The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, released its national ranking of the top states in the country for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building and California is the fifth state in the nation for 2016. The annual list highlights states throughout the country that made significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation over the past year.
This year, California moved up from seventh to fifth place with a total of 632 LEED certified projects representing 2.39 square feet of certified space per resident.
“California has been a phenomenal trailblazer in green building and LEED certifications and is leading the way toward a more sustainable future for generations to come,” says Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “The success of LEED could not happen without support from states likes California that believe in being environmentally and socially responsible and have committed to transforming the built environment. With each new LEED certification, we are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment, driving economic growth and prioritizing sustainable practices that will positively impact the way residents, communities and cities live, work and play.”
According to USGBC’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, LEED construction is projected to support 668,000 total jobs in California and have a total impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $58.4 billion from 2015 to 2018.
“With nearly 89 million square feet of building space certified to LEED standards in 2016, California continues to prioritize a sustainable built environment across all sectors,” says Brenden McEneaney, director of community, USGBC Northern California. “With continued leadership from Governor Brown, ambitious goals in cities and counties, businesses committed to reducing carbon, and a sophisticated construction industry, we see more green building leadership in California’s future.”
Now in its seventh year, the ranking assesses the total square feet of LEED-certified space per resident based on U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects certified during 2016.
A few notable projects that certified in California in 2016 include:
- Los Angeles Harbor College Science Complex; LEED Platinum;
- Odette Winery in Napa; LEED Gold; and
- ACT Strand Theater; LEED Certified.
Collectively, 1,819 commercial and institutional projects achieved LEED certification within the Top 10 States for LEED in 2016, representing 309.12 gross square feet of real estate. Across the United States, 3,366 projects were certified in 2016, representing 470.39 million square feet.