Chicago-based USG Corp., manufacturer of Levelrock Floor Underlayment products, has registered its new headquarters as LEED for Commercials Interiors (CI) registered space, the U.S. Green Building Council's voluntary rating standard for green design and construction of tenant improvements. USG is seeking LEED-CI Gold certification, joining a select group of environmentally friendly buildings in Chicago. Of the 250 registered LEED-CI spaces in Chicago, only 16 are certified as Gold. LEED ratings include Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Nearly 1000 employees occupy 11 floors totaling about 300,000 square feet in the new 18-story glass and steel building. Highlights of the new space include: Less water and operational energy usage; more efficient use of space; increased us of natural light, improved acoustics and better circulation; and a green roof, with more than half of covered with vegetation. The company says it is also using nearly 25 percent less water with low flush, low flow lavatories and sinks.

Additionally, the company's cafeteria uses recyclable eating utensils known as “spudware,” which are derived from potatoes, and soy-based eco-friendly coffee cups. USG says it expects the LEED certification process to take approximately one year. Upon completion, the company plans to apply for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Challenge and the Green Building Initiative's Green Globe System.