veryone wants LEED. But which jurisdictions attract the cream of the crop?      

Since the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program was formally implemented a decade ago by the U.S. Green Building Council, more than 14,000 projects have received some level of LEED certification. A mere 1,271 projects – from residential to stadiums, bank branches to public libraries, headquarters to even a few industrial plants – had received the organization's Silver, Gold or Platinum certification as of the end of October 2008.

Thirteen percent of those top-shelf projects are in California alone, which boasts 74 Gold projects and 21 Platinum projects, both category leaders as well. The honor roll includes Nestlé Waters North America's Arrowhead bottling plant in Cabazon, Lockheed Martin Space Systems' fleet maintenance facility in Sunnyvale and corporate campuses from such companies as Sempra Energy and Rand Corp. (below).

Top LEED cities are led by Portland, Ore., where no doubt many ride bicycles to some of its 48 projects, which include facilities from REI and Toyota Motor Sales. Second-place-tie Chicago touts private-sector facilities from Exelon, PepsiCo and Humana, while Washington, D.C., boasts a predominantly public-sector crop of LEED facilities. Other top cities such as Vancouver, B.C.; second-place-tie Seattle; L.A. and Atlanta are notable for their blend of public-sector and higher education, plus internal office projects from top AEC firms such as Stantec, Arup, Skanska, Turner Construction and Perkins + Will – all LEED leaders in their own right.
Internationally, while other organizations promulgate their own rating systems, there is also enthusiasm for LEED Certified Buildings. British Columbia leads all comers with 30 projects, including a Gold rating for Vancouver Island Technology Park in Victoria. Beyond North America, India is the LEED leader with 21 projects. That tally features 11 facilities in the Gold Category and five in the Platinum category, including Wipro's development center in Gurgaon. China is next with 14 projects. Nine of those are LEED-Gold projects, including the Nokia campus in Beijing.