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10 States LEEDing the Way

Friday, February 28, 2014

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Illinois, Maryland and Virginia lead the U.S. in embracing the LEED green-building rating system.

Those states ranked 1-2-3 in the U.S. Green Building Council’s latest annual list of top 10 states for commercial and institutional green buildings per capita.

Illinois certified 171 projects in 2013, representing 2.29 square feet of “certified green space” per resident.

Maryland followed with 119 newly certified projects at 2.20 square feet per person. Virginia had 160 certified projects, the equivalent of 2.11 square feet per person.

Holocaust Museum

©David Seide/Defined Space; Courtesy of the Illinois Holocaust Museum

Opened in 2009, the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie, IL, was awarded LEED Gold in January 2013.

This year, the USGBC removed Washington D.C. from the list, as it is a federal district, not a state. However, the group reported that D.C. logged 106 LEED-certified projects, representing 32.45 square feet of space per resident.

No. 1 Green State

“Both the public and private sectors in Illinois recognize that long-term investments in 21st-century infrastructure should be done in ways that reduce energy consumption and protect the environment,” Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement.

“Illinois is proud to be the nation’s green buildings leader, and we are proof that a smaller environmental footprint can help us step toward energy independence.”    

A notable newly certified project in the state is the LEED-Gold certified Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, according to the USGBC.

The 65,000-square-foot museum, designed by architect Stanley Tigerman, demonstrates the journey from darkness to light, according to the museum’s website.

The exterior features dark and light wings steeped in both cultural and religious significance, the site notes.

Top 10 List

The Top 10 rankings follow.

Rank

State

Projects certified in 2013

Square feet certified in 2013

Per-capita square footage

1

Illinois

171

29,415,284

2.29

2

Maryland

119

12,696,429

2.20

3

Virginia

160

16,868,693

2.11

4

Massachusetts

101

13,684,430

2.09

5 (tie)

New York

259

37,839,395

1.95

5 (tie)

California

595

72,729,476

1.95

6

Oregon

47

6,991,942

1.83

7

North Carolina

133

17,183,099

1.80

8

Colorado

124

8,894,187

1.77

9

Hawaii

17

2,323,379

1.71

10

Minnesota

51

8,205,155

1.55

*

Washington, D.C.

106

19,524,216

32.45

USGBC calculates the list using per-capita figures, based on 2010 U.S. Census data, as a measure of the human element of green building. This allows for “a fair comparison of the level of green building taking place among states with significant differences in population and, accordingly, number of overall buildings,” the organization reports.

Collectively, 1,777 commercial and institutional projects became LEED certified within the top 10 states in 2013, representing 226.8 million square feet of real estate, the council reported.

Ravens

Kevin Galens / Flickr

The M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD, home of the Baltimore Ravens, was awarded LEED Gold in 2013.

Worldwide, 4,642 projects were LEED certified in 2013, representing 596.8 million square feet.

Notable Projects, Trends

In addition to the Illinois Holocaust Museum, the USGBC highlighted several other newly certified projects in 2013. They include:

  • Maryland: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, LEED Gold, home of the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Virginia: 1776 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, LEED Platinum, the first commercial building in Arlington to earn Platinum certification.
  • Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke, LEED Platinum, the first university research computing center to achieve Platinum certification.
  • New York: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, LEED Silver, home of the Brooklyn Nets and future home of the N.Y. Islanders.
  • California: SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, LEED Gold.

The USGBC said that LEED existing buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts in 2013.

The LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance rating system accounted for 48 percent of total square footage certified in the top states, compared to 43 percent of square footage certified under LEED for Building Design and Construction and 9 percent certified under LEED for Interior Design and Construction.

   

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

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