Boston, MA Securing its status as a national green building leader, Massachusetts has taken fourth place on the annual list of the Top 10 States for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design(LEED). The new list, presented by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), ranks states based on the number of LEED certified s/f per person in the last year. Mass. saw a total of 101 projects earn LEED certification in 2019, representing 3.74 s/f of certified space per person and 24,505,512 total gross s/f. Mass. has ranked among the top five states every year since the list’s launch in 2012.
“As we embark on a new decade, the USGBC community is focused on helping more projects get on the path to LEED certification and a more sustainable future,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Over the last year, the Top 10 states have certified projects that serve as incredible examples of how green building can create more sustainable and resilient spaces that improve our living standard. There is still much work to be done, but the progress made across these states shows us that our work is having a tangible impact on people’s lives. As we enter our next chapter, we are committed to helping more buildings, cities and communities improve their sustainability performance through LEED.”
LEED-certified projects support personal health and well-being, as well as use less energy and water, reduce carbon emissions and save money for families, businesses and taxpayers. The Top 10 list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects certified throughout 2019.
“Sustainability is about working to provide people with a better quality of life,” said Meredith Elbaum, executive director of USGBC Mass. “The LEED projects that were certified in 2019 are true examples of how building design, construction and operations can contribute to improving communities. In past years, Massachusetts has been a leader when it comes to the Top 10 States for LEED and I look forward to working with more projects in 2020 to help the state reclaim its leadership position as we work toward a more sustainable future for all.”
With green building expected to grow globally through 2021, the need for skilled professionals to support green building projects has never been more important. Across the U.S. there are more than 165,000 LEED green building professionals with the knowledge to help cities and communities transition to greener buildings and spaces. LEED professionals demonstrate a competency in green building principles that can set projects on the path to certification and help them consider ways to reduce their impact on the environment and provide people with healthier, more sustainable spaces to live, learn, work and play. Noting that 70% of organizations have permanently placed sustainability on their management agendas (http://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/sustainabilitys-next-frontier/) Elbaum added that Mass. has a workforce of 6,827 LEED professionals with the skills to help businesses, organizations and homeowners meet their sustainability goals.
As USGBC continues to advance green buildings, cities and communities through the adoption of LEED and the latest version of the rating system, LEED v4.1, the organization is also considering a future that is focused on a more regenerative approach. In November 2019 at the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, USGBC introduced LEED Positive – a roadmap that will lay the foundation for a future of LEED that transitions away from strategies that only reduce harm and instead focus on those that help repair and restore. With a continued focus on performance, USGBC is laying the groundwork to ensure sustainable design, construction and operations of buildings, cities and communities remains focused on better buildings that contribute to better lives.