USGBC announces top 10 states for green building in 2022

Massachusetts topped the list with 96 buildings encompassing more than 26 million square feet that were LEED-certified in 2022.

leed certification plaque outside a building

© Eric BVD |

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its annual ranking of U.S. states leading the way in green building, with Massachusetts topping the list.

The USGBC ranking is based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design- (LEED-) certified gross square footage per capita over the past year. The LEED rating system is the world’s most widely used green building program and was created by USGBC as a leadership standard for defining best practices for healthy, high-performing green buildings.

“It was a strong year for LEED certifications across the U.S. as companies and governments embrace LEED as a tool for meeting ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals and organizational commitments to climate action, occupant wellbeing and resource efficiency,” says Peter Templeton, USGBC president and CEO. “LEED buildings are environmentally friendly, cutting their emissions and waste, and use less energy and water. At the same time, they also help reduce operational and maintenance costs, contributing to the bottom line.”

The states following Massachusetts—where 96 buildings encompassing over 26 million square feet were LEED-certified in 2022, equating to nearly 3.7 LEED-certified square feet per resident—were Illinois (3.47 square feet per capita), New York (3.17 square feet per capita), California (2.43 square feet per capita) and Maryland (2.39 square feet per capita).

As a federal territory, Washington, D.C., does not appear in the official top 10 list of states, but it consistently leads the nation in LEED-certified square footage per capita, in part because of the federal government and the district’s ongoing commitments to green building. In 2022, the nation’s capital certified over 46 square feet of space per resident across 115 green building projects.

The full rankings:


 Rank State Projects Gross area (square feet) 2022 GSF per capita
 * Washington, D.C. 115 31,759,516 46.06
 1 Massachusetts 96 26,442,008 3.76
 2 Illinois 91 44,577,321 3.48
 3 New York 142 64,042,120 3.17
 4 California 386 96,457,139 2.44
 5 Maryland 80 14,769,661 2.39
 6 Georgia 66 24,068,422 2.25
 7 Colorado 59 12,532,909 2.17
 8 Virginia 95 16,289,394 1.89
 9 Texas 174 48,717,532 1.67
 10 Oregon 36 6,066,035 1.43

In 2022, the top 10 states certified 1,225 projects and nearly 353 million gross square feet under LEED.

For additional information on the 2022 rankings, along with a listing of notable projects, click here

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