Dallas earned a gold star for green building! A new report by Abodo.com ranks the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex tops for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified residential building. In fact, Texas leads the nation with the most LEED-certified residential construction projects by a substantial margin. With 6,945 LEED-certified residential projects underway in Texas, more than half of them – 3,797, to be precise – are located in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington. California comes in second with 5,255. Nice work, Big D.
But before we get too excited about our achievements in sustainability, there are other statistics we ought to consider. Abodo cites data from the US Census Bureau showing that in July of 2017 alone, there were 1.16 million residential project starts. Of those, a measly 38,350 are designed to LEED standards.
True, the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED is just one of the many certification programs for environmentally-friendly building, but its impact is undeniably the most significant. According to the USGBC, LEED-certified projects make up about 40 percent of green construction’s contribution to the economy. So, even if you double that 38,350 number to account for other eco-friendly building programs, you’re looking at roughly 6 to 7 percent of the total residential starts. That’s not great.
Dallas Falls Short in Commercial Sustainability
Per the report, cities “most poised to undertake major green construction projects are metro areas with extremely robust economies: centers of trade, commerce, and technological development with very high populations and sophisticated economic infrastructure.”
That certainly applies to Dallas. But even still, D/FW falls fairly short in sustainable commercial construction. At ninth in the nation, Dallas currently boasts only 612 LEED-certified commercial projects. With the crazy amount of construction going on around us, that number seems pretty sad. Commercial construction in Washington, D.C., triples that number. Again, the report focuses solely on LEED projects, which is certainly not the only measure of sustainable design.
A 2016 Study by Dodge Data and Analytics projected that green building around the globe doubles every three years. In light of these numbers, it would be interesting to see how our little corner of the world is keeping up with that growth.