Hawaii Maintains National Ranking on LEED Building

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Hawai‘i continues its status on a national level as a leader in green building.

The Aloha State ranked fifth on the annual list of Top 10 States for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) — the world’s most widely used green building rating system. The new list, announced Thursday by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), ranks states based on the number of LEED certified square feet per person in the last year.

Hawai‘i saw a total of 12 projects earn LEED certification in 2019, representing three square feet of certified space per person and 4,083,713 total gross square feet. Hawaii moved up two positions from last year’s list.

“As we embark on a new decade, the USGBC community is focused on helping more projects get on the path to LEED certification and a more sustainable future,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Over the last year, the Top 10 states have certified projects that serve as incredible examples of how green building can create more sustainable and resilient spaces that improve our living standard. There is still much work to be done, but the progress made across these states shows us that our work is having a tangible impact on people’s lives. As we enter our next chapter, we are committed to helping more buildings, cities and communities improve their sustainability performance through LEED.”


LEED-certified projects support personal health and well-being, as well as use less energy and water, reduce carbon emissions and save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, USGBC stated in a press release. The Top 10 list is based on 2010 US Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects certified throughout 2019.

“Hawai‘i recognizes the role climate preparedness and resilience plays in making the state more sustainable for the long term,” said Taryn Holowka, senior vice president at USGBC. “Green building plays an important role in supporting those goals and projects certified in 2019 are setting the example for what can be achieved in 2020. We look forward to continuing to work with the industry in the coming year.”

With green building expected to grow globally through 2021, the need for skilled professionals to support green building projects has never been more important. Across the US there are more than 165,000 LEED green building professionals with the knowledge to help cities and communities transition to greener buildings and spaces.


LEED professionals demonstrate a competency in green building principles that can set projects on the path to certification and help them consider ways to reduce their impact on the environment and provide people with healthier, more sustainable spaces to live, learn, work and play. Noting that 70% of organizations have permanently placed sustainability on their management agendas, Holowka added that Hawai‘i has a robust workforce of 1,145 LEED professionals with the skills to help businesses, organizations and homeowners meet their sustainability goals.


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