The Rise of Sustainable Real Estate Development in Chicago

Chicago has seen a surge in the number of sustainable real estate developments. It’s a growing trend that can help save the environment and money in the long run. 

The city encourages developers to build green with sizeable grants and subsidies. It also supports individual homeowners who cash in for eco-friendly improvements.

Eco construction

The Rise of Sustainable Real Estate Development

With increasing interest from investors, owners, and tenants, the need to create more sustainable buildings is driving a new trend in Chicago. Known as “eco” construction, the focus is on reducing energy consumption and selecting materials that are environmentally friendly, thereby benefitting both the environment and your wallet.

Eco-construction includes using renewable and recycled materials. This reduces pollution and saves money in the long run because it reduces waste and the need to dispose of unused resources.

Sustainability also means that buildings are located in areas that don’t negatively affect the natural habitat or wildlife habitation, and sourcing materials as close to the site as possible helps avoid transportation impacts on the environment.

Whether in commercial or residential real estate, sustainable building practices can improve property values and increase ROI for investors and landlords. These initiatives can also enhance the overall reputation of a property.

Affordable housing

With the economy soaring and rent prices rising, many city residents are concerned about the affordability of their homes. Illinois hard money lender is playing a significant role in financing these projects, as they often involve innovative and unconventional building techniques. In fact, 7 in 10 city residents agree that Chicago lacks sufficient affordable housing units. 

Architects are working to address the gap through the development of multifamily and affordable housing. The Department of Housing recently reworked the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance to make it easier for developers to build affordable housing in gentrifying areas. A new competition called Come Home seeks designs that can be built in large numbers at low cost.

The Sweet Home Chicago Coalition, a group of community groups and labor unions, has been working with the city for almost two years to increase opportunities for developing affordable housing. One key element is the creation of tax increment financing districts, which allow local governments to redevelop blighted areas with frozen property taxes. A recent ordinance encourages developers to use TIF funds to redevelop multifamily rental buildings and create housing that people can afford below 80 percent of the area’s median income.


Resilience is a complex trait that involves the ability to respond to and overcome adverse or challenging circumstances in life. Psychological research shows that it can be learned and cultivated and is crucial to successful growth-promoting adaptation.

Resilient people are aware of their emotions and use this awareness to calm themselves and regulate their responses to adverse events. They also maintain a positive perspective and a sense of optimism even when facing setbacks.

A resilient material can return to its original state after bending or stretching. It can also bounce back from a hard blow like a rock or a tennis ball.

Resilience is also a characteristic that can be cultivated through social and community support, connection with others, and healthy lifestyle choices. Getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, and exercising regularly are good ways to strengthen physical resilience.

Energy efficiency

The city’s booming real estate industry in Chicago is fueling energy efficiency trends. Environmental advocates say that building owners are enlisting city programs and incentives to cash in on the financial perks of going green.

The city’s Retrofit Chicago program aims to challenge building owners to reduce whole-building energy use by 20%. The city also offers long-term financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through C-PACE. This public-private partnership allows commercial and multifamily property owners to obtain financing for green building upgrades and repay the money through assessments on their property tax bill.

Energy-efficient building standards reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and utility bills for residents and property owners. They can be triggered at different points in the life cycle of a building, including during construction or renovation and upon a building’s sale or lease. In addition, they can be enforced through a series of inspections and certifications.