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|Good news for Illinois: It's among the top five states for green buildings, with Chicago as the No. 1 LEED certified city. Yesterday, at a seminar hosted by the Chicago Chapter of USGBC and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, USGBC's Doug Wiedener said the state is home to 80 LEED-NC buildings, 30 of them government projects. Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's Jamie Peters recommended the Building Operator Certification Program, which allows companies or municipalities to send their employees to a class that shows how to tune up existing HVAC equipment to increase efficiency and save money.|
|Windy City Renewable Energy's Peter Matuszewski explained that solar energy is breaking out of its traditional shell. Even in dark and dreary Illinois, projects like Kankakee Community College are using solar walls, solar shingles, solar curtain walls, and even photovoltaic artwork to produce energy for lighting interiors. Such technologies can offset energy costs by 30-50%. Though what good is photovoltaic artwork if you can't stare directly at it? (It's art made from pieces of the sun, no?)|