New numbers from the U.S. Green Buildings Council show that Illinois led the nation in green construction last year, with 5.31 LEED-certified gross square footage per capita in new construction.
Just behind Illinois was Massachusetts, with 5.3 certified square footage per capita. New York came in at number four, with Virginia, California, and Maryland filling in slots eight through ten.
“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,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “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.”
The USGBC highlighted the Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital as a notable project in the state. The campus opened in March 2018 with nearly half a million square feet in certified space. Altogether, Illinois had 172 certified projects last year for a total of 68,133,942 certified gross square feet. Chicago has gone as far as to achieve the USGBC certification for LEED cities and communities, which helps cities reduce waste, pollution, and energy useage.
Office buildings in general have shown a sharp downward trend in carbon emissions, with a 3.4% reduction last year, and studies have show that LEED-certified buildings boost employee happiness and recruiting for companies.