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November 17, 2017

10 States That Lead Green Building

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10 States That Lead Green Building

Illinois is the greenest state in the country, according to the U.S. Green Building Council's list of the Top 10 States for LEED, the world’s most recognized green building rating system. For the second year in a row, Illinois has the most square feet of LEED space per state resident. The list also shows significant committment by states to embrace building projects that use less energy and water, save money for the community, and emphasize sustainable building design and construction.

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The top 10 greenest states had 1,662 projects with a total of 251.7 million square feet LEED certified in 2014. This year's list had the highest average of space certified per capita since 2010, and the 2nd highest average since the LEED certified list began five years ago.

“Every story about a green building is a story about people,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). "USGBC’s annual recognition of the Top 10 States for LEED goes beyond gross square feet or number of projects and factors in LEED’s potential in a given state to be part of the daily life of the state’s residents. This per-capita approach tells a great story about how LEED has become an important benchmark in the transformation of the nation’s built environment. LEED certified buildings and the innovations they have driven contribute substantially to our national economic growth, create jobs and improve the quality of life in the communities where they are found.”

Illinois leads with a whopping 174 building certifications that average out to 3.31 square feet of LEED-certified space per resident. The addition of Georgia and Arizona to the top 10 list represents the growing support for sustainable and green building in the South and Southwest.

The LEED certified list is based on recent U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects. The USGBC compiles the rankings using "per-capita figures as a measure of the human element of green building, allowing for a fair comparison of the level of green building taking place among states with significant differences in population and, accordingly, number of overall buildings."

The Top 10 LEED Certified States of 2014:

  1. Illinois
  2. Colorado
  3. Maryland
  4. Virginia
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Hawaii
  7. California
  8. Georgia
  9. Minnesota
  10. (tied) Arizona and New York

Source: "USGBC Releases the Top 10 States for LEED Green Building Per Capita in Nation," U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) (Feb. 4, 2015)