Amanda Sawit

The 2015 Top 10 States list honors transformative efforts at the state level to create healthier, more energy- and water-efficient places to live, learn, work and play. In 2015 alone, 1,633 projects were certified in the United States—equivalent to an incredible 275 million square feet. 

In this series, we spotlight the standout LEED-certified projects that contributed to the 2015 Top 10 rankings. Join us in celebrating some of the best examples of green building design, construction and operation. 

#9: Virginia 

UVA Children’s Hospital Battle Building 

The Battle Building at the University of Virginia (UVA), which includes the UVA Outpatient Surgery Center and UVA Children’s Hospital Clinics, was awarded LEED Gold for new construction on Feb. 14, 2015. It brings together multiple pediatric outpatient services under the same roof, including the 35 specialty clinics of the Children’s Hospital, and allows specialists in multiple disciplines to more seamlessly provide patients and families the care they need. Built on a former brownfield site, the 200,000-square-foot, seven-story complex contains outpatient services and research facilities, treatment areas and examination rooms. It is also home to a clinical trials suite and the Children’s Clinical Research Office. 

The project particularly focused on improving indoor environmental quality; strategies such as daylighting and dimming control, air-to-heat recovery and ventilation and thermal comfort helped the project meet 80 percent of the credits available in the IEQ section of the LEED project checklist. Additionally, efforts to reduce potable water and energy use also saw returns—the project had a 50 percent reduction in potable landscape water use, 20 percent reduction in baseline indoor water use and 17.5 percent improvement on the baseline building performance rating for energy optimization. More than 75 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills, and the building runs comprehensive recycling programs to further reduce waste throughout the building’s lifecycle.

State snapshot

Virginia ranks No. 9 on the Top 10 List, with 121 projects certified in 2015, or about 13.01 million square feet of LEED-certified space. Virginia has made the Top 10 States list for the last five years. Between 2015 and 2018, green building is projected to add $26.5 billion to Virginia’s GDP, as well as 312,000 jobs and $17.8 billion in labor earnings, according to USGBC’s Green Economic Impact Study, conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton. The study also anticipates that LEED alone will account for $9.39 billion of the state’s GDP growth; with 107,000 jobs and $6.29 billion in labor earnings, as well as $147.7 million in tax revenue, by 2018. 

Other standout projects include:

  • The LEED Platinum Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, home to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Hampton Roads staff and local conservation group, Lynnhaven River Now, benefits the larger public with spaces indoors and out for community and student groups. 
  • The LEED Gold Virginia Beach Convention Center (recertification) was the first convention center in the U.S. to earn LEED Gold in the Existing Buildings category and is currently one out of five convention centers in the nation to successfully renew its certification.
  • Norfolk State University’s LEED Gold Classroom and Nursing Building, which offers four floors dedicated to Allied Health programs, nursing and academic instruction. The fourth floor houses specialized labs focused on serving the Allied Health and Nursing programs.
  • The LEED Gold Maxwell Apartments, a mixed-use building located in the bustling Ballston Corridor neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia. 

Learn more about the top 10 states in 2015