By Liz Hughes
Illinois was No. 3 in the country last year with the most LEED certified projects according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual list of Top 10 States for LEED green building, leading the country with the most certified square feet per capita.
More than 60% of certifications across the top states, including Illinois, were offices, health care, higher education and K-12 projects, the report noted.
The LEED green building top 10 list is based on gross square feet of certified space per person using 2010 U.S. Census data and includes both commercial and institutional projects certified in 2020.
Illinois took the No. 3 spot with 2.61 gross square feet per capita, 94 certifications in 2020 and an overall certified gross square footage of 33,475,682. Washington came in at No. 2 and Massachusetts took the No. 1 spot.
“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 chief executive officer of USGBC in a press release. “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.”
The report found overall that offices, education and health care projects accounted for the majority of the certifications. Warehouses and distribution centers, as well as multifamily and retail projects represented almost 20%.
Additionally, the report found almost half of all projects certified Gold, indicating a commitment to a high level of certification, according to the report.
USGBC also released a ranking of states with the most LEED professionals with California coming in at No. 1.
Collectively, the 2020 rankings represent 1,171 certified LEED buildings and spaces, and more than 100,000 green building workers, according to the release.