Post Content

The U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC) has released its annual ranking of the top 10 states with buildings certified to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard. For the second year in a row, Massachusetts ranked number four with 13.68 million square feet of space in 101 buildings across the state.

Building to a LEED standard encourages design and construction practices that strive to make buildings healthy and safe for occupants, less reliant on limited energy and water resources than conventional facilities, and less expensive to operate over time.

photo of the holyoke Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, LEED Platinum building

Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, a LEED Platinum building in Holyoke

Massachusetts’ national achievement in “green” building is the result of dedicated, conscientious work by public and private individuals and organizations who have added another element to the state’s leadership in the clean energy economy. In 2007, Governor Patrick issued an Executive Order that requires all new construction and significant renovations of state facilities to meet LEED PLUS criteria, which couples LEED certification with several energy and water saving requirements. Additionally, some Massachusetts municipalities, including Boston and Cambridge, require a similar LEED-based threshold for large buildings.

Currently, 29 state facilities have been certified through the LEED system, which over time is expected to insulate taxpayers from increasing energy and water costs. Meeting LEED PLUS standards also helps the state achieve its goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. One recently LEED-certified state facility is the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s William X. Wall Experiment Station in Lawrence, which met LEED’s most rigorous criteria to be designated a LEED Platinum facility – a particularly impressive accomplishment given the intense water and energy demands of laboratories.

Improved efficiency in Massachusetts buildings is a critical element to the Commonwealth’s energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals, since buildings consume roughly one-third of the energy used in Massachusetts. Energy efficiency improvements, such as more efficient heating and cooling systems, offer substantial benefits.

Massachusetts leadership is aided by many in the private sector who are similarly motivated to act as responsible stewards of economic and natural resources. They often find that attention to energy efficiency and LEED-certification provides a market advantage. Indeed, several recent, independent studies find that LEED-certified buildings deliver financial premiums.

We are thankful for partners such as the USGBC and its local chapter. Massachusetts’ design and construction professionals are key to our state’s position at the forefront of building practice – a role we intend to maintain and improve upon in future years.

Written By:


Building Energy Program Coordinator

Pat manages the Massachusetts' Building Asset Rating pilot for the DOER and supports Massachusetts' policy and program development to increase investment in the energy efficiency of the commercial buildings sector. He supports the creation and implementation of policies related to the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, including the state's building energy codes and deployment of technologies and practices to realize zero net energy buildings. Before joining DOER Pat worked in Boston and New York City on affordable housing policy issues. He holds degrees from Boston College and MIT, and plays guitar and banjo in whatever styles engage his young daughter at the moment.

Tags: , , , , ,

Recent Posts

“Mass. Military Division” and “Energy Efficiency” Go Together posted on Jul 25

“Mass. Military Division” and “Energy Efficiency” Go Together

Energy measures implemented at a Mass. Military Divison site include improved lighting, high efficiency motors, HVAC controls and energy management system upgrades. Under the Accelerate Efficiency Plan, the Commonwealth is investing over $12 million at 29 state facilities throughout the Berkshires.

Solar a “No-Go” on Your Roof? Share Through Community Solar posted on Jul 16

Solar a “No-Go” on Your Roof? Share Through Community Solar

Harvard residents who wanted solar on their homes and were unable to get it due to shading, sloping, or structural barriers, found a solution by sharing the Harvard Solar Garden, an approximately 250 kW project, provides 41 residents and six small businesses with sustainable, clean energy. .

Summer’s Here: Shed Layers and Shed Loads posted on Jul 11

Summer’s Here: Shed Layers and Shed Loads

Electricity usage throughout New England reaches its peak during summer heat waves, causing our electricity bills to spike. During periods of high demand, electric utilities typically call on more expensive “peaking” plants to provide extra power. These costs are passed onto larger, non-residential consumers through demand charges on their monthly electricity bill. Municipal buildings can save a significant sum of money if they shut off portions of their electricity during these peak periods.