Which States Made The Top 10 For LEED-Certified Green Buildings?
Some states simply have a flair for energy efficient buildings, lower carbon emissions and everything else that characterizes green building. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recognized them today by releasing its ranking of the top 10 states for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects.
In 2013, 1,777 commercial and institutional projects in the top 10 states earned LEED certification. Those structures represent 226.8 million square feet of real estate.
“The list of the Top 10 States for LEED is a continuing indicator of the widespread recognition of our national imperative to create healthier, high-performing buildings that are better for the environment as well as the people who use them every day,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the USGBC.
“As the economy recovers, green buildings continue to provide for jobs at every professional level and skill set from carpenters to architects. I congratulate everyone in these states whose contributions to resources saved, toxins eliminated, greenhouse gases avoided and human health enhanced help guarantee a prosperous future for our planet and the people who call it home.”
With Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. each cracking the top 10, the Mid-Atlantic region dominated in 2013. Illinois comfortably secured first place by certifying more than 29 million square footage for 171 projects.
“Both the public and private sectors in Illinois recognize that long-term investments in 21st century infrastructure should be done in ways that reduce energy consumption and protect the environment,” Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said. “Illinois is proud to be the nation’s green buildings leader and we are proof that a smaller environmental footprint can help us step toward energy independence.”
Some of the notable LEED-certified projects in the top 10 states include:
- Illinois: The Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie, LEED Gold.
- Maryland: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, LEED Gold, home of the Baltimore Ravens.
- New York: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, LEED Silver, home of the Brooklyn Nets and future home of the N.Y. Islanders.
- California: SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, LEED Gold.
- North Carolina: Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston, LEED Gold.
- Hawaii: Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Kapolei, LEED Silver, the largest certified project in the state.
The U.S. green building industry could be worth nearly $250 billion by 2016, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. The USGBC released LEED v4—the organization’s updated green building program—in November.
There are more than 20,000 LEED-certified projects worldwide representing 2.9 billion square feet of space, according to the USGBC. There are another 37,000 projects representing 7.6 billion square feet in the certification pipeline.
Visit EcoWatch’s GREEN BUILDING page for more related news on this topic.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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