USGBC Announces International Ranking of Top 10 Countries for LEED

The US Green Building Council announced the Top 10 Countries for LEED, a list that highlights countries outside the United States that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and market transformation.

These countries represent the ever-growing international demand for LEED-certified green buildings. This year, China moved from second to first on the list as the largest user of LEED, with 34.62 million gross square meters of certified LEED space. Canada, India, Brazil and the Republic of Korea rounded out the top five countries on the list, respectively.

“By recognizing these leading countries, we are showcasing the exponential growth of LEED in the global marketplace and an international commitment to the creation of a sustainable built environment,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “As we pursue a worldwide effort to mitigate climate change, LEED and the green building industry have created a path forward for market transformation while changing the way we think about how buildings, communities and cities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated.”

Global green building is expected to double every three years, according to a Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, to which USGBC was a contributing partner. Conducted in 70 countries, the report found that emerging economies like China, India and Brazil will be engines of green growth, with development varying from twofold to sixfold over current green building levels. Increased consumer demand has also pushed the world’s green building market to a trillion-dollar industry, a surge that has led to a corresponding increase in the scope and size of the green building materials market, which is expected to reach $234 billion by 2019.

The analysis used to develop the list ranks countries in terms of cumulative LEED-certified GSM space as of December 2016. LEED-certified spaces use fewer energy and water resources; save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and prioritize environmental and human health.

The United States is by far the largest country with LEED projects – a total of 336.84 million square meters and 27,699 projects.

Outside the U.S., the full ranking is as follows:

Country Gross Square Meters (in millions)  No. of Projects
China 34.62 931
Canada 34.39 2,586
India 15.90 644
Brazil 7.43 380
South Korea   5.95 97
Taiwan 5.66 99
Germany 5.03 215
Turkey 4.78 191
Sweden 3.88 210
UAE 3.64 180


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