Illinois is leading the pack once again this year on the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) top 10 states for LEED green building. Now in its fifth year, the list is based on 2010 census data and includes commercial and industrial projects certified through 2014. Illinois led the way for the second year in a row, with 174 LEED certifications covering 3.31 square-feet of LEED certified space per resident.

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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.”

The top-ranked states include:

  1. Illinois
  2. Colorado
  3. Maryland
  4. Virginia
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Hawaii
  7. California
  8. Georgia
  9. Minnesota
  10. Arizona and New York are tied.

Washington D.C. was not ranked since it is a federal district and not a state.

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“Every story about a green building is a story about people,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “USGBC’s annual recognition of the Top 10 States for LEED goes beyond gross square feet or number of projects and factors in LEED’s potential in a given state to be part of the daily life of the state’s residents.”

Fedrizzi said that this approach has become an important benchmark in the country’s building environment. “We commend the business and community leaders, policy makers and green building professionals in each of these states for making the commitment to create a healthier, more sustainable future.”

Significant projects included among the certifications this year are: The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Building 26 in Greenbelt, Maryland; the City Financial Tower in Honolulu, Hawaii; Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California; and the Wells Fargo Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. More than 26,000 projects covering 3.6 billion square feet have been LEED certified to date, and another 42,000 projects are in the pipeline for certification.


Images via Glavovic Studio and Mainstreet Architects