Contact: Leticia McCadden
Communications Manager, USGBC
Follow us on Twitter at @USGBC

Massachusetts moves from the third to first; New York rejoins ranking

(Washington, D.C.) – Jan. 25, 2017 – Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the Top 10 States for LEED, an annual ranking that highlights states throughout the United States that made significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation over the past year. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system.

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.

“LEED guides our buildings, cities, communities and neighborhoods to become more resource and energy efficient, healthier for occupants and more competitive in the marketplace,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “The green building movement continues to evolve with advancements in technology, benchmarking and transparency, and the states on this list are leading the way toward a more sustainable future.”

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).

The full ranking is as follows:












Notable projects certified in 2016’s Top 10 States for LEED include:

  • Massachusetts: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the location of Greenbuild 2017;
    LEED Silver
  • Colorado: Riverside Library & Cultural Center; LEED Gold
  • Illinois: Chiaravalle Montessori School, North Wing; LEED Platinum
  • New York: World Trade Center Tower One; LEED Gold
  • California: Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center; LEED Platinum
  • Nevada: Las Vegas Corporate Center Building 20 LVCC; LEED Gold
  • Maryland: Parks & People at Auchentoroly Terrace; LEED Platinum
  • Virginia: Woodrow Wilson Library; LEED Gold
  • Washington: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art; LEED Gold
  • Texas: Baylor Medical Waxahachie; LEED Silver

Collectively, 1,819 commercial and institutional projects achieved LEED certification in the 10 stateswithin 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.

The LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. More than 59,000 commercial, neighborhood and residential projects are currently LEED certified, comprising more than six billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 164 countries and territories globally.

Green construction is also a large economic driver. According to USGBC’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs – more than one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector – and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings by 2018.

The industry’s direct contribution to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also expected to reach $303.5 billion from 2015-2018.


About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.




As a teaser to our comprehensive Greenbuild Sustainability Report coming out this March, here are our Top 5 sustainability stories from Greenbuild 2016 in Los Angeles, CA.

rns_22251. 90% Waste Diversion at Convention Center
Early in 2016, the Greenbuild Waste Team set a goal diversion rate of 85% for the Greenbuild conference based on the LA Convention Center’s baseline diversion rate of 72%. This dedicated group worked for 6 months to add compost bins in the public spaces, find haulers for additional waste streams and fine-tune the back of house sorting process for all waste generated by the Greenbuild show. This group, Greenbuild volunteers and a waste sorting team from ABM and UnitedService Companies, made it possible to exceed our goal and achieve a 90% waste diversion rate.

2. Over 14,500 lbs. of Show Donations
Each year, our Exhibitor Donation Program collects leftover booth materials from Greenbuild Exhibitors. This year, exhibitors donated just over 14,500 pounds of materials. Almost 9,000 pounds of materials came from KB Homes – Hanley Wood. Hanley Wood built a model home on the show floor and chose to donate many items from the exhibit. Donations included construction materials such as doors, windows, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, countertops, a sliding glass door, and patio decking. Additionally, they donated all the appliances and décor including a washer & dryer, cook top, oven, LIVE Grow Wall with plants, rugs and books. All items were donated to local non-profits including Habitat for Humanity and; which will repurpose the materials to support S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education programs for underserved communities in the Los Angeles region.

3. 100% Hotel Audit Participation
Each year, Greenbuild works with the Greenbuild Hotels to provide resources and education around sustainable hotel operations. This information helps hotels adhere to the mandatory sustainability contract language in Greenbuild contracts and furthers their hotel’s greening efforts. In 2016, 100% of the hotels participated in a hotel audit during the show to confirm the implementation of the greening guidelines at their property.

img_87014. 87% Regional Food Sourcing at Convention Center
Thanks to the great efforts of the Levy team at the LA Convention Center, 56% of the food served at the convention center was sourced locally (within 100 miles) and 87% of the food was sourced regionally (within 500 miles).

5. First Year for Water Restoration Certificates
For the first time, Greenbuild will purchase water restoration certificates to balance the water used at the LA Convention Center during the conference. This was made possible through a partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and TerraPass. Attendees had the opportunity to further balance their water use by participating in the Change the Course program which restored 1,000 gallons of water to wetlands across North America each time an attendee pledged to take action to reduce their water use.


