The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced the Top 10 States for LEED, an annual ranking that highlights states throughout the U.S. that made significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation over the past year.

Topping the list is Massachusetts, which moved from third to first place with a total of 136 LEED-certified projects representing 3.73 square feet of certified space per resident.

Now in its seventh year, the ranking assesses the total square feet of LEED-certified space per resident based on U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects certified during 2016. Illinois and Colorado are the only two states to have made the list every year since 2010, and New York has returned to the rankings after a one-year hiatus.

A continued presence on the list from Maryland and Virginia has reaffirmed the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Washington, D.C., as the epicenter of green building. While Washington, D.C., is not included in the list of top states due to its status as a federal territory, it is notable as it offers 29.04 square feet of LEED space per resident, more than any individual state.

This year’s list has the highest average (2.55) per capita LEED certified space among the top 10 states since 2010. Four of the nine states included in the 2015 list increased the square feet of space they certified per resident in 2016 (Massachusetts, Colorado, California and Virginia).

Collectively, 1,819 commercial and institutional projects achieved LEED certification in the 10 states within the Top 10 LEED list in 2016, representing 309.12 million gross square feet of real estate. And across the U.S., 3,366 projects were LEED certified in 2016, representing 470.39 million square feet.

In 2016, LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance was once again the most popular rating system within the Top 10 States, representing 53 percent of the total square footage certified; LEED for Building Design and Construction was the second most popular rating system, representing 42 percent of the square footage certified; and LEED for Interior Design and Construction was the third most popular rating system, representing 5 percent of total square footage certified.

2016 Top 10 States for LEED
  Certified Gross
Square Footage
(GSF)
Per-capita Certified
GSF
Projects
1MA*24,398,7653.73136
2CO*15,921,4573.1792
3IL*36,188,4852.82151
4NY48,405,2042.5211
5CA*88,891,6412.39632
6NV*6,397,6022.3722
7MD*13,426,6232.33104
8VA*18,444,3092.31155
9WA*15,103,4782.25105
10TX*41,942,3931.67211
**DC17,476,44729.04120

*Included in 2015 Top 10 States for LEED list
**Washington, D.C. is not ranked as it is a federal district, not a state