Counting down the 2016 leading countries in LEED | U.S. Green Building Council

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Posted in LEED
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED

Take a closer look at our top 10 countries for LEED in 2016.

Right now, more than 82,000 commercial projects are participating in LEED—equivalent to more than 1.4 billion gross square meters (GSM) of space worldwide. And every day, about 170,000 GSM of space achieves LEED certification in more than 162 countries and territories across the globe.

USGBC’s annual Top 10 Countries for LEED ranking showcases the leading countries and regions that are spearheading market transformation in the world’s built environment. The list ranks countries in terms of cumulative LEED-certified space as of December 2016, and does not include the United States. The U.S. is by far the most extensive user of LEED, with 336.84 million GSM of certified space.

Count down the list of countries that made their mark in 2016:

10. United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates kicks off the list at number 10, with 3.64 million GSM of certified space—making up 180 total LEED-certified projects. The capital, Abu Dhabi, is poised to continue the country’s green building boom, with 102 projects (both certified and registered, excluding LEED Homes and Neighborhood Development projects), while the iconic city of Dubai counts 654 LEED projects, either complete or under way, within its bounds. Notable projects that were certified in 2016 include the LEED Platinum Zulekha Hospital in Sharjah, the University of Dubai and the Dubai Police Forensics Lab.

9. Sweden

Sweden moved up this year, with 3.88 million certified GSM, from number 10 in 2015. Of the 210 LEED-certified projects in the country, more than half (66 percent) are certified at the Gold level, followed by Silver (19 percent) and Platinum (10 percent). The country saw a spike in new construction certifications between 2015 and 2016, with 223,544 GSM of space certified last year. Some of Sweden’s top projects in 2016 include Hus 60–Centralsjukhuset Karlstad, a health care building in Karlstad; the LEED Platinum Masterhuset office building in Stockholm; and the LEED Platinum Klipporna project in Malmo.

8. Turkey

Turkey also improved its overall ranking from 2015, achieving number 8 with 4.78 million GSM of LEED-certified space. If the last two years have been any indication of the growth of green building in the country, the future looks incredibly promising: of the 191 projects LEED-certified to date, 66 percent of those were certified between 2015 and 2016—totaling approximately 3.21 million GSM. Standout projects from 2016 include Ortakent Mahallesi, Fulya and the Allianz Turkey Headquarters, all three of which achieved LEED Gold.

7. Germany

Germany comes in at number 7 with 215 projects, representing about 5.03 million GSM of LEED-certified space. Of those projects, 127 are LEED Gold, 44 are Platinum and 29 are Silver. 2016 saw a few notable project certifications in Germany, including the LEED Platinum Seimens headquarters in Munich; 50Hertz Netzquartier, an office and administrative building in Berlin; and Boeblingen Elementary and High School in Boeblingen, a town located southwest of Stuttgart.

6. Taiwan

Taiwan saw an improved ranking this year at number 6, up one from number 7 in 2015. To date, Taiwan has built 5.66 million LEED-certified GSM, representing a total of 99 projects—all packed into an island just 245 miles (394.29 km) long and 90 miles (144.84 km) wide. Two-thirds of those projects are certified at the Gold level. Taiwan’s list of green spaces includes the world’s third-tallest green building, Taipei 101, which achieved LEED Platinum certification in 2011 and was recertified LEED Platinum under LEED v4 O+M Existing Buildings in 2016. Other noteworthy certifications in 2016 include the Chimei Museum and the Delta Electronics headquarters in Taipei.

5. Republic of Korea

The Republic of Korea remained steadfast in its ranking, rounding out the top 5. Of the 97 LEED-certified projects (representing 5.95 million GSM of green space), LEED for New Construction surpasses all other rating systems in the country, counting for more than half of all projects to date. Notable certifications in 2016 include the LEED Gold Chanel store in the iconic Shinsegae Centum City Department Store in Busan, which is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest shopping complex in the world. Additionally, the Yonsei University School of Business and the Northgate Building, both located in Seoul, were certified that year.

4. Brazil

Brazil also held onto its ranking from year to year, staying at number 4 with 7.43 million LEED-certified GSM. The capital, Rio de Janeiro, counts 31 certified projects to date. 2016 saw several notable projects complete certification, including the LEED Platinum Coca-Cola warehouse and distribution center in the district of Caju, Rio de Janeiro; the LEED Gold Museu do Amanha (Museum of Tomorrow), also located in the capital city; and Creche Hassis, a K–12 school located in Florianopolis.

3. India 

India remained the third-largest user of LEED, with 15.90 million GSM representing 644 LEED-certified projects. In the last year alone, nearly 265,500 GSM were certified under New Construction, nearly 201,800 more GSM than in 2015. Of the LEED-certified projects in India, 89 percent (580 projects) are certified at the Gold or Platinum level. Notable projects include ITC Sankhya Data Center in Bangalore, Karnataka, which became India’s first LEED Platinum building certified under LEED v4 in April 2016, and the LEED Gold IFFCO B.S. Nakai Bhawan in Chandigarh, Chandigarh.

2. Canada

By a wide margin, Canada boasts the highest number of LEED-certified projects on this list (2,496), but was edged out by China with a margin of just 1.16 percent more LEED-certified GSM. Canada has seen sustained growth in green building, averaging about 6.12 million GSM over the last three years. Among the notable projects is 270 Albert Street, which became Canada’s first LEED v4 certified existing building. Additionally, the LEED Platinum 200 King Street West (the Sun Life Centre) in Toronto and the LEED Platinum Telus Garden Office Tower in Vancouver were also certified last year.  

1. China

China moved into the top spot in 2016, with 913 projects totaling about 34.62 million GSM. Of the projects currently certified, 61 percent (608 projects) are LEED Gold, and an additional 8 percent (78 projects) are LEED Platinum. The capital of Beijing boats 140 certified projects within its bounds, 73 percent of which achieved Gold status or higher. Notable achievements include the LEED Gold Porsche Waigaoquiao Training Center, which hosted USGBC President and CEO Mahesh Ramanujam earlier in the year, and the LEED Platinum Beijing Kerry Centre.