Illinois topped the U.S. Green Building Council’s ranking of states with the most LEED-certified building square footage per capita, according to the New York Times.
Buildings considered included mixed-use high-rises, condominium and apartment buildings, as well as institutional and commercial properties, but not single-family homes.
LEED is the most widely used environmental rating system for buildings. To achieve certification, buildings must have systems and components designed to work synergistically to achieve various sustainability goals, including high energy and water efficiency, low carbon emissions, a healthy indoor environment and cost savings. Certain prerequisites must be met, and credits may be awarded for additional elements or building techniques, raising certification to silver, gold or platinum levels.
Illinois ranked first among states, with 5.31 square feet of LEED-certified construction for every resident — a total of more than 68 million square feet in 172 projects. Massachusetts was a close second, with 5.3 square feet per capita, and Washington was third, with 4.25 square feet.
But the biggest winner isn’t a state, so it didn’t make the list: Washington, D.C., had nearly 62 square feet of LEED-certified construction per resident, with more than 37 million square feet in 145 projects.