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D.C. Retains Top Spot in LEED Ranks in 2011; Colorado, Illinois Follow

Friday, January 20, 2012

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It probably comes as no great surprise that the District of Columbia again tops the U.S. Green Building Council’s list of states with the highest concentration of LEED-certified commercial and institutional buildings per capita, based on certifications earned during the past year and census data from 2010.

 M.V. Jantzen/Flickr

 M.V. Jantzen/Flickr

Washington D.C. tops the USGBC’s list of states with the highest concentration of LEED-certified space per capita. Above: LEED Silver National Museum of the American Indian, the first Smithsonian museum to earn LEED certification, certified Sept. 28, 2011.

In D.C., 18,954,022 square feet of space earned USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification in 2011. That translates to 31.50 square feet per capita, USGBC said.

Other states topping the list are Colorado and Illinois, with 2.74 and 2.69 square feet of LEED-certified space per capita, respectively.

“Looking past the bricks and mortar, people are at the heart of what buildings are all about,” said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president and CEO. “Examining the per-capita value of LEED square footage in these states allows us to focus on what matters most—the human element of green buildings.”

California Leads in Total LEED Space

Though only ranking in the eighth spot among the states in per-capita LEED square footage, California certified 71.5 million square feet in 2011, leading the nation in total LEED-certified space. Texas came in second with 50 million square feet, and New York followed with 36.5 million square feet.

LEED Certification 2011

Mike Babcock, board chair of USGBC’s National Capital Region Chapter, said of D.C.’s top rank, “This is a great accomplishment for the D.C. metropolitan region and a testament to the drive, commitment and leadership of all those who live, work and play in our community.”

He added, “We also realize there is still more to do and hope to effectively guide the effort by engaging, educating and encouraging the dialogue around the value of sustainability.”



The interior of the Davenport Hotel and Tower in Spokane, Washington. The project earned LEED Gold on May 2, 2011.

One recently certified project in the District was the Treasury Building, which carries the distinction of being the oldest LEED-certified project in the world, USGBC said.

Last year, Washington D.C. also led USGBC’s list of top 10 states for LEED certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita. See Taking the LEED: USGBC List Ranks ‘Green’ States of America.

Standouts in Class of 2011

Other notable newly certified projects in 2011 include the LEED Platinum Casey Middle School in Boulder, Colo.; the iconic Wrigley Building in Chicago; Frito-Lay in Lynchburg, Va., which earned LEED Gold for the operations and maintenance of an existing building; the LEED Silver Hard Rock Café in Seattle; Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md.; Yawkey Distribution Center of The Greater Boston Food Bank in Massachusetts; the LEED Gold Austin Convention Center in Texas; SFO’s LEED Gold Terminal 2 in San Francisco; the LEED Platinum Hotel Skylar in Syracuse, N.Y.; and the LEED Platinum Marquette Plaza in Minneapolis.

The LEED program is an internationally-recognized mark of “green building excellence,” USGBC says, with more than 44,000 commercial projects participating, comprising more than 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries.



California certified 71.5 million green square feet in 2011. Above: The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco earned LEED Platinum certification on Sept. 19, 2011.

“Our local green-building chapters from around the country have been instrumental in accelerating the adoption of green building policies and initiatives that drive construction locally,” Fedrizzi said. “These states should be recognized for working to reinvent their local building landscapes with buildings that enliven and bolster the health of our environment, communities and local economies.”

USGBC also recently reported that LEED-certified existing buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis. See Going Retrofit: Existing Buildings Top New Construction on LEED Charts.

“A focus on heightened building performance through green operations and maintenance is essential to cost-effectively driving improvements in the economy and the environment,” USGBC said.

More information: www.usgbc.org.


Tagged categories: Building design; Commercial Buildings; Green building; Green design; LEED; Sustainability; U.S. Green Building Council

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