Illinois Leads LEED in Top Ten Ranking for 2013

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Illinois achieved the highest ranking in the 2013 U.S. Green Building Council’s  top 10 states for LEED certification, arguably the best-known green building stamp in the world.

The listing evaluated the states based on the amount of building square footage per capita that is certified for LEED. Illinois ranked 2.29 per capita, besting second-place Maryland’s 2.20.

The Mid-Atlantic, in general, had a strong showing, with Virginia coming in third. The green building council didn’t include Washington, D.C. since it’s not a state, but noted that the district’s per capita standing was a healthy 32.45 square feet per resident.

Massachusetts was third among the states, followed by New York and California in a tie, then Oregon, North Carolina, Colorado, Hawaii and Minnesota.

In all, the top 10 states had won LEED certification for 1,777 commercial and institutional projects last year, representing 226.8 million square feet of real estate. Worldwide, 4,642 projects were certified in 2013, representing 596.8 million square feet.

More than 20,000 projects representing 2.9 billion square feet now hold LEED-certification worldwide, with another 37,000 projects representing 7.6 billion square feet in the pipeline for certification, according to the building council.

LEED evaluates green buildings based on five categories:  sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

See list details and sample LEED buildings from the highest ranking states here.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.