The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has officially revealed the Top 10 states for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The states that led the country in LEED standards constructed over 468 million square feet of green building space for a population of 128 million people.

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The USGBC has high standards when it comes to LEED certification. Buildings that fall under the LEED umbrella have a small carbon footprint, are energy efficient, use less water and are affordable for family and businesses. The new top 10 list corresponds with the newest rating framework, LEED v4.1, which places a higher priority on gathering statistics.

Illinois led the pack of the top 10 LEED states in the country. Last year, Illinois had 172 projects that adhered to LEED standards. One of the more interesting projects to come out of the state was the Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, which was built on an older campus and features more than 700 doctors.

Related: LEED Gold Gateway Arch Museum sports a 3-acre green roof in St. Louis

The most popular reasons for building eco-friendly LEED homes are demand and health concerns. Not only are green buildings better for the environment, but they also improve the health of occupants by increasing the quality of air and water. With LEED being the worldwide standard for best green building practices, the trend is catching on.

Massachusetts came in second on the list and is a great example of how schools are incorporating LEED standards into their building practices. The state’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School was certified LEED Platinum for being energy efficient and using its building to teach students about sustainable living.

Other states that made it onto the list include Washington, New York, Texas, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia, California and Maryland. Several states, such as Illinois, Maryland, New York, Colorado, Virginia, California and Maryland, were also in the top 10 in 2017.

Via Living StandardUSGBC

Image via USGBC