In their annual rankings, released today, the U.S. Green Building Council announced that Virginia has improved to the top state for LEED-certified buildings. Virginia ranked behind Colorado and Illinois last year, but improved to the top spot for 2012, with 170 projects certified, and 29,709,574 square feet of LEED space certified. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven program that provides third-party verification of green buildings.
Speaking about the annual ranking, Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair of the USGBC said, "Securing a spot on this list is a remarkable achievement for everyone involved in the green building movement in these states. From architects and designers to local chapter advocates, their collective efforts have brought sustainable building design and use to the forefront of the national discussion on the environment, and I applaud their efforts to create a healthier present and future for the people of their states."
"Today's ranking is a validation of the tremendous effort of Virginia's architects and builders to design and renovate building spaces to be more energy-efficient," said Governor Bob McDonnell. "Last year, I signed into law the High Performance Building Act, which ensures that public building design, construction and renovation now meets the LEED green building standard as well. It is good for the environment, good for our bottom line and good for business."
Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech said, "The Governor is pleased that Virginia moved into the position as the top state, with 3.71 square feet certified per resident in 2012. LEED standards provide a framework for identifying, implementing, and measuring practical green building design, construction, operations and maintenance. This is one part of the Governor's efforts to make Virginia the energy capital of the United States."
The report also singled out Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, Va. as the first winery on the East Coast to achieve LEED Platinum. The release from the U.S. Green Building Council is available at http://new.usgbc.org/articles/usgbc-releases-2012-list-top-10-states-leed
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org.
As the most widely recognized and widely used green building program across the globe, LEED is transforming buildings, homes and communities in all 50 states and 135 countries. LEED guides the design, construction, operations and maintenance of over 50,000 projects worldwide, comprising 10.3 billion square feet of commercial and institutional construction space, and over 123,000 additional residential units.
By using less energy, LEED-certified spaces save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. Learn more at usgbc.org/leed.