Morning Minute: Illinois honored for green building projects

For the second straight year the U.S. Green Building Council named Illinois No. 1 for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), according to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday.

The story, “Illinois tops rankings for green buildings,” explains how the USGBC evaluates building projects in terms of square feet of LEED space per state resident. LEED-certified spaces use less energy, save water and money, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment.

Examples please! – Illinois had 174 projects certified in 2014 and a per-capita square footage of 3.31. Certified projects included:

  • Ridgewood High School in Norridge,
  • Maudelle Tanner Brown Bousfield Hall at the University of Illinois in Champaign,
  • the AON Center in Chicago and
  • the NBC Tower in Chicago.

In other news – In a National Association of REALTORS®’ story, the chief economist from® provides several good reasons for clients to buy a now rather than wait. Read “Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now” for information that could help you today.

Commercial: Will the business of ‘going green’ follow Chicago’s lead?

Understanding phrases like “energy-use benchmarking” and the ramifications of a recent ordinance passed in Chicago will make “going green” increasingly important to you and your clients, says one Chicago REALTOR® in the October issue of Illinois REALTOR® magazine.

Angela Aeschliman, the chief operating officer for Watermark Property Management in Chicago and a past president of the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS®, says the Chicago ordinance creates new standards for property owners and managers of commercial, municipal and residential buildings, as well as anyone who buys or sells.

In June, owners/managers of buildings with more than 250,000 square feet submitted their first reports on energy consumption, water usage and greenhouse-gas emissions to the city.  In June 2015, owners of buildings with between 50,000 and 250,000 square feet will provide similar reports.  The data will be measured by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency software and must be verified by a licensed architect, engineer or other professional recognized by the city.

The city will be able to share individual building performances next June and Aeschliman says the information could increase competition for more energy-efficient properties.  How quickly these concepts spread to suburban Chicago and the rest of the state will be watched closely by the IAR, local associations and their members.

Read the whole story, “The Growing Business of Going Green,” which includes client concerns about the costs of “going green.”

Happy Earth Day! Tips for making your home more green

Earth Day is the perfect time to take a look around your home and see if there are steps you can take, both big and small, to make it more eco-friendly. The National Association of REALTORS® HouseLogic consumer website has tips, tools and inspirations to make your home more “green”


FREE 3-Hour Online CE with Rebate Program

Still need CE for the April 30, 2014 renewal?

The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance through its Illinois Home Performance Program is partnering with the real estate industry to provide $29 rebates for taking specific online courses in topics of green building and energy efficiency. Students learn about energy efficiency in online real estate CE courses, but Illinois students can add to their knowledge by taking a short 30 minute webinar to go deeper into:

  • Illinois-specific programs and trends that you will encounter in the field
  • The value of third party certification on recognized efficient homes
  • Green MLS developments in Illinois
  • Building energy codes in Illinois for new construction

Add to your toolkit and separate yourself from your competition by attending the 30-minute webinar, and receive a $29 check in the mail (the cost of the 3-hour online course) when it is complete. Rebates are capped at 500 students, so reserve your spot today in three easy steps:

  1. Complete an eligible online course for real estate CE credits (see below)
  2. Email your name, mailing address, and proof of course completion (CE certificate preferred) to Kelsey Horton at
  3. Register for & attend one webinar, which will be available at two convenient times:Wednesday May 14th from 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM: Register here
    Thursday May 15th from 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM: Register here

After successful attendance on the webinar, Illinois Home Performance Program will mail you a check for $29 to cover the cost of your original online CE class!

IAR Eligible Online Course (taken between June 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014):

ENV 1230 The Whole Systems Approach to Green Building (video) online course.

Please contact Kelsey Horton at with any questions. Kelsey will contact you with a confirmation of your rebate reservation within three business days of submitting your rebate reservation information.

NOTE: Students must be Illinois residents, must have completed an eligible online course between June 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014, and must attend one webinar to receive the $29 rebate.

Morning Minute: Make your home more energy efficient and qualify for a tax credit

Planning on making some energy-efficient home improvements this year? Homeowners who move quickly and get the qualifying improvements done by Dec. 31, 2013, could be eligible for up to $500 in consumer tax credits. The improvements must be made to a primary residence and include upgrades to insulation, windows, roofs and more. Read more in the Chicago Tribune article, “Time is running out on energy tax credits,” and find details of the tax credit program at

In other headlines:

Seeing green over mortgages – Daily Herald

Home Buyers Plan to Make a Move This Winter – REALTOR® Magazine

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage at 4.22 pct. – Herald-Review