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Georgia cracks top 10 for LEED projects, besting California, Colorado

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Boosted by Mercedes-Benz Stadium and more, Peach State makes the cut for first time since 2014

A rendering of Georgia Tech’s Living Building.
Georgia Tech’s under-construction Living Building is expected to be the Southeast’s greenest.
Miller Hull in collaboration with Lord Aeck Sargent via Kendeda Fund

It’s common knowledge that Georgia is peachy, but it’s also exceptionally green.

At least that’s the conclusion of the U.S. Green Building Council, which released its annual list of Top 10 States for LEED on Tuesday.

For the first time since 2014, the Peach State made the cut, boosted by sustainable new LEED (that’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects such as Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The list tallies all projects that certified as LEED in 2017. It’s compiled based on per capita figures, officials said.

Last year, Georgia bested more famously progressive places such as California and Colorado. Depending on whether you count Virginia (questionable) and Washington, D.C. (super iffy), it could also be said that Georgia was the South’s only place to qualify.

“How’s this make my life better?” you might ask.

To which the council said this in a press release:

“America’s building sector accounts for almost 40 percent of national CO2 emissions ... by improving the performance, health and efficiency of buildings and spaces, LEED is supporting efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.”

Also worth noting, per the council, is that LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions. They consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water, which could be of greater importance in Georgia as time—and never-ending water wars—rages on.

Here’s a more detailed look at the top 10: