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USGBC Names Top 10 Green States

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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Washington, D.C., has once again been crowned the LEED capital of the United States.

With 36.97 square feet of LEED space certified per resident in 2012, the District of Columbia topped the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual list of top 10 states for commercial and institutional green buildings per capita.

Treasury Department
AgnosticPreachersKid / WikiMedia Commons

Many of the District of Columbia's buildings, including the historic 19th Century Treasury Building (shown above), have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

The District of Columbia's heavy concentration of government buildings and the federal government’s formal commitment to the green-building cause has likely propelled the federal district to the top of the green-building ranks.

The next in line, posting 3.71 square feet per resident, was Virginia, followed by Colorado at 2.10 square feet per resident, and Massachusetts with 2.05. Illinois rounded out the top five with 1.94 square feet of LEED space certified per resident in the year.

Green Light in DC

"Buildings are a primary focus of our mayor's Sustainable DC initiative," said Keith Anderson, interim director, District of Columbia Department of the Environment, in a statement. "We are indeed thrilled to be leading the nation in per-capita LEED certified space.

“Our private and public building sectors are boldly leading with the development of high performing green buildings, and we have aligned governmental policies to support such innovation."

Cooper Vineyards
USDA.gov / Flickr

Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, VA, was the first winery on the East Coast and the second in the country to be awarded LEED Platinum certification.

Others on the top 10 list include: Maryland, 1.90 square feet per resident; New York, 1.77; Washington, 1.56; California, 1.46; Texas 1.43; and Nevada, 1.39.

While the District of Columbia enjoyed the top spot when it came to most square feet of LEED certified space per resident, it was California that had the most overall square footage certified in 2012 at 54.3 million, USGBC said.

The USGBC has said that by using per capita, based on 2010 U.S. Census data to determine the “top 10” versus more traditional numbers, like the number of projects, 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.

Notable Projects, Trends

Notable newly certified projects in 2012 include the following, USGBC said:

  • Atlantic Wharf, the first LEED Platinum skyscraper in Boston
  • Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, VA, the first winery on the East Coast to achieve LEED Platinum
  • National Football League (NFL) corporate headquarters in New York City, LEED Gold
  • Levi Strauss headquarters in San Francisco, LEED Gold
  • The Chicago Center for Green Technology, a LEED Platinum existing building
  • Dallas Convention Center Hotel, the first LEED Gold hotel in Texas
  • The U.S. Mint Building in Washington, D.C., LEED Gold
  • Denver Police Crime Lab, LEED Gold
  • Montgomery College Science Center in Rockville, MD, LEED Gold
  • The Center for Urban Waters in Tacoma, WA, LEED Platinum
  • Bonneville Transit Center in Las Vegas, LEED Platinum

The USGBC said that LEED existing buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts in 2012. The LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system accounted for 53 percent of total square footage certified in the top states, compared to 32 percent certified under LEED for New Construction.


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

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