At Greenbuild, we don’t just like to claim that we’re into building a better world through green building. With the trade show industry generating up to 600,000 tons of garbage a year, we do what we can from planning to implementation of the show to make the most sustainable choices, allowing us to leave a much lighter carbon footprint in the end.

Helping us make a significant impact on our waste reduction efforts are the Greenbuild exhibitors. Exhibitors must comply with the Greenbuild Mandatory Exhibitor Greening Guidelines, otherwise known as GMEGG.  With each exhibiting company committing to sustainable exhibiting practices and making small changes to the way they exhibit, it adds up to a massive effort!

But there are those exhibitors who kick it up a notch, going above and beyond the “normal” GMEGG standards. This year, we recognized three companies for their exemplary efforts with the Green Exhibitor Award.

gb16-quanexBest in Show

Quanex Building Products

Quanex has used and reused their entire booth structure for the the past 5+ years. Configured as a pod type system that allows them to bolt-on or remove sections, depending on each show, to minimize shipping weight, materials and space.

Most Innovativgb16-roll_a_shadee


The Roll-A-Shade booth structure consists of scrap racking cut from their warehouse. The metal used was on the way to recycling, so they decided to re-purpose  the metal and create a booth that can be reused, converted back into warehouse racking, or sent off to recycling (again).

gb16-skanskaSmallest Environmental Impact


Skanska told us that their booth is a zero-waste booth. To ensure this, they give out no collateral and focus on conversation and technology for follow-up needs.


Thank you to all of our exhibitors at this year’s show in Los Angeles for helping Greenbuild walk that talk!

When you attend Greenbuild, you get a sense that there’s more to the attendee than someone looking to gain a few CEUs. Those in attendance always comment on the genuine spirit of the show that goes beyond sustainable building and design, a spirit of camaraderie and a common interest for the greater good of our planet.

Now, when you think of Greenbuild’s Passport to Prizes drawing, you may conjure up images of a large group of folks who are tired, maybe a little anxious, after a couple of days of walking the expansive Greenbuild expo hall to get their passports filled. A little less spirit filled and a little more anxiety driven. But this year, things were a little different. When the name was drawn for our $10,000 grand prize, nobody could have expected what happened next!

During Greenbuild, news arrived that Hurricane Matthew was heading toward Florida, but not before taking its devastating toll on Haiti. The news became a huge impromptu topic in many Greenbuild sessions and weighed heavy on the minds of this socially conscious group.

So when Dan, a LEED Fellow, was announced as the $10,000 grand prize winner, it was a no-brainer to he and his wife Nancy to donate half of their winnings to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Project Haiti: The William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center, the first LEED certified orphanage in Haiti.

Because of this, we wanted to take this time to thank Dan and Nancy for their gift and for exemplifying the true spirit of Greenbuild.


Thank you Dan and Nancy!

Tour GuideYou are invited to find out how a long overlooked area of Los Angeles has become the thriving and vibrant L.A. Sports and Entertainment District (LASED) that we enjoy today! The L.A. Sports and Entertainment District Master Plan was the key document that established the vision for the sustainable development of STAPLES Center, L.A. LIVE, and adjoining boundary properties. The project’s impact on the community has been tremendous – close to 1,500 annual events in and around Microsoft Square, a vital hub for the community, and now draws pedestrians to an area that was nearly deserted before. Much-needed transit and infrastructure LA Sports Districtimprovements, including rail, bus shuttles, and bike networks have made downtown L.A. much more accessible and the addition of a grocery store has further enticed residents to move downtown from the suburbs. This walking tour will be led by a representative of the design team for the Master Plan, and who will speak about the overall plan and discuss how these types of developments can transform cities into thriving urban fabric.

Check out tour TS10 – LA Sports and Entertainment District Master Plan Walking Tour on the Greenbuild website to learn more about the tour and it’s objectives.

_DSC0915Los Angeles – sunshine, movie stars, and most important, GREENBUILD.  Here’s your chance to enjoy everything Greenbuild for FREE!

