EPA reveals top 10 U.S. cities with most green buildings

Photo courtesy of Energy Star

Photo courtesy of Energy Star

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in most cities, commercial buildings are the largest source of carbon emissions.

These buildings, be they skyscrapers or single story, contain hundreds of lights, computers, printers, televisions, HVAC systems, and other energy-sucking equipment that are almost never turned off. This wasteful energy consumption is both bad for the environment and terrible for the businesses that call these buildings home. This eventually results in a negative effect on the economy.

When it comes to commercial buildings, to celebrate achievements in the ongoing quest for greater efficiency, the EPA recently ranked U.S. cities according to how many green buildings they contained. On average, commercial buildings that have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR use 35 percent less energy and cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers. Certification is awarded based on a single year of actual, measured energy performance and is only valid for 12 months.

After noticing growing numbers of ENERGY STAR certified buildings in major cities, the EPA announced the first green city rankings in 2009. At that time, Los Angeles was in first place with 262 buildings, followed by San Francisco with 194. This year, L.A. counts 443 buildings, followed closely by Washington, D.C. with 435.

If you live in a smaller city, the EPA hasn’t forgotten you. It also ranked the top green small cities in the U.S., with a whopping 9 cities vying for the #10 spot.

So did your hometown make one of these lists?



2 Responses

  1. New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia certainly dont have “top 10” GREEN and CLEAN public spaces outside of those EPA coveted buildings, and nearby neighborhoods. Those four cities continue to appear on T+L”s “America’s Dirtiest” list.

    • I was surprised as well about this, Steve. And particularly so when I realized that Portland and Seattle weren’t on the list. Both these cities have had a major focus on building green for a number of years.

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