According to the U.S. Green Building Council, Illinois appears to be going green faster than any other state. For the second year in a row, the Land of Lincoln has built the most square feet of green-certified LEED space per capita, working out to 42.4 million square feet of real estate, or 3.31 square feet per resident, from 174 certified projects. Colorado is second with 3.14 square feet per resident, while California, despite its more environmentally conscious reputation, ranks seventh at 1.87. Illinois and Colorado are the only two states to have appeared on the list every year since the Green Building Council began releasing it in 2010.
The Tribune says Illinois has retained its top spot because of corporate buy-in and state and municipal requirements. Some of the state's LEED-certified projects that opened or were certified this year include the FBI Regional Headquarters in Chicago, the Aon Center and Argonne National Laboratory. Earlier this year, Redfin named Valley View in suburban St. Charles as the best community in the country for green homes. While the LEED has been criticized as greenwashing, it remains a recognized standard.
·Infographic: Top 10 states for LEED in 2014 [U.S. Green Building Council]
·Illinois ranks No. 1 for energy-saving construction [Chicago Tribune]
·Illinois Takes First Place For State With Most LEED Space [Curbed Chicago]