(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today welcomed the latest data from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) showing that the District leads the nation in in promoting green building and sustainability. USGBC ranked D.C. as No. 1 per capita in its list of top 10 states for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified commercial and institutional green buildings during 2011.
“I’m proud that the District is the national leader on green building design, which is integral to my goal to make us the most sustainable city in the world,” Mayor Gray said. “LEED-certified buildings and green design in general will play a crucial long-term role in safeguarding our future by conserving precious resources – paying dividends not only for the Earth’s health, but also for the District’s livability.”
Last year, the District led all other states in the country with 31.5 square feet of LEED-certified space per resident and a total of 18,954,022 square feet of LEED-certified space in commercial and institutional buildings. Colorado placed a distant second, with 2.74 LEED-certified square feet per capita and more than 13 million square feet of LEED-certified space.
The USGBC’s rankings add to the national recognition of the District’s leadership in sustainability, starting with the passage of the Green Building Act in 2006. The Green Building Act requires new and substantially improved District-government-owned or -financed buildings to meet LEED-certification standards for environmental performance. The law also applies the same requirements to private commercial construction starting in January 2012.
“As the densest and most urbanized state, with perhaps the most progressive and enlightened development community as well as the remarkable Green Building Act, it is absolutely no surprise that D.C. would lead these green building rankings,” said Harriet Tregoning, Director of the D.C. Office of Planning.
USGBC data also show that, compared to other U.S. cities, the District ranks second in the number of combined Certified and Registered LEED buildings, with a total of 880 structures. The District has 657 LEED-registered and 223 LEED-certified buildings. New York City ranks first among cities in the category, with a total of 898 Certified and Registered LEED buildings, while Chicago ranks third with 784 buildings.
Counting only LEED-certified buildings, D.C. comes in third behind New York and Chicago. Chicago, with a population of 2.7 million, is home to 299 LEED-certified buildings. New York City, with 8.2 million residents, has 224 LEED-certified structures. The District – with less than a fourth of Chicago’s population and less than a twelfth of New York’s – has only one fewer LEED-certified building than the Big Apple.
“This recognition reflects the market value of sustainable practices – a tribute to those who desire healthy spaces and the creative and committed response of D.C.’s architects, engineers and builders,” said Christophe A. G. Tulou, Director of the District Department of the Environment. “This is just one more example of how the District of Columbia is becoming the most sustainable city in the country.”
D.C. Sustainability Plan
Under the Gray Administration, District government officials and D.C. residents are completing a plan to ensure that Washington is the most sustainable city in the nation. The plan will establish goals and recommendations for achievement in nine areas: the green economy, energy, climate change, water, transportation, waste, food, the built environment and the natural environment.