Atlantic Wharf  Anton Grassl Maybe it should be called the Green House: Washington, DC once again topped the state rankings for new LEED certifications in 2012.

The list, released by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), is based on the square footage of LEED space certified per resident, using 2010 US Census data. The figures include commercial and institutional buildings.

DC boasted 36.97 square feet of LEED space per capita, while Virginia was No. 2 with 3.71 square feet per resident and Colorado was No. 3 with 2.10 square feet.

The nation’s capital ranks so high compared to the other states because of its limited population in a small area with fewer buildings; the top-10 state with the most LEED certified projects in 2012 was California, at 540.

“When we started, we were just looking at the number of projects,” Scot Horst, senior vice president for LEED at USGBC, told GreenSource. “But if we’re really going to talk about having green buildings for everyone, you start to see how that per capita piece fits in.” For instance, the relatively low ratio of LEED space per resident outside of DC “gets across the idea that we’ve got a long way to go.”

Significant projects that certified in 2012 include Atlantic Wharf, the first LEED Platinum skyscraper in Boston; Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, Virginia, the first winery on the East Coast to achieve LEED Platinum; National Football League corporate headquarters in New York City and Levi Strauss headquarters in San Francisco.

Next year, the rankings could include countries, which are experiencing more dramatic upticks in LEED certification. “In Brazil, we’re seeing 500 percent growth, and similar growth in China,” Horst told GreenSource. Those are the kinds of things we need to start including, to get people thinking that it’s not just about states anymore.”

Below is an infographic of the top 10 states (11 if you count DC), courtesy of USGBC:


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