The U.S. Green Building Council has released its annual Top 10 States for LEED green building ranking. Cities and states continue to show their commitment to climate action goals, with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system currently counting more than 100,000 projects worldwide.
USGBC’s top is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and the number of LEED-certified square feet throughout 2019. Leading the rankings is Colorado with 102 LEED-certified buildings, which increased the per-capita LEED-certified space to 4.8 square feet. The state, which is home to more than 105 million people, climbed from the sixth position a year prior and has been in the top 10 since 2011. The next positions are occupied by Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia, Minnesota, Oregon and California. Were it a state, the top would be led by Washington, D.C., as the federal district had last year the most square feet of LEED-certified space per capita, nearly 53 square feet per resident.
The total number of LEED-certified projects in the top 10 states plus Washington, D.C., in 2019 was 1,324, while the U.S. total number was 2,209. This translates to nearly 344 million square feet of LEED-awarded space in the leading 10 states and the federal district of Washington, D.C. Nationwide, more than 501 million square feet of space have been awarded a level of LEED certification in 2019.
The numbers indicate the volume of projects awarded LEED certification is on a downward trend, marking a year-over-year moderation in the number of projects/square feet pursuing and being awarded the green building certification. In 2018, the top 10 states and Washington, D.C., totaled 1,971 projects LEED-certified, which comprised nearly 506 million square feet of space.