USGBC has kicked off each of the past nine years by reflecting on the incredible green building progress that’s happening across the United States. This year is no different. With 1,826 certified projects, the 2018 Top 10 States for LEED are home to more than 128 million people and have added more than 468 million gross square feet (GSF) of LEED-certified space in the past calendar year.
While the Top 10 States serve as impressive examples of success with LEED, many other states also made significant strides in 2018:
Oregon is the ninth largest U.S. state in terms of land area, and it's also a large contributor to green building. In 2018, Oregon certified 55 LEED projects, accounting for 2.11 GSF of LEED space per capita. Projects like the Oregon Zoo Education Center, which is designed for net-zero operations through the installation of 760 solar panels, and the Yogi Tea Manufacturing facility, helped advance the state’s green footprint.
In North Carolina, 2018 welcomed 61 LEED-certified projects, amounting to 1.4 GSF of LEED space per capita. Projects like the NIEHS net zero energy warehouse, the first Department of Health and Human Services building to achieve LEED Platinum certification, and the expansion of the Chapel Hill Ronald McDonald House, which added 24 beds to the family-centered charity, helped North Carolina significantly grow its sustainable building footprint.
Though Minnesota only certified 35 LEED projects in 2018, green building covered a lot of ground—7,208,034 square feet, to be exact. This helped the midwestern state achieve 1.36 GSF of LEED-certified space per capita. Large projects like the Wells Fargo Center, the third tallest building in Minneapolis, which certified 1,340,572 square feet of LEED space, and the U.S. Bancorp Center recertification, a 1,047,458-square-foot business center, were major players in Minnesota’s successful year of green building.
In South Dakota, major projects like the Froiland Science Complex, a LEED Silver academic building at Augustana University, helped the state reach 0.59 GSF of LEED-certified space per capita in 2018. Neighboring North Dakota also saw an increase in LEED-certified space, thanks to exemplary projects like the Doosan Bobcat North America Acceleration Center, a key engineering facility for all Bobcat compact equipment.
In the Mountain State, companies like Procter & Gamble, Dominion Energy, and Starbucks grew the state’s LEED footprint. The new Dominion Energy West Virginia project achieved LEED Silver in 2018, making it the first warehouse to certify using LEED v4 in the state. Part of Dominion’s sustainability plan involves the purchase of 100 percent green power renewable energy certificates of annual building electricity usage.
With nearly 9 million residents, New Jersey is helping to create healthier spaces for people to work and live. In 2018, Subaru of America Headquarters achieved LEED Silver. It is also a zero-landfill facility and uses LED lighting, reclaimed wood wall décor and carpeting made with partially recycled content. In addition, the state is looking for sustainability opportunities beyond single buildings and recently celebrated Hoboken as its first LEED city.
The year 2018 showed significant growth in green building, and research shows that the trend will continue to grow through 2021. People continue to demand green spaces as sustainable practices enhance occupant health and well-being and the vigor of the greater community.