- The U.S. Green Building Council has announced its annual Top 10 States for LEED list, and Massachusetts — with 136 LEED-certified projects (3.73 square feet of certified space per resident) — moved up from its 2015 third-place position to top the 2016 ranking.
- Second place on the USGBC's list went to Colorado, which achieved 92 projects (3.17 sf/resident), followed by Illinois (151 projects; 2.82 sf/resident), New York (211 projects; 2.50 sf/resident) and California (632 projects; 2.39 sf/resident). Once again, Washington DC, with an impressive 29.04 square feet of certified space per resident (120 projects), was not included in the rankings due to its standing as a federal district.
- The top 10 states on the list represent 1,819 new LEED-certified space (309.12 million gross square feet). Nationally, 2016 saw 3,366 newly certified LEED projects totaling more than 470 million square feet.
There are more than 59,000 LEED-certified projects totaling 6 billion square feet in 164 countries, and, according to the USGBC, LEED is part of a U.S. green building segment that will have generated 3.3. million jobs, $190.3 billion in worker paychecks and $303.5 billion in gross domestic product by 2018.
Earlier this month, some architects expressed their concern about how the green building industry would fare under a President Donald Trump administration. Trump's cabinet picks have made statements in the past that cast doubt on their commitment to progressive energy and environmental policy, and they also hinted at plans to roll back environmental regulations that hold up certain projects or create too much red tape. Trump directed federal agencies to do the same this week when it comes to high-priority infrastructure projects. According to the Architectural Record, only a few of Trump's properties have pursued LEED certification.
The Trump administration has led some sustainable construction leaders to consider changing their messaging, according to Beth Heider, chief sustainability officer at Skanska USA. She told Construction Dive that the industry should put less emphasis on the climate change implications of sustainable construction and focus more on the bottom line.
The remainder of the Top 10 States for LEED list includes:
6. Nevada (22 projects; 2.37 sf/resident)
7. Maryland (104 projects; 2.33 sf/resident)
8. Virginia (155 projects; 2.31 sf/resident)
9. Washington (105 projects; 2.25 sf/resident)
10. Texas (211 projects; 1.67 sf/resident)