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CAIP and LEED Checklists for UIC Projects

A guided sustainability checklist for architects, engineers, and project owners and managers

The Climate Action Implementation Plan (CAIP) guides the university to reduce building greenhouse gas emissions and cost of operations throughout the project’s useful life. The strategies of the CAIP integrate the principles of the UIC Climate Commitments to be a carbon neutral, zero waste, net-zero water, biodiverse and transformative scholarship university. UIC’s greenhouse gas emissions can be zero by 2050 only if all the solutions of the CAIP are put into practice by 2028.

Because buildings account for the majority of our energy and water use, creation of waste, and can impact natural habitats and biodiversity on campus, it is imperative that UIC sets high standards for all new construction to support the goals of the UIC Climate Commitments. Ideally, all newly constructed buildings and building renovations going forward should be built to be carbon neutral and zero waste, and to use net-zero water, with minimal habitat impact. UIC understands that most innovative carbon, water and waste neutrality projects have a high capital value attached to the projects and may not always be fiscally feasible when looking at upfront costs alone. However, UIC is a long-term property owner and manager, thus a full life-cycle cost, waste, and maintenance analysis will usually demonstrate overall long-term financial savings.

CAIP Checklist for UIC Projects

LEED Gold and SITES Silver Requirements Heading link

All new construction and major renovation projects on campus, regardless of their size or budget, must complete the CAIP checklist for UIC projects, using the LEED® or SITES TM template. Building projects must achieve Gold level or higher and landscape projects must achieve Silver or higher. If the building project costs more than $5 million, the project must be registered with GBCI and obtain LEED Gold level certification. If the landscape project costs more than $2.5 million, the project must be registered with GBCI and obtain SITES Silver level certification.

Please pay special attention to the solutions that aim to reduce energy use (1.2.1), and reduce water use (4.2.1, 4.2.2), as these are solutions that require creative problem solving to be achieved. If a project does not think it can attain the goals, please submit a technical and financial justification to Please note that UIC is a long-term owner and financial justifications must look at the full life cycle of the building, not just up-front costs.

LEED and SITES Templates for UIC Projects Heading link