Key Highlights

  • LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is environmental rating system most commonly used to designate and certify buildings as environmentally sound
  • January 2020 was the hottest January on record
  • 2019 was second hottest year on record
  • 2010’s was hottest decade ever

It’s becoming harder and harder to ignore the fact that our climate is becoming hotter and hotter. January 2020 was the hottest January ever; 2019 was the second hottest year on record, and the decade of 2010 was the hottest decade ever!

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The US Green Building Council reports on the nation’s states and the District of Columbia with the most square footage per capita of certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) new construction. Properties included for LEED certification are mixed use high rises, condominium and apartment buildings and institutional and commercial properties.

According to the Green Building Act of 2006, all new private development projects that are 50,000 square feet and larger have been required, as of January 2012, to meet LEED standards specified. To become LEED certified, new buildings must be constructed to reach sustainability goals in such areas as…

  • High energy and water efficiency
  • Lower carbon emissions
  • Healthy indoor environments (air quality, light, natural and sustainable materials usage, etc.)
  • Cost savings

The District of Columbia has adopted the most aggressive sustainability strategies in the country. It requires all non-residential buildings to meet LEED certified standards and currently has 10 X the number of LEED-certified new construction square footage per capita than any other state in the country.

The top 10 states earning LEED certification in 2019 included:


State          Square Footage       Sq.’/Capita                 # of Projects

CO             23,962,344                 4.76                    102

IL               49,363,822                 3.85                    121

NY              72,778,916                 3.76                    193

MA              24,505,512                 3.74                    101

HW              4,083,713                   3.00                    12

MD               15,234,554                 2.64                    96

VA                19,981.112                 2.50                    98

MN               12,708,706                 2.40                    25

OR                8,825,432                   2.30                    33

CA                80,669,066                 2.17                    400

DC                31,810,018                 52.86                 143

According to the US Green Building Council, the state of Colorado moved up from sixth place on this list in 2018 to first place in 2019.

Thanks to the Green Building Council and the New York Times’ Michael Kolomatsky for source data.

Also read: March 2020 Rental Rates Fell in Most Expensive Markets, Podcast: Coronavirus Declared Pandemic. What Happens Next?, Seven Tactics to Keep Deals On-Track

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