According to USGBC, Illinois once again tops the list, demonstrating leadership in the green building segment. Illinois certified 3.16 square feet of building space per person under LEED in 2021.
Meanwhile, per a USGBC statement, in 2021, the top 10 states, plus the District of Columbia, certified 1,105 projects and more than 247 million gross square feet under LEED.
Washington, Massachusetts, Colorado and Virginia round out the ranking's top five, with Utah making an appearance on the list for the first time since 2015.
The full rankings are as follows:
Despite Washington, D.C. not appearing in the official top 10 list because of its status as a federal territory, USGBC notes that D.C. consistently leads the nation in LEED-certified square footage per capita. In 2021, the nation’s capital certified 29.46 square feet of space per resident across 103 green building projects.
The list's data includes commercial and institutional green building projects certified to LEED between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021. USGBC said it calculated the top 10 list based on 2020 U.S. Census data, "using per capita figures to allow for a fair comparison of the level of green building taking place among states with significant differences in population and number of overall buildings."
Peter Templeton, president and CEO, USGBC, commented:
“Amidst the challenges of 2021, governments, companies and other organizations committed to taking bold actions to protect the climate, their employees and their communities. Transitioning our buildings to be healthier and more sustainable is essential to meeting these commitments, and we’re proud to recognize states where that work is well under way.”
LEED is billed as the world’s most widely used green building program, created by USGBC as a leadership standard defining best practices for healthy, high-performing green buildings. View a list of notable LEED projects that were certified in 2021.
USGBC's Templeton concluded, “Green building is projected to continue its rapid growth in 2022, and USGBC remains focused on supporting further market transformation and innovation. It is particularly encouraging to see policy leadership at all levels of government promoting green building practice and performance—from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to local code enhancements. USGBC will continue to support efforts in all sectors to accelerate progress and increase accountability for creating sustainable, healthy, resilient and equitable buildings and communities.”