Virginia leads states in green construction

Dick Uliano,

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – When it comes to being green, Virginia has something to crow about – it’s leading the country in constructing energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings.

In 2012, Virginia had 175 green building projects, the most per capita of any state in the nation. But, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, D.C. actually ranks at the top of the list with 110 projects. Maryland ranks sixth with 127.

The U.S. Green Building Council provides third-party verification and issues Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certifications.

When it comes to states, “Virginia is first in the nation for green building for 2012,” says Jason Hartke, the council’s vice president for national policy.

At a gathering of Virginia officials, building developers and educators at the newly opened Alexandria Police Headquarters, Alexandria Mayor William Euille pointed with pride to the facility opened in 2011.

“The police station is an excellent example of how environmentally conscience planning can result in great buildings,” he says.

The handsome four-story red brick building is a glowing example of green construction.

It is 30 percent more energy efficient than comparable sized buildings because of its design and leading edge mechanical equipment. The building also includes water efficient fixtures and it’s landscaped with native drought resistant plants that require less watering.

The building was also constructed with 20 percent recycled materials on a brown site that had contained contaminated soil.

It’s not just newly constructed buildings that can be LEED certified.

In D.C., the green building projects include renovations made to the historic Treasury building constructed in 1839 next door to the White House. The building has been made 21st century energy efficient.

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