WASHINGTON — If D.C. were a state, it would rank first again on an annual list of the top 10 states for leadership in energy and environmental design, the most widely-used green building rating system.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s annual report card ranks states based on the number of LEED-certified square feet per person. Virginia and Maryland both make the top 10.
LEED-certified buildings use less energy and water, reduce carbon emissions and create healthier work and living environments for their occupants.
Despite D.C. not appearing in the official top 10 because of its status as a federal territory, the Green Building Council says D.C. has consistently led the nation. In 2018, the city certified 61.74 square feet of space per resident across 145 building projects, more than 10 times the per capita number for the top ranked state, Illinois.
In 2017, the District was the first city in the world to be LEED-certified.
The Green Building Council points to specific projects in each state as standouts.
Virginia, which ranks eighth for 2018 green buildings per capita, certified 25.3 million square feet across 136 projects, for a green square foot per capita of 3.17.
Operation Smile’s global headquarters in Virginia Beach used LEED to reflect its commitment to make the world a better place, the Green Building Council said, and achieved LEED Gold status.
Maryland ranks 10th on the 2018 list, with 16.9 million square feet of certified LEED construction across 113 projects, for a green square footage per capital of 2.92.
The Green Building Council singles out the Merriweather Post Pavilion Stagehouse for its LEED Silver certification, saying it is a “home-away-from-home for touring artists playing at the iconic venue and reflects many of the artists’ environmental values.”
In addition to the District, nine of the top 10 states are home to LEED-certified cities, including Chicago, Seattle and Austin.
The Green Building Council says the number one reason developers are seeking LEED-certification for their projects is tenant demand.
The top 10 states in 2018 had a combined total of 468 million gross square feet of LEED-certified space.
This content was republished with permission from CNN.