From Heather Benjamin's The ranking highlights leaders in sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings in the U.S.
"The recently announced 2020 Top 10 States for LEED list showcases the expansion of green building across the U.S., with Massachusetts ranking first in the nation for the highest gross square footage of LEED-certified space per person. Although the COVID-19 pandemic affected the building and construction industry in 2020, U.S. states still made sustainable, healthy buildings a priority, certifying over 400 million square feet of space to LEED standards.
Now in its 11th year, the annual list is based on the gross square footage of LEED-certified space added in each state over the past year, using 2010 U.S. Census data. It includes commercial and institutional green building projects that were certified in 2020. More than 60% of certifications across these states were earned for offices, education and health care projects. What's more impressive is that nearly half of all projects in the top 10 were certified as LEED Gold, showing a commitment to a high level of certification.
As the leader, Massachusetts certified 76 projects in 2020, representing 2.91 square feet of LEED-certified space per resident. The state has made the Top 10 list each year, but has not held the number one spot since 2017. Washington made the biggest jump, moving from outside the top 10 in 2019 to number two this past year. Other states that returned to the Top 10 list after falling off in 2019 were Texas and Nevada.
The benefits of LEED go beyond reduced water and energy usage, affecting the health and prosperity of entire communities. LEED-certified projects save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, in addition to reducing carbon and creating a healthier environment in which people can thrive. From an investor perspective, they are also a critical component of demonstrating progress against ESG commitments.
Through LEED certification, these states have demonstrated their commitment to the health and sustainability of their communities. Join us in celebrating their leadership—share your state’s ranking with your neighbors and colleagues on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts and use #Top10LEED."