By 1 measure, DC leads nation in green building

The U.S. Green Building Council listed 115 projects in D.C. as LEED-certified. (Courtesy U.S. Green Building Council)

If D.C. were a state, it would top the list of new LEED-certified building projects per capita in 2022, according to new rankings.

Of note, D.C.’s population is considerably less than any of the states in the top 10. Nonetheless, based on number of projects, the District would still rank in the top four among states.



The U.S. Green Building Council’s annual ranking of states committed to green building credits both the federal government and the District’s ongoing commitments to green building.

In 2022, the council certified 115 projects in D.C. as LEED-certified, representing 31.8 million square feet of new construction and existing buildings that upgraded to LEED. That was the equivalent of 46.06 green square feet per capita, far ahead of Massachusetts, whose green-certified projects represented 3.76 square feet per capita.

The top states for green building square feet per capita (behind D.C.) were Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, California and Maryland. Virginia ranked No. 8.

Based on total square feet of green-built or converted projects, California led with 96.5 million square feet.

“In the nation’s capital and beyond, LEED buildings are environmentally friendly, cutting their emissions and waste, and using less energy and water,” said Peter Templeton, USGBC president and CEO. “At the same time, they also help reduce operation and maintenance costs, contributing to the bottom line.”

In 2022, the top 10 states, plus D.C., had 1,225 projects certified and over 353 million gross square feet under LEED. Last year, the Green Building Council tally surpassed 100,000 LEED-certified projects globally since it was established in 2000, totaling more than 11 billion certified gross square feet.

The Green Building Council maintains a list online of projects certified LEED in the District in 2022.

Below are the top states for LEED-certified building in 2022, courtesy the U.S. Green Building Council:

(Courtesy U.S. Green Building Council)

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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