What is LEED?  LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  It is changing the way we think about how buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated.  Leaders around the world have made LEED the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings, with more than 1.85 million square feet being certified daily.

Why LEED?  LEED homes are built to be healthy, providing clean indoor air and incorporating safe building materials to ensure a comfortable home. Using less energy and water means lower utility bills each month. And in many markets, certified green homes are now selling quicker and for more money than comparable non-green homes.

Green buildings in Colorado translates into a big boost for the economy.

Colorado was ranked No. 5 in the nation for LEED buildings in 2015, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. USGBC developed the LEED rating system and certifies buildings as LEED.

LEED construction is projected to support 103,000 jobs in Colorado and have a total impact on GDP of $9.05 billion from 2015-2018, according to an impact study by USGBC.

The annual ranking is developed by analyzing each state in terms of square feet of LEED certified space per state resident.

In Colorado, that equated to 2.43 square feet per resident.  Last year, 95 projects with a total of 12.2 million square feet, were certified in Colorado.  Illinois was No. 1 with 161 LEED-certified projects, equating to 3.43 square foot per resident.

"With a focus on health and the built ecomnomy, Coloradans are persistently blazing a trail for LEED certifications and sustainable building," said Patti Mason, executive director of USGBC - Colorado Chapter.  

*Statistics courtesy of Denver Real Estate Watch