Image of Virgin Hotel Chicago. #1 Illinois LEED Gold image.“Green construction is quickly outpacing conventional construction in the U.S.,” according to Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of USGBC. Those states making significant strides in sustainable building design are highlighted in the USGBC 2015 Top 10 States for LEED Green Building Per Capita in the U.S. This year over 1,600 commercial and institutional projects became LEED certified in the top 10 states.

Many states, such as Utah, are making their first appearance on the list. Utah is a great example of how the green building initiative is spreading nationwide, not just to highly populated urban areas.

For the third year in a row, Illinois ranks at the top of the list of LEED certified space in the U.S. with 161 projects in the state. Illinois, along with Colorado, has ranked in the Top Ten States for LEED every year since 2010.

The increase in green building certification is good for the environment and is a large economic driver. According to the 2015 USGBC Green Building Economic Impact Study, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs. That is more than a third of construction related jobs in the U.S.

Here is the full ranking:

2015 Top 10 State for LEED
Rank State Gross Square Footage (gsf) Per Capita Certified GSF Total No. Projects
1 IL* 43,979,595 3.43 161
2 MD* 17,659,881 3.06 127
3 MA* 19,850,624 3.03 112
4 WA 17,450,321 2.60 101
5 CO* 12,218,992 2.43 95
6 NV 6,534,960 2.42 30
7 CA* 87,358,563 2.34 618
8 TX 52,445,321 2.09 237
9 VA* 13,005,968 1.63 121
10 UT 4,494,301 1.63 31
** DC 11,612,237 19.30 84

Are you interested in joining the green building movement? Consider adding a LEED credential to your resume. GBES study tools will help you pass the exam the first time, whether you’re pursuing a LEED Green Associate or a LEED AP with specialty.