The number of LEED projects certified (excluding Homes) in 2015 was very similar to the gains made in 2014. LEED certifications in the Top 50 U.S. cities increased by 1,181 (16.2%), compared to a 1,215 (19.99%) increase for 2014. The average city increased by 17.15%. Houston was almost perfectly average with a 17.07% increase, adding 63 certifications for a total of 432 projects.
The national Top 50 U.S. cities now total 8,505 LEED certified projects. The Top 50 Metropolitan Area certified projects increased 2,216 or 15.5% to a total of 16,949. Project square footage in city limits increased 235.9 million square feet or 16.83% to a total of 1.651 billion sq. ft. and square footage in metropolitan areas increased 361.9 million sq. ft. or 16.63% to a total of 2.621 billion sq. ft.
For comparison, there are a total of 24,735 certified projects and 3.217 billion certified sq. ft. in the United States; 29,341 and 4.284 billion sq. ft. in the world.
Number of Certified Projects in City Limits
Houston closes out 2015 by adding 63 projects to its roster, a 17% increase to reach a total of 432 projects. Houston is still ranked #5, following behind NYC, Washington D.C., Chicago and San Francisco. NYC was the biggest gainer with 112 (19.8%) new certifications. Atlanta and San Diego switched places with San Diego moving up to #8. Philadelphia moved up two spaces to #15, while cross-state rival Pittsburgh fell two spaces to #17. Big increases were experienced by Nashville (32.05%), Orlando (32.3%), Las Vegas (26%), Philadelphia (22.2%) and Los Angeles (19.61%).
|1||New York City||675|
Number of Certified Projects in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA)
The Houston MSA added 86 projects in 2015, an 18.82% increase, for a total of 543 certified projects in the MSA and maintained the #8 spot overall. Again, Atlanta and San Diego switched places with San Diego moving up to #10. Portland dropped two spaces to #17. Washington D.C. retained the top spot by adding 197 (14.8%) projects. The other biggest MSA gainers were New York City with 218 (19.5%), Los Angeles added 191 (19.6%) projects, San Jose (21.36%) and Orlando (20%).
|2||New York City||1,335|
Area of Certified Projects in City Limits (in Million sq. ft.)
Houston retained the #3 position in total building area of certified projects in city limits, adding 18.1 million sq. ft. to a total of 127 million sq. ft. Chicago widened its national lead by adding a tremendous 33.8 million sq. ft., an increase of 21.63%. Chicago has 26 Existing Building Certifications in 2015, probably due to its Energy benchmarking program that went into effect in 2014. Dallas increased 10.08 msf (25.9%) and moved up to #11, switching with Las Vegas. Philadelphia increased 5.96 msf (31.47%), moving up two spots to #17. Orlando made a big jump in the rankings from #27 to #24. Boston gained 25.7% by adding 12.8 msf.
|2||New York City||166.20|
Area of Certified Projects in MSAs (in MSF)
Houston retained the #6 position in square footage of certified projects in Metropolitan Statistical Areas, adding 21 million square feet (17.6%) to a total of 140.1 msf. Washington D.C. still leads this category, but only barely. #2 Chicago was the big mover in this category due to its significant gains in the city category. The Chicago MSA added 44.9 msf or 22%, gaining on Washington DC, closing a gap of 17 msf to only 1 msf. The Los Angeles MSA was another substantial growth location with 31.3 msf or 19.64%. Seattle moved up to the #9 rank overtaking Atlanta. Las Vegas dropped two spots to #16. Miami and San Diego each jumped two spaces to #14 and #15. Other notable growth MSAs for area of certified projects added were Philadelphia (23.5%), Dallas (21.84%), and Charlotte (19.11%).
|3||New York City||234.00|
Source: www.gbig.org, data taken on 12/31/2105
St. Louis and Kansas City had stagnant data in GBIG for about two years but have now been updated. Welcome back! Their data is not used in any comparison and percentage numbers in this year’s article due to the lack of 2014 data.
These rankings are calculated for the largest 65 U.S. cities based on population, but we only show the top 25 for brevity. Let us know if you want detailed information on your city.