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Illinois leads Top 10 in green building says USGBC

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The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Top 10 rankings of the states with the highest percentage of green building initiatives for 2013 puts Illinois atop the list of states for the first time with 171 LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design — certified projects.

“The list of the Top 10 States for LEED is a continuing indicator of the widespread recognition of our national imperative to create healthier, high-performing buildings that are better for the environment as well as the people who use them every day,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC in announcing the Top 10 in Washington, D.C..

To level the playing field between large and small states, the USGBC criteria in selecting its Top 10 list is based on the total number of square feet of LEED certified space created in a given time divided by the number of residents in that particular state.

Illinois' 2.29 square feet of LEED space per resident is derived from 29,415,284 total square feet of the 171 certified projects in 2013. The total square footage of LEED certified space ranks Illinois behind only New York and California.

“Both the public and private sectors in Illinois recognize that long-term investments in 21st century infrastructure should be done in ways that reduce energy consumption and protect the environment,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn in a statement. “Illinois is proud to be the nation’s green buildings leader, and we are proof that a smaller environmental footprint can help us step toward energy independence.”

Residents of Washington, D.C. can take solace in the fact that if D.C. were a state it would be at the top of this list. Certified projects in the Capital for 2013 topped out at a staggering 32.45 square feet of space per resident.

The Green Top 10

  1. Illinois 2.29
  2. Maryland 2.20
  3. Virginia 2.11
  4. Massachusetts 2.09
  5. New York 1.95
  6. California 1.95
  7. Oregon 1.83
  8. North Carolina 1.80
  9. Colorado 1.77
  10. Hawaii 1.71

The list above shows the per-capita square footage of LEED projects in each state. Owing to a tie for fifth between New York and California, the USGBC Top 10 includes an eleventh state — Minnesota.

Collectively more than 1,700 projects became LEED certified within the Top 10 states in 2013, representing more than 200 million square feet of real estate.

Every day, more than 1.5 million square feet of space worldwide is certified using LEED. The green building certification system, administered in America by the USGBC, encourages builders to think green when constructing new or rehabbing existing buildings. LEED-certified buildings reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a healthier environment.