USGBC Releases the Top 10 States for LEED Green Building Per Capita in Nation

Illinois leads among all states for the second consecutive year; newcomers Georgia and Arizona show momentum with LEED in the South and Southwest

Washington, D.C. — (Feb. 4, 2015) — Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its annual list of the Top 10 States for LEED, the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system, ranking states in terms of square feet of LEED space per state resident. The per-capita list highlights states throughout the country that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation. LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

“Every story about a green building is a story about people,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, 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. We commend the business and community leaders, policy makers and green building professionals in each of these states for making the commitment to create a healthier, more sustainable future.”

Now in its fifth year, the per-capita list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects that were certified throughout 2014. Illinois retained its top national position for the second year in a row, with 174 LEED certifications representing 3.31 square feet of LEED-certified space per resident.

Two newcomers to the list, Georgia and Arizona, show that 2014 was a year of major growth for LEED in the South and Southwest regions of the country, while the continued strong performance of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia have helped the mid-Atlantic region remain the epicenter of green building across the country. Washington, D.C., which is not included on the official list of top states due to its status as a federal territory, is notable as it continues to lead the nation with 29.44 square feet of space per resident certified in 2014. Maryland and Virginia finished third and fourth respectively, and both states increased their per capita totals to 2.70 and 2.33 square feet of LEED space per resident in 2014.

2014’s list had the highest average (2.34) of per capita space certified per resident per state since 2010, and the second highest average to date. Six of the eight states (IL, CO, MD, VA, MA and HI), which were also on the list in 2013, increased the amount of square feet of space they certified per resident in 2014. Illinois and Colorado are the only two states to make the list every year since 2010.

A sample of notable projects that certified in these states in 2014 include:

Illinois: The Aon Center, a 3.2 million-square-foot tower in Chicago owned by Jones Lang LaSalle, LEED Silver

Colorado: Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Morgridge Family Exploration Center in Denver, LEED Platinum

Maryland: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Building 26 in Greenbelt, LEED Gold

Virginia: University of Mary Washington’s Technology Convergence Center in Fredericksburg, LEED Silver

Massachusetts: Winchester Hospital Ambulatory Surgery Center in Winchester, LEED Gold

Hawaii: City Financial Tower in Honolulu, LEED Gold

California: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, LEED Gold

Georgia: The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, LEED Silver

Minnesota: Wells Fargo Center in Minneapolis, LEED Gold

Arizona: Arizona State University Health Services renovation in Tempe, LEED Platinum

New York: Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, LEED Platinum

Sources: U.S. Green Building Council and the U.S. Green Building Council usgbc.org/LEED

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