Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its national ranking of the top states in the country for LEED green building and Washington is the fourth state in the nation for 2015. The rankings come at an important time for states looking to reduce their energy use. LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

“Washington is a nationwide leader in green building and LEED certification. LEED creates jobs and increases opportunities for Washington’s workers and businesses while contributing billions of dollars to the state’s economy,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. “LEED has become an essential standard for the transformation of building design and construction. LEED certified buildings drive economic growth, creates jobs and makes communities healthier.”

The annual ranking is developed by analyzing each state in terms of square feet of LEED certified space per state resident. Now in its sixth year, the list highlights states throughout the country that made significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation throughout 2015. Washington certified 101 projects representing 17,450,321 square feet of real estate, or 2.6 square feet per resident, in 2015.

Top 10 2015 State Breakouts-04-Washington

“Every time a building is LEED certified, there is a story to tell – particularly in this market where LEED certification is a choice. Knowing how many owners, developers, architects, and builders came together, driven by their personal and professional values, to do their part in the fight against climate change serves as proof of Washington state’s committed real estate community,” said Tom Paladino, CEO of Seattle-based Paladino and Company and an integral co-creator of the original LEED program. “Over the last 15 years, I’ve witnessed LEED’s evolution, from its modest beginnings as a sketch on a napkin to what it is today – a global force for change. We are all accountable for the betterment of our planet and I applaud these top 10 states, and everyone who furthers the green building movement.”

In addition, data from USGBC’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study show LEED construction is expected to support 147,000 total jobs in Illinois and have a total impact on GDP of $12.87 billion from 2015-2018.

A few notable projects that certified in Washington in 2015 include:

  • City of Seattle Fire Station 20, LEED Platinum
  • Starbucks Roastery Seattle, LEED Platinum
  • Gonzaga University Hemmingson Center, LEED Gold
  • University of Washington Husky Stadium, LEED Silver

The full ranking of the top 10 states for 2015 includes:

Rank State Projects certified in 2015 Square feet LEED certified in 2015 Per-capita square footage
1 Illinois 161 43,979,595 3.43
2 Maryland 127 17,659,881 3.06
3 Massachusetts 112 19,850,624 3.03
4 Washington 101 17,450,321 2.60
5 Colorado 95 12,218,992 2.43
6 Nevada 30 6,534,960 2.42
7 California 618 87,358,563 2.34
8 Texas 237 52,445,321 2.09
9 Virginia 121 13,005,968 1.63
10 Utah 31 4,494,301 1.63
* Washington, D.C. 84 11,612,237 19.30

*Washington, D.C., is not ranked as it is a federal district, not a state.

Collectively, 1,633 commercial and institutional projects became LEED certified within the Top 10 States in 2015, representing 274.9 million square feet of real estate. Worldwide, 4,837 projects were certified in 2015, representing 818.9 million square feet. Nearly 75,000 projects representing 14.4 billion square feet of space have been LEED-certified to date.

USGBC calculates the list using per-capita figures as a measure of the human element of green building. This also allows for fair comparisons among states with significant differences in population and number of buildings.

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