- Massachusetts, once again, is the top state for LEED, according to the U.S. Green Building Council's annual Top 10 States for LEED ranking. In 2017, the state, which also held the title of No. 1 in 2016, saw nearly 4.5 square feet per capita (130 projects; 29 million total square feet) win LEED certification, an increase from the 3.73 square feet per capita that was certified there in 2016.
- New York took the council's second-place spot with 3.39 square feet of certified space per capita in 2017 (192 projects; 65.75 million total square feet), followed by Illinois (3.38 sf/capita; 135 projects), Hawaii (3.32 sf/capita;16 projects) and Maryland (2.75 sf/capita; 105 projects). Washington DC, certified the most of all with 39.83 square feet of LEED space per capita, but was not included in the rankings because it is a federal district.
- The top 10 states certified a total of 1,399 new LEED projects in 2017 for a total of nearly 315 million square feet.
LEED is among the most well-known sustainable certification programs, and it has only grown in popularity with the rising trend toward sustainability in building materials and practices.
Other programs, too, are helping to strengthen the push toward sustainability. One of those programs, the International WELL Building Institute's (IWBI) WELL certification looks at the health and well-being of its occupants, although there are some crossover elements that deal with the built environment. Winning WELL certification is based on how the property scores relative to categories like fitness, water, nourishment and light.
The IWBI is also working with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) on another crossover program. The organizations announced this month that they had issued updated guidelines for achieving both WELL and BREEAM certification, the latter being the BRE's In-Use sustainability benchmark for existing buildings in the U.S. BREEAM allows for an initial online self-assessment and then provides property owners with the next steps toward certification.
The IWBI also has a relationship with the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The two are collaborating on research and educational materials for AIA members with the intent of encouraging design professionals to include more WELL features in their projects. According to the IWBI, because people spend about 90% of their times indoors, their surroundings should help enhance health.