The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced the top 10 states for the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green-building rating system, an annual ranking highlighting states that made significant strides in sustainable-building design, construction, and transformation over the previous year.
Topping the list is Massachusetts, which moved from third place to first with a total of 136 LEED-certified projects representing 3.73 sq ft of certified space per resident.
“LEED guides our buildings, cities, communities, and neighborhoods to become more resource- and energy-efficient, healthier for occupants, and more competitive in the marketplace,” Mahesh Ramanujam, president and chief executive officer of the USGBC, said. “The green-building movement continues to evolve with advancements in technology, benchmarking, and transparency, and the states on this list are leading the way toward a more sustainable future.”
Now in its seventh year, the ranking assesses the total square footage of LEED-certified space per resident based on U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green-building projects certified during 2016. Illinois and Colorado are the only two states to have made the list every year since 2010. New York returned to the ranking after a one-year hiatus.
The continued presence on the list of Maryland and Virginia reaffirms the mid-Atlantic region as the center of green building. While Washington, D.C., is not on the list of top states because of its status as a federal territory, it is notable for its 29.04 sq ft of LEED space per resident.
This year’s list has the highest average of LEED-certified space per capita (2.55 sq ft) since 2010. Four of the nine states included on the 2015 list (Massachusetts, Colorado, California, and Virginia) saw an increase in the square footage of space certified per resident in 2016.
Collectively, 1,819 commercial and institutional projects representing 309.12 million gross sq ft of real estate in the top 10 states achieved LEED certification in 2016. Across the United States, 3,366 projects representing 470.39 million sq ft were LEED-certified in 2016.
In 2016, LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance was again the most popular rating system within the top 10 states, representing 53 percent of the total square footage certified. LEED for Building Design and Construction was the second most popular rating system, representing 42 percent of the square footage certified. LEED for Interior Design and Construction was the third most popular rating system, representing 5 percent of the square footage certified.
Click through this gallery for the full ranking of top 10 states for LEED in 2016.