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Illinois Claims Top Spot After USGBC Unveils LEED v4.1

The U.S. Green Building Council announced that Illinois paces the nation in green building after it unveiled its Top States for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification rankings.

According to the top 10 list published earlier this month, Illinois has the most LEED-certified square footage per capita of any state in the union. LEED-certified buildings are designed to “create healthier spaces for people,” and reduce energy usage, water consumption, carbon emission and costs for residents and businesses, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

“Over the past 25 years, the U.S. Green Building Council, its member companies and the green building community have come together to make our planet stronger, greener and more sustainable through LEED,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, the president and CEO of the USGBC. “These Top 10 states are examples of how we can create lasting, measurable change and improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities.”

The Top 10 states in LEED certification account for the residency of 128 million Americans and feature more than 468 million square feet of certified building space, according to USGBC. Illinois certified 172 green projects featuring 68,133,942 Certified Gross Square Footage.

The top 10 states for newly introduced LEED v.41 certification are:

  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Washington
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Virginia
  • California
  • Maryland

“A better future requires a universal living standard that leaves no one behind—and that future would simply not be possible without the extraordinary work being done in these states,” said Ramanujam.

Recycled Materials Experiencing Major Boom Amid Green Building Revolution

GlobalNewsWire is reporting that the demand for “sustainable construction materials and techniques” is increasing, citing a Fact.MR study showing a “highly fragmented” recycled construction aggregates market.

Some of the green materials gaining popularity in commercial and residential building, due to an increasing reliance on durability, moisture resistance and energy efficiency, are:

  • Fiber cement siding
  • Thermally modified wood
  • Bamboo
  • Fly ash
  • Ashcrete,
  • Hempcrete,
  • Recycled plastic

According to the study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency counted close to “548 million tons of construction and demolition debris” generated in 2015. The European Commission reported demolition and construction waste account for 25% to 30% of the total waste generated in areas under its purview.

This new reality has also spilled over into sales, accounting for sales opportunities and the emergence of a new market. The recycled construction aggregates market saw the sale of more than 3.7 million tons last year, according to information from GlobalNewsWire, citing the report.

“Significant efforts are being taken by governments in countries such as the [U.S.], the Netherlands, and Germany, apropos of construction and demolition waste recycling and reuse,” reads Fact.MR. As such, recycled material growth is in line with a worldwide increase in construction activity.

According to Oxford Economics and Global Construction Perspectives, worldwide construction output is expected to hit $15.5 trillion by 2030. The U.S., India and China will account for 57% of the growth.

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