Heather Benjamin
3 minute read

While in town for Greenbuild, you'll have opportunities to explore what makes Chicago a leader in green building.

In September, Chicago achieved Platinum certification under LEED for Cities, becoming one of only seven cities in the world to receive this recognition. As a visitor to the city for Greenbuild 2018, "Human by Nature," you'll have plenty of opportunities to explore what makes Chicago a leader in green building.

From the Greenbuild event venues themselves to local Greenbuild tours to eateries around the city, LEED spaces are everywhere. Take a look at our rundown, and then find them in our interactive Green Going Out Guide.

Greenbuild events and tours

The center of Greenbuild programming, the state-of-the-art McCormick Place convention center, holds LEED certification for its West Building, where all Greenbuild activities and education will take place.

Also, the Field Museum of Chicago will host the Greenbuild Celebration on Thurs., November 15 from 7–11 p.m The nearly century-old building certified its Conservation Hall and 3D Theater separately in earlier years, but in 2015, the entire museum achieved LEED Gold under LEED for Existing Buildings. Enjoy locally sourced refreshments and musical entertainment from blues legend Buddy Guy at the Celebration in this historic structure.

Greenbuild tours are a fantastic way to see all that the Chicago area is doing in green building, equity and sustainability. On November 12, 16 and 17, you can tour all kinds of buildings, schools, neighborhoods, districts and sports venues.

Chicago Navy Pier is SITES Gold

The Chicago Navy Pier.

A visit to Chicago wouldn't be complete without the Navy Pier. The first phase of the renovation of this landmar received SITES Gold certification. Native plants, energy- and water-efficient features and engaging social spaces have reinvigorated this showpiece of the waterfront, and you can find a plethora of entertainment, dining, shopping, public art and event options in its 50 acres. There is also a Greenbuild tour of the Navy Pier on Monday afternoon.

Among the green hotel options in Chicago are the LEED Gold Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and Virgin Hotel and the LEED Silver Hotel Felix. If you haven't booked your stay yet, consider one of the many environmentally friendly hospitality options.

Dining, entertainment and sports

LEED restaurants and coffee shops are also on offer in the Windy City, including the Starbucks stores at Oak and Rush and 8 North Michigan. The LEED Silver Eataly Chicago complex offers 63,000 square feet of restaurants, bars, cafes and market counters for every taste.

When you get thirsty exploring the city, LEED Silver Motor Row Brewing is open seven days a week, with a variety of creative craft beers on tap.

If you're bringing family with you to Chicago, catch a children's musical at the LEED Gold Chicago Children's Theatre. Each weekend, the company offers three showings of its current production.

Chicago Children's Theatre is LEED Gold

The LEED Gold Chicago Children's Theatre.

If you're staying in Chicago for the weekend, catch a Bears game on November 18 at the LEED-certified Soldier Field football stadium.

Are you a hockey fan, or just enjoy ice skating? The LEED Silver Chicago Blackhawks Community Ice Rink offers public skate times several times a month, including on November 10, 14 and 16, so you can fit in a workout in true Midwestern fashion.

Learn more about places to see in Chicago on their tourism website.

Explore the Green Going Out Guide