Christopher Gray

2014’s Top 10 States have shown tremendous leadership in the green building movement by certifying 1,662 commercial and institutional projects representing 251.7 million square feet of real estate. These buildings will have a tremendous social impact over the coming years by providing healthy and environmentally sustainable spaces to produce new breakthroughs in many different fields of science, medicine, education, business, the fine arts and environmental and social justice.

This recurring weekly series will feature one project per week in each of 2014’s Top 10 States for LEED. The goal of this series is to help share the powerful stories of how LEED buildings are positively impacting people’s lives through providing healthier, more environmentally sustainable spaces for people to live, learn, work, play and worship.

Every state, beginning with Illinois, 2014’s first overall state for LEED green building, will have a different highly impactful project profiled that touches on one of these core areas and demonstrates how business, universities, faith communities and non-profit organizations across the country are using LEED. This week's installment will focus on Colorado's contribution to the green building movement in 2014.

The Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO 


Colorado was the second ranked state in the nation for LEED in 2014 (3.15 square feet of LEED certified space per-capita), and Colorado, along with Illinois, is one of only two states to make the Top 10 list every year since USGBC began announcing its rankings in 2010. Of the 102 projects that certified in Colorado last year, the Colorado Convention Center is one of the most stunning. 

The Colorado Convention Center holds more than 240 events and conferences each year, and has been ranked as one of the top 10 places in the country to hold a conference (6th) by USA Today. This iconic building not only plays a dominant role in shaping Denver’s architectural scene, it also features quirky sculpture by artist Lawrence Argent in the form of a friendly, 40-foot blue bear meant to symbolize the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado Convention Center is 83% more energy efficient than similar buildings of its type, and it diverts 54% of all waste generated in its facilities from landfills through emphasizing recycling and composting. The 1,873,830 square foot Colorado Convention Center was rectified LEED Gold for Existing Buildings, making it a great example of a LEED building that is dedicated to a high level of performance and environmental sustainability over time. 

In addition to the Colorado Convention Center, projects like the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Morgridge Family Exploration Center in Denver, and Kaiser Permanente's Lone Tree Medical Offices in Lone Tree, helped Colorado finish 2nd in the nation for LEED, while also making Colorado one of two states to make the Top 10 States for LEED list every year since USGBC has been announcing its rankings in 2010.

View photos of some of the most notable projects to certify in the Top 10 States in the slideshow below.