The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced the Top 10 Countries for LEED, which highlights countries outside of the United States that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and market transformation. These countries represent the growing international demand for LEED green buildings.
This year, China moved from second to first on the list as the largest user of LEED with 34.62 million gross square meters (GSM) of certified LEED space. Canada, India, Brazil and the Republic of Korea rounded out the top five.
Global green building is expected to double every three years, according to a Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, to which USGBC was a contributing partner. Conducted in 70 countries, the report found that emerging economies like China, India and Brazil will be engines of green growth, with development varying from twofold to sixfold over current green building levels. Increased consumer demand has also pushed the world’s green building market to a trillion-dollar industry, a surge that has led to a corresponding increase in the scope and size of the green building materials market, which is expected to reach $234 billion by 2019.
LEED is the world’s most widely used green building rating system. The analysis used to develop the list ranks countries in terms of cumulative LEED-certified GSM space as of December 2016. LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and prioritize environmental and human health.
Currently, there are more than 82,000 commercial projects participating in LEED totaling more than 1.4 billion GSM of space worldwide. An additional 112,000 residential units have been certified under LEED Homes. An estimated 170,000 GSM of space achieves LEED certification every day in more than 162 countries and territories across the globe.