Illinois Among the Top for New Green Space in 2011

The Wrigley Building, which the USGBC highlighted in their report, after the iconic structure earned LEED Silver in 2011.

A new ranking of US states by green buildings finds Illinois in the top ten. The USGBC’s list ranked states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita. The District of Columbia lead the nation, with more than 31 square feet of LEED-certified space per person last year.

Due mostly to its density compared to the fifty states, D.C far outpaced the nation with new LEED space last year comparable in size to one small bathroom per person. Colorado and Illinois, the next highest states with 2.74 and 2.69 square feet per person respectively, garnered enough space for a bathmat for each resident.

Still, Illinois beat out more densely-populated states like New York, California and Connecticut. The latter is three times more dense than Illinois, but had less than half of the green development last year.

“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 Illinois Chapter of USGBC. “I applaud Illinois’ diverse green building community on this outstanding achievement.”

Last December, USGBC announced that LEED-certified existing buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts by 15 million square feet cumulatively. A focus on heightened building performance through green operations and maintenance is essential to cost-effectively driving improvements in the economy and the environment.

Other top states include Virginia and Washington, with 2.69 and 2.42 square feet of LEED-certified space per person, respectively. The top ten LEED states per capita, including D.C., are below.

State/District Square Feet of LEED-Certified Space in 2011 Per Capita
District of Columbia 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

Photo: David J. Laporte

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