Chicago Slips to Third Among LEED-Certified Cities

By Matt Baker

After three straight years at the top, Illinois has fallen to third on an annual ranking of green building projects in the U.S. The per capita list was compiled by the USGBC using U.S. Census data and commercial and institutional green building projects that were LEED-certified throughout 2016. Illinois totaled 151 LEED certifications last year, representing 2.82 square feet of certified space per resident.

“LEED guides our buildings, cities, communities and neighborhoods to become more resource- and energy-efficient, healthier for occupants and more competitive in the marketplace,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “The green building movement continues to evolve with advancements in technology, benchmarking and transparency, and the states on this list are leading the way toward a more sustainable future.”

The 2016 list featured the highest average (2.55) per capita of LEED-certified space since 2010. Illinois and Colorado are the only two states to make the list every year since its inception.

The USGBC calculates the list using per capita figures as a measure of the human element of green building, allowing for a fair comparison of the level of green building taking place among states with significant differences in population and, accordingly, number of overall buildings. Collectively, 1,819 commercial and institutional projects were LEED-certified in the top 10 states last year, representing over 300 million square feet of real estate.

The top ten for 2016 is as follows:

State

Projects Certified in 2016

Square Feet Certified in 2016 (millions)

Per Capita Square Footage

1 Massachusetts 136 24.4 3.73
2 Colorado 92 15.9 3.17
3 Illinois 151 36.1 2.82
4 New York 211 48.4 2.50
5 California 632 88.9 2.39
6 Nevada 22 6.4 2.37
7 Maryland 104 13.4 2.33
8 Virginia 155 18.4 2.31
9 Washington 105 15.1 2.25
10 Texas 211 41.9 1.67

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