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City of Chicago - Green Permit and Green Homes Programs

Last Review: 2012-11-26
Incentive Type: Green Building Incentive
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Daylighting, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial
Website: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bldgs/provdrs/green_permit.html


The City of Chicago encourages building design, construction and renovation in a manner that provides healthier environments, reduces operating costs and conserves energy and resources through their Green Permit Program. The Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB) Green Permit Program provides developers and owners with an incentive to build green by streamlining the permit process timeline for projects which are designed to maximize indoor air quality and conserve energy and resources.

Green Permit Program Incentives
Projects accepted into the Green Permit Program can receive permits in less than 30 business days or in as little as 15 business days. The number of green building elements included in the project plans and project complexity determines the length of the timeline. In addition, projects which meet the most stringent sustainability guidelines may also qualify for a partial waiver of consultant code review fees, up to $25,000.

Application Procedure
Interested applicants must involve DOB early in the design process. DOB will help to guide the applicant through the process to ensure the shortest permitting process time.

Acceptance into the Green Permit Program is based on a series of requirements that qualifies the project for one of two different Benefit Tiers of green building certification:

  • Commercial projects must earn certification within the appropriate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Smaller residential projects must earn a two-star or greater rating under the Chicago Green Homes program.

Both commercial and small residential projects are also required to earn from one to three menu items, or additional green design strategies above and beyond certification prerequisites, in order to be eligible for permitting privileges.

Chicago Green Homes Program

Note: This program is currently suspended.

The Chicago Green Homes program is a checklist-based rating system for measuring a green building’s elements developed by the Chicago Department of Environment. As of May 2010, there were approximately 250 Green Homes enrolled in the program. Training and education materials are available through the Green Homes program free of charge. Contact the Department of Buildings for the current status of this program.

Carl Byrd
City of Chicago

Phone:(312) 742-0456 Ext.
Phone 2:()
Email: Carl.Byrd@cityofchicago.org
Web site:


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