Top States for LEED-Certified Office Buildings

Image courtesy of günter via Pixabay

With half of 2022 behind us, we asked the U.S. Green Building Council to update us on the status of LEED-certified projects across the country. During the first half of the year, across all property types throughout the U.S., more than 252 million square feet of space received some level of LEED certification or recertification.

In this ranking, we will be taking a closer look at the states with the highest volume of LEED certifications awarded to office projects. According to the data, across the U.S., from Jan. 1 to June 30, nearly 118 million square feet of office space received some form of LEED certification. The leaders are not new to the ranking: California remained on top, followed by New York and Massachusetts. Texas and Illinois round out the top five and Washington, D.C., would occupy the third position in the ranking, if it were a state.

Rank State Square Footage Office
H1 2022
Percentage of Total
U.S. Volume
1 California 23,290,444 19.79%
2 New York 17,028,446 14.47%
3 Massachusetts 9,991,743 8.49%
4 Texas 9,195,149 7.81%
5 Illinois 7,828,517 6.65%
6 Georgia 6,515,424 5.53%
7 Virginia 3,845,054 3.26%
8 Maryland 3,259,691 2.77%
9 Washington 3,168,027 2.69%
10 Minnesota 2,752,653 2.33%
*** Washington, D.C. 11,231,563 9.54%
Data courtesy of the U.S. Green Building Council

1. California

Los Angeles. Photo by Cameron Venti via Unsplash.com

During the first half of 2022, across the state, more than 23 million square feet of office space were LEED certified. The figure represents a significant 19.8 percent of the entire volume of LEED-certified office properties nationally. Of the 86 entries on the datasheet from the USGBC, 27 (nearly 11 million square feet) received the highest designation, LEED Platinum. Another 44 projects totaling slightly more than 11.2 million square feet were awarded LEED Gold, 12 office buildings (903,000 square feet) received LEED Silver and just three projects totaling 168,000 square feet received the basic LEED certification. Overall, of the 86 entries, certifications accounted for 56 LEED awards and 30 were recertifications.

Leading California cities in LEED-certified office buildings were Irvine, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. Notable projects that received the LEED Platinum certification or recertification include 1 Cal Plaza in Los Angeles, the New Natural Resources Building in Sacramento and 1999 Avenue of the Stars, also in Los Angeles.

2. New York

New York City skyline. Image by ben o’bro via unsplash.com

New York’s LEED-certified office space during the first six months of 2022 surpassed 17 million. The number is equivalent to 14.5 percent of the entire national LEED volume during the period. This volume is spread across 38 projects, with just one certified to the highest level, LEED Platinum. The majority of projects that were certified during this interval received LEED Gold certification, 29 projects that combined total nearly 14 million square feet. Another five projects, amounting to nearly 2.7 million square feet, were awarded the LEED Silver certification, and just three properties (292,169 square feet combined) received the basic LEED certification.

Lendlease’s New York City office at 200 Park Ave. was the only project awarded the LEED Platinum certification. One Liberty Plaza at 165 Broadway and 399 Park Ave. each received the LEED Gold certification. The former is also one of the largest LEED-certified projects in the nation in 2022 through June (2.3 million square feet).

3. Massachusetts

Image by Skeezy via Pixabay.com

Massachusetts nearly reached the 10 million-square-foot mark in LEED-certified office space during the first half of 2022, representing 8.5 percent of the total LEED-certified office space nationally in 2022 through June. In total, 24 projects were LEED certified: four (3.7 million square feet) to the Platinum level, 18 (6.2 million square feet) to the Gold level and two (81,000 square feet) to LEED Silver.

Boston had 11 projects (8 million square feet) awarded LEED certifications. Notable projects to receive the LEED Platinum certification were 100 Federal Street and One Financial Center. The largest project awarded LEED so far this year was 200 Clarendon Street, and it received the LEED Gold certification.

4. Texas

Houston. Image via Pixabay

Not too far behind Massachusetts, Texas’ LEED office volume during the first half of 2022 rose to 9.2 million square feet, or 7.8 percent of the total number of projects awarded a LEED certification. Texas had 36 spots on USGBC’s list, with no projects winning LEED Platinum certifications. Thirteen buildings totaling nearly 6 million square feet received the LEED Gold award, another nine buildings (1.8 million square feet) gained LEED Silver, and 14 (1.4 million square feet) received the basic LEED certification.

Austin and Houston led in newly LEED-certified office space, with eight buildings (1.4 million square feet) in Austin, and eight buildings (5.1 million square feet) in Houston. Dallas (613,752 square feet) also lagged Plano (1.2 million square feet). The largest project awarded LEED so far this year in Texas was Brookfield Properties’ 1.9 million-square-foot Houston 1 at 1600 Smith.

5. Illinois

Chicago. Image by Dennis Gries via Pixabay.com

Rounding out the top five, Illinois had more than 7.8 million square feet of office space LEED certified during the first half of 2022, 6.7 percent of the national volume. Of the 21 entries, 13, or nearly 7 million square feet, received LEED Gold awards, six (267,000 square feet) bear LEED Silver certifications, while the LEED Platinum award and the basic LEED certification were awarded to one project each.

Chicago had 17 projects (7.3 million square feet) that earned the green award, including the LEED Platinum one, which was designated to 800 West Fulton Market, a 500,000-square-foot asset owned by Thor Equities, according to CommercialEdge data.

Anca Gagiuc

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