Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its annual list of the top 10 states for new LEED certifications in 2012, highlighting those regions that are transforming buildings and communities across the country.
The per-capita list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional buildings certified under LEED, through which approximately 2.2 billion square feet of space has been certified worldwide through 2012.
“Securing a spot on this list is a remarkable achievement for everyone involved in the green building movement in these states,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “From architects and designers to local chapter advocates, their collective efforts have brought sustainable building design and use to the forefront of the national discussion on the environment, and I applaud their efforts to create a healthier present and future for the people of their states.”
Once again, the District of Columbia tops the ranking, with 36.97 square feet of LEED space certified per resident in 2012. Meanwhile, Virginia moved into the position as the top state, with 3.71 square feet certified per resident in 2012, overtaking Colorado, with 2.10 square feet certified per person.
Other top states include Massachusetts, which moved up three positions from 2011, with 2.05 square feet per person; Illinois, with 1.94 square feet; and Maryland, with 1.90 square feet of LEED space certified per resident in 2012.
Reflecting the ongoing trend of LEED existing buildings outpacing 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 these states, compared to 32 percent certified under LEED for New Construction.
The full ranking, which includes 10 states plus Washington, D.C., is available online.
“Buildings are a primary focus of our Mayor’s Sustainable DC initiative,” said Keith Anderson, interim director, District of Columbia Department of the Environment. “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.”
“In our nation’s capital, we have a responsibility to lead by example,” said Mike Babcock, chair, USGBC National Capital Region Chapter. “We are actively working with the stakeholders in our region toward realizing a shared vision for a truly sustainable community. The ongoing commitment and leadership of the public, private, and community-based organizations to support and encourage green building practices in our region has made this achievement possible. While still in the infancy of realizing our vision, this accomplishment reinforces a step in the right direction.”