Not long ago, a LEED platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council was a goal that raised the eyebrows of most developers.

They asked: How costly is a green project? How difficult is it to find sustainable materials? Are there enough subcontractors out there familiar with the new, energy-saving electrical and mechanical systems?

Today, LEED certification is becoming commonplace, and regulations in the Washington, D.C., metro area as well as Philadelphia have pushed developers to seek sustainability. These days more owners are looking to differentiate their projects by aiming for the highest certification bestowed by the USGBC.

The Mid-Atlantic region has 394 LEED-certified projects, according to the USGBC. Eighteen of those projects are certified LEED platinum, half of which were earned this year.

“This is a region, among the highest populated in the country, known for being particularly progressive and innovative,” says Marie Coleman, spokesperson for USGBC. “It makes sense that these states would take a proactive position to save energy, money and natural resources by building sustainably.”

Read on to find out more about several of the LEED platinum projects that were certified in the Mid-Atlantic region this year.