It’s Easy Being Green: USGBC Crowns MA, NY and IL Top LEED States


The U.S. Green Building Council introduced Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) back in March 2000, offering designers, developers and builders a blueprint for erecting human- and nature-friendly commercial and residential structures. LEED quickly grew into an industry staple as interest in sustainable building grew. Today, an estimated 1.85 million square feet of construction space is designated LEED certified daily.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the revolutionary green building methodology, the USGBC recently released its annual roundup of the U.S. states boasting the most LEED-certified gross square footage per capita.


“These states showcase exceptional leadership and by using LEED, businesses, property owners and policy makers in these states are strategically addressing some of the most critical social and environmental concerns of our time,” USGBC CEO and President Mahesh Ramanujam, explained in a press release.

Massachusetts topped the list with 130 projects totaling almost 30 million GSF, bringing the state’s per capita figure to 4.48 GSF. The USGBC cited the construction of the Boston Public Market, a 28,000-foot indoor retail space located in the heart of the state capital, as the city’s crowning LEED achievement.

New York nabbed the second spot with 192 LEED projects, over 65 million GSF and GSF per capita of 3.39. The organization recognized the Empire State’s Animal Haven Adoption Center located in lower Manhattan. The 6,700-foot structure was finished in May 2017 and achieved a LEED Silver designation.

The third position belonged to Illinois, home to 135 LEED projects, more than 43 million GSF of sustainable space and a GSF per capita figure of 3.38.

Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Georgia, California, Virginia and Colorado constituted the remainder of the list. The USGBC also recognized Washington D.C., which achieved a GSF per capita measure of 39.98 but was not included in the rankings due to its designation as a federal district.

These state and others are likely to continue to invest in LEED projects over the years to come, as the strategy has quickly transformed into an ideal construction methodology for developers and builders hoping to connect with modern clientele.


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