Florida ranked fourth in the number of LEED projects in the U.S. in 2016, according to an annual ranking produced by the US Green Building Council. The annual ranking highlights states throughout the United States that made significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation over the past year. LEED is the world's most widely used and recognized green building rating system.
"This speaks volumes about Florida's commitment to environmental excellence and social responsibility," said Mike Hess, Chair of the USGBC FL Chapter. "We applaud the companies, owners, municipalities and everyone who played even a small part in this effort to deliver environmentally responsible, healthy and resource-efficient buildings in 2016 and in the future."
Florida finished fourth in number of LEED projects, 11th in LEED Certified GSF, and 29th in square feet of certified space per resident.
Across the country, 3,366 projects were LEED Certified in 2016, representing 470.39 million square feet. In 2016, Florida saw 204 new LEED Certified projects representing more than 15 million square feet. Through January 10, 2017, Florida has 1,422 LEED Certified projects representing more than 125 million square feet.
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,
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.
"It's unquestionably the right thing to do for the communities," said Mark Gelfo, Vice-Chair for USGBC Florida.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green-building program, is a rating system for high-performance, sustainable buildings, homes and communities. LEED emphasizes sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, and indoor environmental quality. .