Washington DC Leads List of Top States for LEED Green Buildings

Washington DC Leads List of Top States for LEED Green Buildings

Washington, D.C., followed by Nevada and New Mexico, lead the U.S. Green Building Council's first listing of the top states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional building square footage per capita.

The USGBC released the list today. It's based on 2010 U.S. Census information and statistics on commercial and institutional properties that had attained certification under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards before the year closed.

"Using per capita, versus the more traditional numbers of projects, or pure square footage, is a reminder to all of us that the people who live and work, learn and play in buildings should be what we care about most," said USGBC SVP of LEED Scot Horst in a statement. "2010 was a difficult year for most of the building industry, but in many areas, the hunger for sustainable development kept the markets moving."

The organization has compiled statistics for several years on the cities and states with the most LEED-certified projects, according to USGBC Communications Manager Ashley Katz. The council put together the list of states comparing certified commercial and institutional square footage per capita to "showcase the growth of green building across the country over the past year," she wrote in an email responding to a question from GreenBiz.com. "We'll likely continue to do this every year because it definitely captures an interesting snapshot of the state of green building."

The ranking was intended as a top 10 list, but with the District of Columbia in the No. 1 position, the USGBC included that district and the top 10 states in its tally.  Here is the USGBC's list showing the district and the states with the greatest amount of certified commercial and institutional square footage per person for 2010:

1. District of Columbia: 25.15 sf
2. Nevada: 10.92 sf
3. New Mexico: 6.35 sf
4. New Hampshire: 4.49 sf
5. Oregon: 4.07 sf
6. South Carolina: 3.19 sf
7. Washington: 3.16 sf
8. Illinois: 3.09 sf
9. Arkansas: 2.9 sf
10. Colorado: 2.85 sf
11. Minnesota: 2.77 sf


Where are California and Texas in the rankings?

According to data from the USGBC, the Golden State, which has the largest population (almost 37 million) and the greatest amount of LEED-certified commercial and institutional square footage (87.1 million), is No. 14 when it comes certified square footage per capita with 2.36 certified square feet per person.

Texas, which is No. 2 in population and LEED-certified commercial and institutional square footage, is No. 15 in the comparison of population and certified square footage with 2.09 certified square feet per person.

In addition to issuing the newly compiled information on green buildings, the USGBC also launched a free online scoring tool at www.leedforhomes.org for people interested in learning about the LEED for Homes green building program.

Designed for those who are new to residential green building, the LEED for Homes Scoring Tool enables users to explore two paths: One leads to a "Quick Score" on what it would take to bring the user's home into certification range. The other provides a credit-by-credit look at the process vis a vis one's home.

The USGBC unveiled the tool at the RESNET Building Performance Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, yesterday. RESNET stands for the Residential Energy Services Network.

To date, almost 10,000 homes have been LEED-certified and nearly 45,000 residential projects have been registered in the LEED system.

Among commercial and institutional buildings, more than 40,000 projects are participating in the system as certified or registered projects and represent more than 7.9 billion square feed of construction spaces in the U.S. and 117 countries. Of the participating properties, the most common projects involved commercial buildings and typically the owners were for-profit organizations.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user wyntuition.