The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its annual list of U.S. states leading the way on green buildings, and New York topped the list for the first time during a record-breaking year in 2023.
The USGBC ranking is based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified gross square footage per capita over the past year. The LEED rating system is the world’s most widely used green building program and was created by the USGBC as a leadership standard defining best practices for healthy, high-performing green buildings.
In 2023, New York totaled 201 newly LEED-certified projects that encompassed more than 93 million square feet, equating to nearly 4.6 LEED-certified square feet per resident. Following behind was Illinois (3.213 square feet per capita), Massachusetts (3.210 square feet per capita), Washington (3.01 square feet per capita), and Georgia (2.56 square feet per capita). Though not officially on the list because of its status as a federal district, the District of Columbia continued to lead nationally with more than 43 certified square feet per capita.
“The LEED certification system is a vital tool for both organizations and governments seeking to create better living, working, and learning spaces while addressing the urgent challenges of climate change, health, and affordability,” said Peter Templeton, USGBC president and CEO. “The top 10 report highlights the remarkable progress of the public and private sectors toward reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, health impacts, and operating costs in buildings across their states.”
Notably, a new record was set in 2023 for adding the most LEED-certified gross square footage of green building space in a single year. In total, there were more than 6,000 LEED-certified commercial projects worldwide, representing 1.36 billion gross square feet.
In 2023, the USGBC also introduced a draft of its LEED v5 for Operations and Maintenance (O+M) rating system for existing buildings. Learn more by watching this exclusive interview, “FMA Insights: What Does the LEED Update Mean for Facilities Managers?“
More information on the 2023 rankings, along with notable projects, can be found here.