Gold is the second-highest ranking in the four-tier system.

    “Having three buildings demonstrates the chancellor’s and the administration’s commitment to sustainability and energy conservation, and that we continue to be a leader in that field,” said Mark Donovan, vice chancellor for administrative services.

    Construction began on the five-story, 122,000-square-foot Miles Square clinic in September 2012, with sustainability included in the planning process.

    Sustainability checklist

    • a green roof and reflective roofing that reduces the amount of heat drawn into the building
    • indigenous species and the green roof reduces potable water irrigation by 72 percent while providing habitation for local species of birds, butterflies and bees
    • energy-efficient light fixtures, sensors and recovery systems that save about $39,000 per year in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions by 64 percent
    • high-efficiency flush fixtures and motion sensors that reduce water use by 32 percent in restrooms
    • low-VOC carpet, paint and furniture to reduce chemicals and improve air quality
    • permeable paving in the parking lot, the green roof and vegetation which  manages storm water and reduces water run-off by 20 percent
    • Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood representing 95 percent of the wood used for building construction and interior finishes
    • renewable energy supplied by green companies
    • easy access to public transportation.

    “We remediated and reinvigorated a brownfield site and overall, it’s cleaner for the urban environment,” Cassidy said. “The site is 65 percent open space, with just a little over a third taken up by the building. The landscaping contributes to health and wellness to create a therapeutic environment.”

    Conservation measures such as erosion control and soil retention were also factored into construction, she said. “If you don’t have those in place, it feels like a dust bowl,” Cassidy said. “That’s not good for people who have respiratory illness.”

    The building was funded in part by a $12 million competitive grant for the construction of federally qualified health centers under the Affordable Care Act. It’s the first such center to offer urgent care and specialty care in the Chicago area.

    “This building really shows a broad aspect of sustainability — it’s energy efficient and reduces its environmental impact, but it’s also providing a great social service to the community, and that’s another aspect of sustainability that we often forget about,” said Cynthia Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability. “It supports the work we do in the community.”

    Construction provided 92 full-time jobs, with 40 percent held by underrepresented workers. Moody-Nolan Architects, the largest African American-led architecture firm in the country, designed the building.

    The facility has an education component, Klein-Banai said, with signs pointing out green features and an animated video that will play in the waiting rooms and lobbies. “It will provide ideas for people to take home and educate the community on green infrastructure,” she said.

    – See more at:

  • UICOMPbuilding_web

    The Cancer Research Center is a new two story 24,000 sq. ft. research building attached to the present University of Illinois College of Medicine building. Bancroft-AE designed the laboratories and support spaces within the building, featuring a 3,850 sq. ft. general lab space on each floor with lab support such as tissue culture rooms, microscopy rooms, histology room, utility room, freezer farm and hood alcoves. Beyond the lab are offices, student open office and meeting space with coffee station. The exterior and interior of the building plus all building systems is designed to meet LEED Silver standards.

  • Rockford – National Center for Rural Health Professions at Rockford has received LEED Silver certification. The building received LEED points for electrical systems design, lighting, geothermal water source heat pumps, design and engineer communication and technology infrastructure. The facilities included medical offices, laboratories, and medical center teaching area. The electrical power distribution design included all elements of 4160V main service to 480/277V power and lighting system to a 208/120V general power distribution system, and emergency power diesel/generator set.

    Learn more about the College of Medicine, Rockford NCRHP here