Maryland ranks fifth in the nation on a new report on green building in the U.S.
The U.S. Green Building Council released its annual rankings of states who are green building leaders, and Maryland has moved up two spots over last year. The report is based on the number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified projects underway in the state, which included 80 building projects in Maryland in 2020, representing more than 14 million square feet.
Rhiannon Jacobson, managing director of U.S. market transformation and development for the council, said certification covers a number of elements.
“So when you think about a LEED building, it is going to be covering everything from, the air quality of the building itself, the amount of energy and water that it’s using to the amount of waste it’s creating,” Jacobson outlined.
She pointed out LEED certified buildings generally use 30% less energy than noncertified buildings.
In addition to lowering energy and water usage and an overall better environmental impact, Jacobson noted companies also see improvements in productivity and employee retention in LEED certified buildings.
“We do see things like lower levels of absenteeism in a LEED building,” Jacobson explained. “We see lower turnover rates, pieces like that, because again that workforce is critical because a person’s individual health is absolutely influenced by the surrounding that they’re in.”
The LEED system is the world’s most commonly used green building certification program. It was created by the council as a leadership standard defining best practices for healthy, high-performing green buildings.