The District of Columbia again leads the U.S. Green Building Council's list of states with the highest concentration of LEED-rated buildings per capita based on certifications earned during the past year.
In Washington, D.C., 18,954,022 square feet of commercial and institutional space earned green building certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard in 2011.
That comes to 31.5 square feet per capita, far and away the highest ratio found in the USGBC's tally. Colorado comes in at a distant second with 2.74 square feet of LEED-certified space per capita. Illinois is third on the list with 2.69 square feet of LEED-certified space per capita.
Here is the full list:
The roster was conceived as a list of the Top 10 states for per capita LEED square footage. However, the leader of the pack is not a state, resulting in a list of 11 contenders. Among the states listed, California, Texas and New York had the most square footage certified during 2011.
Washington, D.C., also led the USGBC's first Top 10 List, which was issued last year. The District of Columbia logged 25.15 square feet of certified space per capita in 2010. Coming in next were Nevada with 10.92 square feet per capita and New Mexico with 6.35 square feet per capita.
Although Washington's per capita ratio grew significantly during 2011, a reflection of the government's efforts to green its facilities, the ratios of the states fell, a sign of persisting hard times.
As green building expert and "LEED founding father" Rob Watson noted in his most recent Green Building Market and Impact Report for GreenBiz, sustainable design and retrofits are nevertheless the bright spots for the building industry overall. LEED's reach grew in 2011, albeit more slowly than in previous years. In all, more than 1.7 billion square feet of commercial space has been certified to date.
The chart below from the USGBC shows recent progress.
Photo of Washington, D.C., skyline and Pennsylvania Avenue via Shutterstock.com. Charts courtesy of the USGBC.