Do you see a career in sustainability in your future? As the largest conference and expo in sustainable building and design, Greenbuild can provide a pathway into the right direction.

If you’re a minimum of 18 years of age and a full time student OR a young professional age 25 and under, you can volunteer at Greenbuild and receive a FREE three-day pass to all areas of education. Eight hours of volunteer service is required but these can be performed non-consecutively, and participants are allowed to attend education sessions before all of their volunteer hours are completed. Volunteers are accepted on a rolling, first come, and first serve basis. For more information please visit the Greenbuild Volunteer Page. *

Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and sign up for your volunteer shifts now. But register soon – 8 shifts have already filled. Claim your spot today!

To learn more about Greenbuild scholarship opportunities visit our scholarship webpage. Scholarship submissions end August 31.

*A fall 2016 schedule and/or a photo ID is required to confirm eligibility upon check-in

Dhruv Raina Leader, Corporate Sustainability at Owens Corning

Dhruv Raina
Leader, Corporate Sustainability at Owens Corning

The opposite of footprints are handprints — the positive impacts people and organizations can make in the world. What gets included in your footprint are the impacts of all activities linked to your actions by buying and selling, producing and consuming. Handprinting pays attention to the influence of purchases too; and then it expands our view to capture other ways that we exert influence on the world, such as sharing innovations, inspiring action, and creating sustainability benefits anywhere on earth. In this way, handprinting opens up a wider set of pathways for positive influence, and also enables us to pursue the creation of buildings, products, communities and lives which are NetPositive – which do more good than harm. In Session D01 Handprinting: Making Buildings, Products & Lives NetPositive, it will first clearly explain handprinting, and how it is being actively applied now in three building-related companies.  We will then invite and empower all participants to start using a free and open source web platform to share new handprinting action ideas with the world, and to pitch in on open, transparent assessment of those action’s impacts. We asked session speaker Dhruv Raina to tell us more about this session.

GB: What makes you an expert in this area?

DR: I’m an LCA Practitioner with years of experience in Corporate Sustainability & lead the Net Positive Project for Owens Corning, developing methodology for how the guidance will look like in the future.

GB: Why is the topic of your session important?

DR:  As businesses look beyond footprint reductions this can help them transcend to the next level.

GB:  Why should Greenbuild attendees attend YOUR session specifically?

DR: We will Identify and evaluate opportunities to shrink their organization’s or building’s footprint and increase its handprint.  Share handprint action ideas with the world, and review action ideas relevant to them that were shared by others.

GB: What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had in the green building/sustainability world?

DR: Influencing folks across businesses and borders to take action!

Jackie Henke Energy & Sustainability Innovations Director, TD Bank

Jackie Henke
Energy & Sustainability Innovations Director, TD Bank

According to Jackie Henke, Greenbuild Program Working Group member “The overtone of climate change is inherently negative – this session feels like it will be focused on climate change using a positive frame of reference, which we all can benefit from. I love the concept of “handprints” being the positive impacts people can make on the world.  This session is looking at our ability to make change through our individual supply chains (i.e. the purchases we make everyday) and also how we engage with each other through sharing innovation and insights.”

Additional presenters include:

Jeffrey Zeman

Principal Environmental Engineer at Kohler Co.

Jane Abernethy

Sustainability Officer at Humanscale Corporation

Gregory Norris

Executive Director at New Earth


By Jed Donaldson

LA River Cleanup 2With Greenbuild 2016 just a few months away, it seemed appropriate that the Greenbuild 2016 Greening Committee would give back to the iconic host city by pitching in to help clean up the Los Angeles River.

In 2009, the Frogtown Artwalk had a screening of the film “Rock the Boat;” in which an environmentalist kayaks down the Los Angeles River to protest the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designation of the river as an un-navigable waterway. The fallout of the film was a paradoxical change in the attitudes towards the river.  In July 2010, the EPA declared the concrete-lined Los Angeles River channel “traditional navigable waters” and forever changed how this city views one if its greatness resources. With this designation, the river is now protected under the Clean Water Act. Moreover, the declaration has catalyzed the current movement to reinstate the quality of nature in and around Los Angeles.

