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The Green Life: Top 10 States for LEED Buildings Announced

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January 19, 2012

Top 10 States for LEED Buildings Announced

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its list of the top 10 states with the most LEED-certified green bulidings per capita for 2011. D.C. topped the list with just more than 31 square feet of LEED-certified space per person. Colorado, Illinois, and Virginia came in next with 2.74, 2.69, and 2.42 square feet per person, respectively. Here's the full chart: 

 State
Sq. ft. of LEED-certified space earned in 2011
Per capita
D.C.
18,954,022
31.50
Colorado
13,803,113
2.74
Illinois
34,567,585
2.69
Virginia
19,358,193
2.42
Washington
14,667,558
2.18
Maryland
11,970,869
2.07
Massachusetts
13,087,625
2.00
Texas
50,001,476
1.99
California
71,551,296
1.92
New York
36,538,981
1.89
Minnesota
9,591,445
1.81

A LEED rating is based on state-of-the-art strategies such as sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, material selections, and indoor environmental quality. 

"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," said Doug Widener, executive director of the USGBC's Illinois chapter.

Rick Fedrizzi, the CEO and founding chair of USGBC, said, "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."

Indeed, today's builders have welcomed the certification program; in December, LEED buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis.

A diverse community of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofits, elected officials and concerned citizens, teachers and students, all stand behind the USGBC's mission to transform buildings into sustainable spaces that improve the quality of life.

Chicago Wrigley Building

Said 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."

A few LEED projects that were certified in 2011 include:

Chicago's Wrigley building (pictured), the headquarters for the chewing-gum giant.

The Treasury Building in Washington, D.C., is the world's oldest LEED-certified edifice.

Frito-Lay in Lynchburg, Virginia, earned LEED Gold for upgrading an existing building.

--Lauren Pope / chart courtesy USGBC

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