On August 24, 2009 Illinois Governor Quinn signed SB 1601, enacting Public Act 96-0630. The act, to take effect in January 2010, addresses several components of building design to improve sustainability through renovation projects. LEED and Green Globes certification costs are funded by the Illinois Tax Increment Fund.
On July 24, 2009, Governor Quinn signed into law HB 1013, requiring all new state-funded building construction and major renovation of existing state-owned facilities to seek LEED or equivalent certification. New buildings and major renovations of 10,000 sq ft or more must achieve at minimum LEED Silver or equivalent certification. New buildings and major renovations under 10,000 sq ft must strive to meet the highest standard of the LEED rating system or equivalent, but are not required to achieve certification.
The Illinois State Senate amended the School Construction Law (Public Act 95-0416) with governor approval, directing the Capital Development Board to only issue grants to school projects with LEED for Schools or comparable rating system certification, or to projects that meet the standards set forth by the Capital Development Board Green Building Advisory Committee.
The state and local governments can adopt building codes. Local governments are free to adopt stricter energy conservation Laws for commercial buildings. However, for residential buildings, local governments may not adopt or regulate energy conservation standards either less or more energy efficient than the Illinois Energy Conservation Code.
Exceptions which would allow local governments to regulate energy efficiency standards in a stricter manner are municipalities or counties which meet one of the following three provisions:
- A unit of local government that on or before May 15, 2009 adopted or incorporated by reference energy efficient building standards for residential building that are equivalent to or more energy efficient than the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code.
- A unit of local government that on or before May 15, 2009 provided to the Capital Development Board identification of an energy efficient building code or amendment that is equivalent to or more energy efficient than the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code.
- A municipality with a population of 1,000,000 or more.
The primary energy conservation law in Illinois was the Illinois Public Utilities Act (revised in 1986). This law required Illinois investor-owned electric utilities to use least-cost energy planning, which required the use of economical energy conservation when new resources for electricity were required.
The Energy Conservation Code for state projects was approved by legislators in 2003 and the administrative rules for the law were developed by CDB and approved by the General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in 2004 and updated to include the 2004 edition of ASHRAE Standard 90.1.
The administrative rules moving the energy code for commercial buildings to the 2006 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code were adopted by CDB and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and became effective October 9, 2007.
On Friday, August 28, 2009, Governor Pat Quinn signed the Energy Efficient Building Act into law. The Act established a statewide residential energy code, which requires that newly constructed residential buildings meet the minimum standards set forth in the most recent version of the International Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC). The Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) must now review and adopt the code though an administrative proceeding.
The requirements of the new energy code will apply to all new residential and commercial buildings (including alterations, additions, renovations, and repairs). Local jurisdictions would be prohibited from adopting energy codes more or less energy efficient for residential buildings (although exemptions are provided for municipalities that have already adopted a code equivalent to or more energy efficient than the 2006 IECC [before May 15, 2009] or those that have a population of more than 1 million) and from adopting energy codes less energy efficient for commercial buildings.
Senate Bill 3724, signed by the Governor on August 17, 2012, amends the effective date of the 2012 IECC to January 1, 2013. Administrative Rules to adopt the 2012 IECC with amendments were approved by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules on December 11, 2012.
"Residential building" means (i) a detached one-family or 2-family dwelling or (ii) any building that is 3 stories or less in height above grade that contains multiple dwelling units, in which the occupants reside on a primarily permanent basis, such as a townhouse, a row house, an apartment house, a convent, a monastery, a rectory, a fraternity or sorority house, a dormitory, and a rooming house; provided, however, that when applied to a building located within the boundaries of a municipality having a population of 1,000,000 or more, the term "residential building" means a building containing one or more dwelling units, not exceeding 4 stories above grade, where occupants are primarily permanent.