Maryland ranks No. 6 in the nation for new LEED certifications, according to a report released by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The LEED designation stands for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" and provides a measureable and verifiable review of a building's design, construction, operation and maintenance from an environmental impact point of view.
USGBC's rankings are based on the number of square feet of LEED-certified space per resident.
Maryland came in sixth nationwide with a 127 projects totalling 10,954,324 square feet of LEED-certified space, equal to 1.90 square feet per person. Maryland's 2012 per person rate is just 0.04 behind Illinois.
Montgomery College's Science Center in Rockville earned a LEED Gold designation. The USGBC touted it as a "significant project" in 2012 and prominently featured it in their promotional materials.
The Mid-Atlantic region is well represented in top of the rankings, with the District of Columbia overwhelmingly the No. 1 area with 36.97 square feet per person, and Virginia at 3.71 square feet per person.
According to the USGBC's website, to earn a LEED certification a building must earn a minimum of 40 points on a 110-point LEED rating system which reviews aspects such as sustainability, water efficiency, energy use and atmosphere, use of sustainable materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.