The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its 2011 list of top 10 states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita, based on the U.S. 2010 Census information. The District of Columbia leads the nation, with more than 31 square feet of LEED-certified space per person in 2011, with Colorado being the leading state, with 2.74 square feet per person in 2011.
The top LEED states per capita, including the District of Columbia, are Washington, D.C., 31.5; Colorado, 2.74; Illinois, 2.69; Virginia, 2.42; Washington, 2.18; Maryland, 2.07; Massachussetts, 2.0; Texas, 1.99; California, 1.92; New York, 1.89; and Minnesota, 1.81.
"Looking past the bricks and mortar, people are at the heart of what buildings are all about," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. "Examining the per capita value of LEED square footage in these states allows us to focus on what matters most - the human element of green buildings."
"Our local green building chapters from around the country have been instrumental in accelerating the adoption of green building policies and initiatives that drive construction locally," continued Fedrizzi. "These states should be recognized for working to reinvent their local building landscapes with buildings that enliven and bolster the health of our environment, communities and local economies."
"This is a great accomplishment for the D.C. metropolitan region and a testament to the drive, commitment and leadership of all those who live, work and play in our community," noted Mike Babcock, board chair of the National Capital Region Chapter of USGBC. "We also realize there is still more to do and hope to effectively guide the effort by engaging, educating and encouraging the dialogue around the value of sustainability."
"Being in the top three is a testament to the diversity of stakeholders from across Illinois who understand the significant environmental, economic, and social benefits related to LEED certification," added Doug Widener, Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter of USGBC. "I applaud Illinois' diverse green building community on this outstanding achievement."
Notable newly certified projects in 2011 include the Treasury Building in Washington, D.C., which is distinguished as the oldest LEED-certified project in the world; the LEED-Platinum Casey Middle School in Boulder, Colo.; the iconic Wrigley Building in Chicago, Ill.; Frito-Lay in Lynchburg, Va., which earned LEED Gold for the operations and maintenance of an existing building; the LEED Silver Hard Rock Café in Seattle, Wash.; Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md.; Yawkey Distribution Center of The Greater Boston Food Bank in Mass.; the LEED Gold Austin Convention Center in TX; SFO's LEED Gold Terminal 2 in San Francisco, Calif.; the LEED-Platinum Hotel Skylar in Syracuse, N.Y.; and the LEED Platinum Marquette Plaza in Minneapolis, Minn.
In December 2011, USGBC announced that LEED-certified existing buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis. A focus on heightened building performance through green operations and maintenance is essential to cost-effectively driving improvements in the economy and the environment, according to USGBC.