Chicago Is Home to the NFL’s First LEED-Certified Stadium

The U.S. Green Building Council uses the LEED certification system to rate the environmental performance of buildings, including new construction and retrofits such as Merchandise Mart.  One of the more visible retrofits on the Chicago skyline was the redesign of Soldier Field almost ten years ago, and recently, that redesign was recognized with the first LEED certification given to a National Football League team’s home.

Chicago’s Soldier Field is the first NFL stadium to be certified as green.

There was a ceremony Thursday to mark the achievement. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips were there. The stadium has achieved LEED status, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a standard monitored by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Soldier Field’s 2003 renovation was followed by a number of environmentally friendly initiatives. Those included green cleaning products, electric vehicle charging stations and energy-efficient lighting.

If you are interested in learning more about sustainable design as it relates to buildings and communities, the Roosevelt seminar SUST 320 Sprawl, Transportation, and Planning (offered this this fall as a hybrid course meeting in Schaumburg and online) may be of interest. For more information on these or any other of our courses, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email

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