On February 4, USGBC released its annual Top 10 States for LEED, and USGBC Virginia is glad to see our state ranked eighth on the list. With 136 certified projects spanning a total of 25,348,631 square feet, this marks the eighth consecutive year Virginia has made the Top 10 States for LEED list.
LEED-certified spaces create better environments for people, use less energy and water, and save money for businesses and families, while also reducing carbon emissions and creating a healthier and more productive space for the larger community.
In addition, LEED supports state and local strategies to help mitigate climate change and increase sustainable development. There are more than 96,275 projects participating in LEED across 167 countries and territories, and it’s estimated that nearly 5 million people experience a LEED building on a daily basis.
“These Top 10 states are examples of how we can create lasting, measurable change and improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities. A better future requires a universal living standard that leaves no one behind—and that future would simply not be possible without the extraordinary work being done in these states,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, USGBC.
Check out three LEED-certified projects in Virginia that helped contribute to this ranking in 2018:
Virginia Wesleyan University’s Greer Environmental Sciences Center houses the School of Mathematics and Science. This 44,000-square-foot facility acts as a learning lab for students and prioritizes sustainability. The project team minimized environmental impact to the surrounding land by incorporating basins around the building as a habitat for wildlife while also treating stormwater runoff. In doing so, the building has been recognized by the Elizabeth River Project for pollution prevention and wildlife habitat preservation.
This Virginia Beach facility is home to an international medical charity that provides free surgeries for children and young adults with dealing with challenges like a cleft lip or palate. As a benefit to occupants, the building is able to use daylighting so effectively that no artificial lighting is needed for 87 percent of the day. It also uses a heating and cooling system that reduces energy use to 34 percent lower than a comparable building, and water-efficient fixtures to reduce potable water use by 30 percent.
This indoor training facility provides the VMI with an all-season center for their military-based programs. A passive downdraft system allows natural ventilation using evaporative cooling to supply 100 percent outside air without the need for additional cooling and heating fans. This technology significantly reduces the building’s energy use, while providing a healthier environment in which to train.