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California Among Top States In LEED Rankings

CalPERS / Courtesy

CalPERS Lincoln Plaza South, a certified LEED gold project, was recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council as one of several "notable projects" certified in California in 2015.

CalPERS / Courtesy

The U.S. Green Building Council released its national ranking of the top states in the country for LEED green building Tuesday and California is the seventh state in the nation for 2015. 

"California is a nationwide leader in green building and LEED certification," says Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of USGBC. "LEED creates jobs and increases opportunities for California’s workers and businesses while contributing billions of dollars to the state’s economy."

The annual ranking is developed by analyzing each state in terms of square feet of LEED-certified space per state resident. California certified 618 projects representing 87,358,563 square feet of real estate, or 2.34 square feet per resident, in 2015. 

"Almost one in seven projects certified worldwide in 2015 are in California, and we at USGBC applaud that achievement," says Brenden McEneaney, with the Northern California USGBC.

Many commercial buildings and new homes in the Sacramento region include LEED building standards. 

LEED standards include the use of energy-saving construction materials, solar and drought-tolerant landscaping. 

Ioannis Kazanis, with the Folsom-based North State Building Industry Association, says some standards are mandated by code. But Kazanis says additional efficiency options are available as options. 

"Homebuilders are responding to an increasing demand for efficiency by consumers in general, but beyond that, they're also just committed to producing a more responsible and sustainable product," Kazanis says.                                 

Kazanis also says more home construction jobs are created when people in older homes hire companies to upgrade to energy-efficient systems. 

"We've kind of generally pegged the range, as far as cost goes, from $10,000 to $20,000 per home if a homeowner wanted to  implement some of these efficiency changes into their existing home," says Kazanis.                               

A U.S. Green Building Council study shows LEED construction is expected to support 668,000 total jobs in California and have a total impact on GDP of $58.4 billion from 2015-2018.

The organization says one of the notable projects in California is the CalPERS Lincoln Plaza South in Sacramento.

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