MN Gets High Marks for LEED Buildings

The state ranked 10th in an annual list based on LEED-certified buildings per capita.

Minnesota has been named a leader in environmental design, ranking 10th for green building practices.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on Wednesday unveiled its annual list of top states for green buildings. The top-10 ranking is based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified commercial and institutional buildings per capita.

“Using per capita, versus the more traditional numbers of projects, or pure square footage, is a reminder to all of us that the people who live and work, learn and play in buildings should be what we care about most,” Scot Horst, USGBC senior vice president of LEED, said in a statement. “2010 was a difficult year for most of the building industry, but in many areas, the hunger for sustainable development kept the markets moving.”

The District of Columbia topped the list with 25.15 square feet of LEED-certified space per person. Nevada and New Mexico ranked second and third, respectively.

According to the USGBC, Minnesota has 2.77 square feet of LEED-certified space per person.

The USGBC called attention to the Edina Crosstown Medical Building in Edina, which received LEED certification in 2010. That project recently was named a winner of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) awards of excellence.

The LEED certification system is a designation established by the USGBC to guide and distinguish high-performance buildings that have less of an impact on the environment, are healthier for those who use the building, and are more profitable than their conventional counterparts.

More than 40,000 projects-which represent close to 8 billion square feet in 117 countries-are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, according to the USGBC.