The U.S. Green Building Council ranked Virginia as tops in the nation in the number of green (i.e., LEED-certified) buildings certified in 2012.

image Under LEED (which is probably the largest environmental certification program in the world), structures are given up to 110 points for various factors in their construction, such as being build on a sustainable site, using water efficiently, using environmentally friendly building materials, and so on.

Buildings can simply be LEED “certified” by getting 40-49 points on the scale, or they can reach the more desirable silver, gold, or platinum levels. (The Virginia Beach Convention Center for example, site of VAR’s Real Show, received the rare LEED Gold certification.)

There are LEED standards for nine types of building such as “New Construction,” “Commercial Interiors,” “Schools,” and “Homes.”

Virginia had 170 projects that were at least LEED certified, totalling 29.7 million square feet of space, or 3.71 square feet per capita. No other state had that much space per person (Colorado was number two with 2.1 sq. ft.), although Washington, D.C., continues to lead the nation with nearly 37 sq. ft. per capita.