One of the original protectors of the LA River is Lewis McAdams, who founded the non-profit organization Friends of the Los Angeles River, also known as FoLAR. When the river was still designated a ‘channel’ FoLAR was one of the few activist groups trying to protect the river that the city had turned its back on. One of the ways to bring awareness was through volunteer events. FoLAR’s annual event – The Great LA River Cleanup – is open to the public and a perfect opportunity to help better the environment.

The Great LA River Cleanup

LA River CleanupThis year, the 27th Great LA River cleanup was held in April. This was not only an opportunity to build a relationship between USGBC and FoLAR, but it will hopefully be an initiative that can influence future Greenbuild conferences as well as future local chapter commitments.

The cleanup was divided between three river sections – upper river, mid river and lower river – and each section was designated for a weekend in April. The Greening Committee chose to participate in the Mid River section on April 23 because it has the closest proximity to downtown Los Angeles. About 30 USGBC volunteers climbed down into the river and removed trash that had collected for years. More than 9,000 volunteers in total participated in the cleanup and removed 70 tons of trash this year. At our site, there were 1,100 people who removed 8.5 tons of trash. On average, each person filled about of two bags in the span of just three hours.

The Greening Committee would like to thank FoLAR for leading the effort to revive the Los Angeles River, and would also like to thank those USGBC members who came out that day ready to work and sporting a positive mindset. Some of the volunteers shared their thoughts on the event’s success and expressed the positive energy that surrounded the day:

  • “The LA River Cleanup was a memorable experience. I picked up everything from an old gym bag to a $5 dollar bill that must have been Mother Nature’s good karma.  Coming together to help our environment left a lasting feeling of community.” – Matt Harrigan, Managing Director, Pace Equity
  • “The experience really helps you to appreciate how much of our trash just ends up in the environment. It’s not ‘out of sight, out of mind’ when you throw away your trash.  It’s always going somewhere it shouldn’t and impacting natural habitats,” – Caroline Ingalls, Designer, Hirsch Bedner Associates
  • “It was a great team building experience, and it was inspiring to see all of the participants together for a common goal!” – Nina Hamamura, Green Business Solutions
  • “I’m proud to have helped orchestrate an event with such immediate and measurable impact on greening our own backyard in L.A.” – Emily Hand, Project Manager, Verdical Group

Jed Donaldson is the Greenbuild Greening Sub-Committee Co-Chair and a senior designer at Steinberg Architects.

At Greenbuild, you can always expect a high-caliber education program with a variety of sessions and renowned speakers, an expansive expo hall with over 500 booths to scope out the latest innovative products and services, and networking opportunities galore!

Greenbuild also features:

  • Full-day and half-day Green Building Tours
  • Workshops to gain additional training and CEUs
  • Three pre-conference summits Including the Communities & Affordable Homes Summit, WaterBuild and the International Summit
  • Greenbuild Plenary with California’s popular Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom followed by music and food at the Celebration
  • Closing Plenary featuring famed architect and cultural innovator Bjarke Ingels
Sign up before August 2 to save $100 or more on your registration!

When you attend Greenbuild, you can expect a robust education program, expansive expo hall, as well as a great city destination. Make sure you check out the list of workshops we have available to add onto your registration and the new exhibitors added to the 2016 show floor.

GB16 Workshops NL
Greenbuild Workshops
Greenbuild Workshops offer you the extra training you need from qualified experts, who can prepare you for anything from taking the AP exam to our newest rating system offerings. Attend workshops at Greenbuild 2016 and earn up to 7 hours of continuing education credit.
GB16 First EXH
Check out Our First Time Exhibitors
We have a lot of new exhibitors joining Greenbuild 2016 for the first time, and we’d like to extend our thanks. Welcome them to the Greenbuild family by adding them to your must see list!
GB16 About LA
All About Los Angeles
There’s a lot to see and do in L.A. early October. If you’re looking for information on the Los Angeles Convention Center, hotels in the room block or a way to get around town (sustainably), the Greenbuild website has your answers.