Earlier this year I updated Green Lodging News readers about the reach of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED green building program in lodging. For those of you who missed that column, there were 2,132 lodging projects either registered or certified as of December 16, 2020. The most LEED hotel projects are in the United States—1,253.
For those of you interested in the reach of LEED at a more general level by state, USGBC recently released its annual list of the Top 10 States for LEED green building with Massachusetts leading the country in 2020 with the most certified square feet per capita. Following Massachusetts from No. 2 to No. 10: Washington, Illinois, Colorado, New York, Maryland, California, Virginia, Texas, Nevada. Across the top states, more than 60 percent of certifications were office, healthcare, higher education, and K-12 projects. This year, USGBC also released a ranking of states with the most LEED professionals with California taking the top spot. Collectively, the 2020 rankings represent 1,171 certified LEED buildings and spaces, and more than 100,000 green building workers.
(From my column earlier this year: Within the United States, California leads the country with 209 LEED hotel projects followed by Florida with 101, New York with 88, Texas with 71, Virginia with 54, Maryland with 53, Pennsylvania with 48, Washington, D.C. with 47, Massachusetts with 45, North Carolina with 39, Washington with 35, Nevada and Georgia with 34, Colorado with 32, and Illinois with 31.)
“If we are to rebuild an economy that supports our health and our planet, we must lead with changing the way we design and build,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of USGBC. “Last year was a stark reminder that the quality of our buildings impacts the quality of our life. Looking ahead, people want to trust that the spaces they occupy are good for them and their communities, and LEED has always been a tool to support those goals. Now is the time to ensure that every building is LEED certified as that is the only way we are accomplishing our goals of access to healthy, green buildings, homes, and spaces.”
While offices, education and healthcare projects accounted for most certifications, warehouses, distribution centers, multifamily and retail projects represented almost 20 percent. Also, almost half of all projects were certified Gold, indicating a commitment to a high level of certification.
The Top 10 States for LEED green building is based on gross square feet of certified space per person using 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional projects certified in 2020.