The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced the top 10 states for LEED-certified building space per capita in 2011 but none of the top 10 states is even close to the amount of LEED-certified space in the nation’s capital. According to the USGBC, Washington, D.C., had 31.50 square feet of LEED-certified property per capita last year, putting it well ahead of the top 10 states.


The disparity between the District of Columbia’s figures and those of the other states is explained in a USGBC blog post:


“Although Washington, D.C., is a very small geographic area compared to U.S. states, the District packs in a substantial amount of green buildings due in part to the tremendous leadership from the federal government (nearly 30 percent of all LEED projects are government-owned or occupied LEED buildings, and the federal government alone owns and operates some 500,000 buildings). On top of that, D.C. has a low residential population in comparison to the number of buildings it contains, on account of its small size and high commuter rate from Virginia and Maryland.” Source: USGBC


After removing D.C. from the data, the state of Colorado came out on top with 13.8 million square feet of LEED-certified space in 2011. This works out to a per capita rating of 2.74 square feet. Illinois had more than double the amount of LEED-certified space, 34.5 million square feet, but more people call the state home and so the per capita rating was only 2.69.


The entire top 10 list of states and the per capita ratings follow:


  1. Colorado - 2.74
  2. Illinois - 2.69
  3. Virginia - 2.42
  4. Washington state- 2.18
  5. Maryland - 2.07
  6. Massachusetts - 2.00
  7. Texas - 1.99
  8. California - 1.92
  9. New York - 1.89
  10. Minnesota - 1.81

New LEED-certified projects that contributed to the top 10 rankings include the LEED Platinum Casey Middle School in Boulder, Colo., the LEED Gold certified Austin Convention Center in Texas and the LEED Platinum Hotel Skylar in Syracuse, N.Y.

Washington, D.C., is the LEED capital of the U.S.
The District of Columbia had the most LEED-certified square footage per capita in 2011.