Press Releases


President Clinton, Mayor Daley Celebrate McCormick Place West LEED® Green Building Certification

West Building is largest new construction LEED®-Certified building in U.S.

For Immediate Release
November 7, 2007

CHICAGO – Former President Bill Clinton and Mayor Richard M. Daley opened the Greenbuild Conference today by congratulating officials of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) – the owner and operator of McCormick Place – for receiving LEED® Certification for the new McCormick Place West Building from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Council is the organization that sets the national standards for
what is officially considered environmentally friendly or “green”.

The West facility is the largest new-construction facility in the country to be certified, and is one of only 29 buildings and projects in the city of Chicago to bear the esteemed certification. LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the USGBC’s system for designing and constructing the world's greenest, most energy efficient buildings.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley congratulated the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) for constructing such an environmentally-conscious facility.

"The city has always led by example when it comes to protecting the environment," Mayor Daley said. "Green buildings are an important part of our efforts to make Chicago the most
environmentally-friendly city in the country, and the certification of McCormick Place West by the Green Building Council helps us take a major step toward that goal."

MPEA Chief Executive Officer Juan Ochoa said that he wants McCormick Place West to serve as a ‘green’ model for other largescale building construction projects in Chicago – and across the nation.

“It is our responsibility to take every step we can toward conserving our resources and protecting our environment,” said Ochoa. “We are proud that the West Building meets the
environmental efficiency standards we all worked so hard to achieve."

LEED® Certification of McCormick Place West, which is the equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself as well as the broader community.

These features include:
• One of Chicago’s largest green roofs, covering approximately 150,000 square feet.
• A 3,100 foot long storm water tunnel, located 150 feet below grade, which will divert approximately 55 million gallons of storm water into Lake Michigan every year.
• A highly efficient irrigation system consisting of timed sprinklers, moisture sensors, and drip irrigation tubes, reducing the use of potable water for landscape irrigation
by 50 percent.
• A well-insulated building envelope, energy efficient mechanical systems, and lighting, which will reduce the energy cost of the building by more than 20 percent.
• Materials with high-recycled content, including steel, gypsum board and acoustic ceiling tiles.
• Building materials (more than 20 percent) that were extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the building site, thereby supporting local economies and reducing the
environmental impact resulting from long-distance transportation.

MPEA Chairman Ted Tetzlaff said, "We knew McCormick Place West was a one-of-a-kind facility, but the LEED® certification is proof to the rest of the world that there is no better place to host conventions and meetings than Chicago's McCormick Place. From our flexibility and functionality, to our state-of-the-art amenities, to the West Building’s environmental efficiency, Chicago is truly at the cutting-edge of the convention industry."

The LEED® rating system is organized into five environmental categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality and innovative design. A plaque noting the building's LEED® Certification will be on permanent display in McCormick Place West.

"The MPEA is to be congratulated for achieving LEED® Certification. This facility is one that both the community and its customers can be proud of," said Rick Fedrizzi, President,
CEO and Founding Chair of USGBC. "McCormick Place West will be a showcase for high-performance, energy-efficient convention facilities, and an inspiration for others."

McCormick Place West officially opened in August of this year – eight months ahead of schedule and on budget. The facility adds another 470,000 square feet of exhibit space and 250,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes 61 meeting rooms and a ballroom the size of a football field at 103,000 square feet, making it one of the largest ballrooms in the world.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation’s leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, federal and local agencies, and nonprofit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Greenbuild as well as the LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System are projects of the USGBC. For more information on the USGBC, visit

About LEED®
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary third party rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. Projects are evaluated within six environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. The LEED® standard has been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies as the industry standard of measurement for green building.

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