For the third consecutive year, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ranks among the U.S. Green Building Council‘s Top 10 in the US.
The rankings consider sustainable building design, construction, restoration and rehabilitation and, in terms of square feet per capita, Massachusetts is fifth-best in the country for projects that adhere to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, adding 99 LEED-certified projects last year.
The top four states, from bottom to top, are: Virginia, Maryland, Colorado, and Illinois.
Matthew Beaton, the state’s Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary, said that the ranking was an endorsement of Massachusetts’s requirement that all new construction and major renovations meet the state’s LEED Plus green building standard. “Clean energy is yielding significant economic benefits with 10.5 percent job growth in the last year and 47 percent growth since 2010,” said Beaton.
The standard demands that energy performance for the new or renovated building be at least 20 percent better than the state’s building energy code, that the outdoor water consumption must be reduced by at least 50 percent, and that the indoor water consumption be reduced by at least 20 percent. In addition, principles of smart growth and smart energy must be promoted.
Presently, there are 37 LEED-certified buildings in the state, with 70 percent of them certified either gold or platinum.
Beaton said in a statement, “This recognition is another example of Massachusetts’ commitment to strengthening our economy, shaping our energy future and protecting our environment through clean jobs and technology.”
The numbers bear those comments out, with almost 6,000 clean energy-related businesses in Massachusetts, employing a total of over 88,000 workers.
Beaton also pointed out that Massachusetts was again – for the fourth consecutive year – named by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy as the top state in the country in energy efficiency.