Each year since 2010, the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has tallied and ranked the space certified per capita under its LEED rating system across each U.S. state. This year’s list again throws the focus on the green rating system’s mid-Atlantic stronghold while showing new growth in the south and southwest. Led by Illinois for the second year in a row, it also represents the highest average space certified per state per resident since the 2010 list.
Georgia and Alabama joined the list this year, while six of the eight states that made the list in both 2014 and 2013—Illinois, Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Hawaiit—added more space per capita this year than last. List leader Illinois and No. 2 Colorado are the only states to have made the list every year since its inception. Because the list doesn’t measure federal territories—Washington, D.C., which would have topped the ranking with 29.4 square feet per capita across 102 projects totaling 17.7 million certified square feet—was exempted.
The following chart shows this year's list in its order ranked by square footage certified per capita:
The 10 states on this year’s list contributed 1,662 commercial and institutional LEED-certified projects in 2014 for a total of 251.7 million square feet of project space. Globally, 4,502 projects totaling 675.7 million square feet of space earned LEED certification in 2014. Last year's list offered 1,777 projects for 226.8 million square feet of space in the U.S., and 4,642 projects worldwide representing 596.8 million square feet.
The LEED credit for Building Operations and Maintenance was again the most popular rating system among the top 10 states, representing 48 percent of square footage certified by list members. LEED for Building Design and Construction was the second most popular credit, at 46 percent. And LEED for Interior Design and Construction was third, though used significantly less, at 6 percent of total square footage attributable to projects on this year’s list.
Last fall, the USGBC announced that it was extending the period during which projects could register under the LEED 2009 rating system from June 27, 2105 to Oct. 31, 2016. The move intends to give practitioners additional time to meet the more stringent demands of the new LEED v4 standard, particularly related to materials and post-occupancy reviews. An upgrade to LEED v4 isn't the only means through which the USGBC is offering closer scrutiny of green-building practices. Its LEED Dynamic Plaque, which was introduced at Greenbuild 2013 and rolled out last year, tracks an existing building's strategies including water, waste, transportation, and energy in real time.