Washington, D.C. — (Feb. 4, 2019) — Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its annual list of Top 10 States for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the world’s most widely used green building rating system. Texas came in at number five on the list, which ranks states based on the number of LEED-certified square feet per person. The growing adoption of LEED across the state propelled Texas into the top five in 2018.
“Over the past 25 years, the U.S. Green Building Council, its member companies and the green building community have come together to make our planet stronger, greener and more sustainable through LEED,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “These Top 10 states are examples of how we can create lasting, measurable change and improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities. A better future requires a universal living standard that leaves no one behind—and that future would simply not be possible without the extraordinary work being done in these states.”
The states that made this year’s Top 10 are home to 128 million American and the more than 1,800 buildings that certified in 2018 represent more than 468 million gross square feet of space. Buildings that are LEED-certified create healthier spaces for people, as well as use less energy and water, reduce carbon emissions and save money for families, businesses and taxpayers.
“Congratulations to all of our dedicated TEXAS organizations, who value so greatly the principles of LEED, SITES, PEER, et al.” said Scott Gerhardt, USGBC Texas Board Chair. “Congratulations especially to all of our TEXAS GBCI professionals and our USGBC Texas volunteers on this monumental achievement!”
Texas certified 277 green buildings in 2018, representing 3.52 gross square feet of LEED-certified space per resident. Notable projects that certified in Texas in 2018 include:
• Sea Star Base Galveston, LEED Platinum, a seaside facility designed to teach people of all ages, especially children, different tasks and skills in boating or water activities, while promoting environmental stewardship of the ocean;
• Austin Animal Center Kennel Addition, LEED Silver, which expands upon the existing LEED Gold “No Kill” animal center to meet the community’s growing pet adoption needs, and provides an additional 44 kennel spaces, as well as play yards and adoption rooms;
• Milby High School, LEED Silver, one of the first public high schools ever constructed in Houston, which maintained the original 1926 building structure during renovations, but incorporated modern and innovative design tactics to enhance students’ learning environments; and
• NASA Human Health & Performance Laboratory, LEED Silver, which is a human health and environmental sciences laboratory, think tank, inventors’ workshop, and outreach center designed to study human life on earth and in space.
“We’re proud that Texas has made it back into the Top 10 States list for 2018. We’ve done a lot to advance green building across the state, and are gearing up for another busy year to build upon our success and keep raising the bar for LEED in Texas,” said Rhiannon Jacobsen, vice president of strategic relationships at USGBC. “We hope that with LEED v4.1, the expertise of builders and developers, and the dedication of our USGBC members, we can continue to lead the growth of green building in the country in the coming year.”
“We’ve worked hard in Texas to make LEED and green buildings as accessible as possible for our communities, our local policymakers and our citizens,“ said Jonathan Kraatz, executive director of the USGBC Texas Chapter.
Now in its ninth year, the 2018 Top 10 States for LEED list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects that earned LEED certification in 2018. The full rankings are as follows:
2018 Top 10 States for LEED
| Number of
* Included in 2017 Top 10 States for LEED list
** Washington, D.C. is not ranked as it is a federal district, not a state
USGBC calculates the list using per capita figures to allow for a fair comparison of the level of green building taking place among states with significant differences in population and number of overall buildings. In the U.S., 2,886 commercial projects certified in 2018. Globally, there are currently more than 96,275 registered and certified LEED projects in 167 countries and regions around the world.
Recently, USGBC introduced LEED v4.1, the latest update to the rating system, and released beta versions for existing buildings (LEED v4.1 O+M), new construction (LEED v4.1 BD+C) and interiors (LEED v4.1 ID+C). LEED v4.1 emphasizes human health and integrates performance metrics using Arc to encourage ongoing tracking. Recent research shows green building will continue growing through 2021. Client demand remains the top reason to build green in the U.S. and occupant health and well-being emerged as the top social factor. Through LEED, USGBC pushes the market toward higher performing buildings that also improve quality of life.
The impact of buildings, cities and communities on people continues to be a priority for USGBC and across industries. In an effort to expand USGBC’s global green building efforts and ensure that LEED is not only the de facto leadership standard, but also the pre-eminent living standard, USGBC launched the Living Standard campaign at 2018’s Greenbuild in Chicago. Focused on the belief that storytelling can lead to a more sustainable world, the campaign aims to highlight stories – big and small – that capture how USGBC, LEED and other sustainability programs are raising the quality of life for people around the world. By visiting livingstandard.org, individuals and companies can join the campaign and submit stories.