USGBC 2020 LEED Report Reveals 60% of U.S. Green Buildings in Office, Healthcare and Education

The U.S. Green Building Council released the Top 10 States for LEED green building with California ranking No. 1 for most LEED professionals, while Massachusetts ranks No. 1 for most certified square feet per capita.

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U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
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The green building initiative aims to create building designs that limit the negative impacts on the environment while reducing the use of natural resources — an approach that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been a part of since 1993. It recently released its 2020 Top 10 States report for LEED green building, featuring data representing 1,171 certified buildings and spaces, while accounting for more than 100,000 green building workers. 

The report shows Massachusetts led the country with the most certified square feet per capita, while California ranked No. 1 for most LEED professionals. It also indicates 60% of certifications were in office, healthcare, higher education and K-12 projects.

The results differ from the 2019 Top 10 Sates for LEED report, which ranked Colorado as the No. 1  state for certified gross square footage per capita, with Massachusetts only ranked fourth in the U.S. In 2020, Colorado ranked fourth, exchanging spots with Massachusetts.

USGBC’s LEED program provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. It now includes Safety First Guidance to address operational changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program's aim is to generate sustainable, healthy and resilient buildings. The LEED program addresses ventilation and filtration, daylighting, low-emitting materials, access to outdoor spaces, acoustics and other key factors that can reduce the impact on climate change

“If we are to rebuild an economy that supports our health and our planet, we must lead with changing the way we design and build,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “Last year was a stark reminder that the quality of our buildings impacts the quality of our life.

“Looking ahead, people want to trust that the spaces they occupy are good for them and their communities, and LEED has always been a tool to support those goals. Now is the time to ensure that every building is LEED certified as that is the only way we are accomplishing our goals of access to healthy, green buildings, homes and spaces.”

2020 Top 10 States report for LEED green building key points:

  • Massachusetts ranks No. 1 for green building certified square feet per capita.
  • California leads the country with most LEED professionals.
  • More than 60% of certifications included office, healthcare, higher education and K-12 projects.
  • Warehouses, distribution centers, multifamily and retail projects account for 20% of building certifications — most of which achieved gold certification.
  • USGBC affiliate Arc technology data shows that LEED projects deliver significant reductions in emissions and improvements, and the benefits increase with higher levels of LEED certification.

* Collectively the 2020 Top 10 States report represents 1,171 certified LEED buildings and spaces, while accounting for more than 100,000 green building workers. The report is based on gross square feet of certified space per person and includes commercial and institutional projects that were certified in 2020.

Insight provided by the U.S. Green Building Council and edited by Chantal Zimmermann.

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