Sustainable Apartment Buildings in Chicago in 2023

Gourmet kitchen? Fantastic. Views of Lake Michigan? Even better. Sustainable design? Now, we’re talking. 

Living sustainably is no longer a choice, but a requirement, for many Chicago residents. Eco-savvy renters seek apartments that match their sustainable lifestyles. Their eco-friendly checklists include energy-efficient appliances, sustainable building materials, low-flow toilets and showerheads, low-VOC paints and carpets, energy-efficient lighting, and green roofs. Additionally, finding a community that prioritizes sustainability goals through composting and recycling can be just as important as green apartment design.

Environmentally friendly buildings in Chicago are becoming more and more common. If you’re looking for sustainable apartments in Chicago, you’re in the right place. From LEED-certified buildings to communities with green initiatives, these are some of the most sustainable buildings in the city.

Solstice on the Park

LEED certified Solstice on the Park apartments in Chicago interior living space with slanted windows

Solstice on the Park exemplifies the stunning beauty of sustainable design revolving around natural light. Studio Gang Architects, a National Design Award-winning architecture firm, explored the idea of solar carving for environmental advantages when designing Solstice on the Park. Windows cut into the building’s facade at an optimum 72-degree angle for Chicago’s latitude, maximizing sunlight in the winter for passive solar warming and minimizing light and heat gain during summer to reduce the use of air-conditioning. In fact, the inclined southern facade mirrors the precise angle of the sun when it is at its highest altitude during the summer solstice. The building also has electric car charging stations, recycling chutes on every floor, LED lighting, smart thermostats, and high-performance windows. Certifications include two Green Globes and in-progress LEED status. 

Circa 922 Apartments

Outdoor space with lounge furniture at Circa 922, a sustainable apartment building in Chicago

Luxury meets sustainability at the Circa 922 Apartments in Chicago’s West Loop. Featuring classic architecture from the early 1900s, this LEED Silver-certified building has been thoughtfully restored with cutting edge eco-centric design. The loft building is a mecca for cyclists with complimentary bike storage and a prime location across from a Divvy Bike Station. Public transportation is also just steps away.  

City Hyde Park

Geometric architecture and balconies at one of Chicago's most sustainable apartment buildings, City Hyde Park

Studio Gang Architects, led by eco-innovator Jeanne Gang, created City Hyde Park with walkability, wellness, and social connectivity in mind. The LEED Silver-certified building in Chicago has become a pedestrian friendly hub with wider sidewalks that complement the tower’s street-level businesses, which include a Whole Foods. Massive windows flood the apartments with natural light, and an expansive green roof further exemplifies the eco-friendly design of City Hyde Park. 

The Lofts at River East

Exposed brick and timber ceilings in an eco-friendly loft for rent in Chicago

Certified by the Green Building Initiative, the Lofts at River East have received two Green Globes for sustainable design. The environmentally friendly Chicago building has energy-efficient lighting, a large rooftop green space, electric car charging, and Energy Star®-rated appliances. Eco-efficient transportation is encouraged with the bike room and repair shop, proximity to Divvy bike stations, and nearby public transportation. Many of the floor-to-ceiling windows are energy efficient and allow for plenty of natural light to reduce use of electricity. The Lofts at River East also offer convenient recycling bins and donation boxes to prevent waste. 

The Chatelaine

Brick exterior of an apartment building in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood

One block east of the Magnificent Mile, the Chatelaine is a beautiful vintage building that has been upgraded for a sustainable future. In fact, the Chatelaine is one of the only rental buildings in Chicago with a Mitsubishi City Multi unit cooling and heating system. Made from recycled materials, the system has a much higher energy-efficiency rating than its competitors. For tenants who frequent dry cleaners, the Greener Cleaner is available at the Chatelaine. The apartments also offer energy-efficient lighting, paperless e-leases, recycling programs, and more for eco-conscious residents. 

Astoria Tower

A balcony with a view at Astoria Tower in South Loop Chicago

Astoria Tower in the South Loop empowers residents to go green in a variety of ways. Eco-conscious amenities include bike storage and electric car charging stations. As part of the move-out process, Astoria Tower has implemented a community and environmentally minded re-use/donation program so residents can reduce their waste. Food donations go to Move For Hunger, and they also donate items like furniture and clothing to local organizations. 

Lake & Wells Apartments

Indoor / outdoor pool at Lake & Wells Apartments in Chicago

Floor-to-ceiling windows bring in plenty of natural light at the Lake & Wells Apartments so residents can reduce their electricity use. Apartments also have energy-efficient stainless-steel appliances. The community offers electric car charging stations, bike storage, and a prime location near public transportation. Lincoln Property Company also provides residents with a comprehensive Green Living Guide full of no-cost and low-cost ways to go green. Tips include ways to save energy, conserve water, limit waste, and help the Earth. 

Arrive LEX Apartments

Luxury Chicago apartment with floor to ceiling windows at Arrive LEX

Located in the South Loop, Arrive LEX is an LEED-certified luxury high-rise building. The 35-story residential tower and seven-story loft building feature sustainable design through eco-friendly acoustical wood panels, high-performance windows, Cradle to Cradle Certified carpet tiles, and VOC-free paints. The apartments also have low-flow plumbing fixtures, more efficient HVAC systems, and LED lighting in common areas. Tenants can enjoy the beautiful green roofs, which have drip irrigation systems and native plant species. Arrive LEX, in addition to Arrive South Loop and Arrive Streeterville, has access to the specially curated Trinity Cares program that works to better the planet. Residents receive useful info on sustainability and wellness and invitations to classes with topics ranging from how to reduce your carbon footprint to how to grow your own native garden. 

River North Park Apartments

Outdoor lounge at River North Park Apartments in Chicago

River North Park Apartments places residents within walking distance of the Loop and plenty of public transportation, encouraging greener methods of getting around. Residents don’t even need to leave the building to enjoy nature because the apartments offer a massive private green space, creating an oasis within the urban environment of River North. At River North Park, the entire community comes together to live more sustainably. For Earth Day, they team up to get outside, turn out the lights, and unplug appliances. River North Park’s management company, Waterton, has also partnered with One Tree Planted to plant 4,242 trees as part of their Earth Day celebration.


More LEED-Certified Apartment Buildings in Chicago

Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council

NEMA Chicago (LEED Silver) 

AMLI 808 (LEED in Progress)

Parc Huron (LEED Gold)

AMLI River North (LEED Gold)

Xavier Apartments (LEED Gold)

AMLI Lofts (LEED Silver)

Coast at Lakeshore East Apartments (LEED Silver)

Wolf Point West Apartments (LEED Silver)

AMLI 900 (LEED Certified)


More Green Globes-Certified Apartment Buildings in Chicago

Certification from the Green Building Initiative

Imprint Apartments (Two Green Globes)

Coeval Apartments (Two Green Globes)

Four50 Belmont Apartments (One Green Globes)

The Mason (Two Green Globes)

Milieu Apartments (Two Green Globes)

727 West Madison Apartments (Two Green Globes)

Alta Roosevelt Apartments (Two Green Globes)

Union West Apartments (Two Green Globes)

MDA City Club Apartments (Two Green Globes)

Seven10 West Apartments (One Green Globes)

The Draper Apartments (One Green Globes)