The vast majority of scientists agree that the world is facing a climate change crisis. Americans are deeply divided, much of it along partisan political lines. They disagree on how impactful they think the effects of climate change will be and what to do about it. But one area where there is more agreement is green building, where tax breaks are combined with energy savings. Broadly speaking, green building, which includes the planning, design, and construction of an environmentally sustainable building.
A key step in taking a green approach to construction is Energy Star certification. Buildings in the United States can earn Energy Star certification by exceeding a minimum score set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This score is calculated based on energy use and compared to EPA tools, and must be renewed each year. There are unique, detailed criteria for single-family, multi-family, and manufactured homes.
Civil and landscape engineers also rely on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, which encourages renewable materials, energy savings and biodiversity protection. Each phase of planning and construction has its own LEED rating system and scorecard, against which engineers can measure their efforts.
OhmConnect used the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2022 rankings to identify the metro areas with the most Energy Star certified buildings. The EPA identified the top 25 metro areas with the most certified buildings, as well as the top 10 in medium-sized metropolitan areas and the top 10 in small metropolitan areas. For comparison, here is the count of the metropolitan areas with the most buildings based on the number of certified buildings per million inhabitants. Because the EPA reports only head counts, some metro areas with fewer buildings but a higher per capita rate may not be included here.