The U.S. Green Building Council recently released its annual ranking of the top 10 states in the nation for the LEED green building rating system. Colorado came in second in per-capita LEED green square footage in 2014, just behind Illinois. The per-capita list highlights states throughout the country that are making strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation.
LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
The per-capita list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects certified throughout 2014. Colorado certified 102 projects representing 15,816,498 sq ft of real estate, or 3.15 sq ft per resident in 2014.
USGBC calculates the list using per-capita figures as a measure of the human element of green building, allowing for a fair comparison of the level of green building taking place among states with significant differences in population and, accordingly, the overall number of buildings.
“It’s no surprise that the Centennial State continues to be a trailblazer for LEED certifications,” said Sharon Alton, executive director of the USGBC Colorado Chapter. “From cutting-edge projects like Union Station that are reimagining Denver’s downtown, to the Colorado Convention Center, which showcases sustainability for visitors, Coloradoans have always prioritized the health of our built environment. As the rest of the country eyes Colorado’s intrinsic attributes and the regional economy continues to experience an upswing, we look forward to continuing to push the envelope in green building.”
“Colorado has so many committed business and community leaders, policy makers and green building professionals who are using LEED to transform their built environment, producing many innovative spaces that will improve the health of our shared planet, as well as the health of the people who use those buildings every day,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC.
Here is a sample of notable projects that were LEED certified in Colorado in 2014:
• Colorado Convention Center, Denver—LEED Gold
• Kaiser Permanente Lone Tree Medical Offices, Lone Tree—LEED Silver
• University of Colorado’s Kittredge Central Hall, Boulder—LEED Gold
• 1900 Sixteenth Street, Denver—LEED Platinum
• Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Morgridge Family Exploration Center, Denver—LEED Platinum
• 1670 Broadway, Denver—LEED Gold
More than 306 USGBC-member organizations are headquartered in Colorado and the state has 7,205 LEED-credentialed professionals, according to the USGBC.
Collectively, 1,662 commercial and institutional projects became LEED certified within the top 10 states in 2014, representing 251.7 million sq ft of real estate. Worldwide, 4,502 projects were certified in 2014, representing 675.7 million sq ft.
More than 26,600 projects representing 3.6 billion sq ft of space have been LEED certified to date, with another 42,000 projects representing 8.8 billion sq ft in the pipeline for certification. USGBC launched LEED v4, the newest version of the rating system, in fall 2013. The latest version continues to raise the bar for the entire green building industry, which Forbes magazine estimates could be worth up to $960 billion globally by 2023.
LEED v4 features increased technical rigor; added new market-sector adaptations for data centers, warehouses and distribution centers, hospitality, existing schools, existing retail and midrise residential projects; and a simplified submittal process supported by a robust and intuitive technology platform.