The overwhelming majority of scientists agree that the world is facing a climate change crisis. Americans are deeply divided—largely along partisan political lines. They disagree about how impactful they believe climate change effects will be and what to do about it. But one area where there’s more agreement is green construction, where tax breaks meet energy savings. In general terms, green construction, which includes the planning, designing, and constructing of an environmentally sustainable building.
One key measure of taking a green approach to building is being classified as Energy Star certified. Buildings in the United States may become Energy Star certified by exceeding a minimum score set out by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This score is calculated based on energy usage and mapped against EPA tools, and must be renewed each year. There are unique and detailed criteria for single-family, multifamily, 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 protection of biodiversity. 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’s Agency’s 2022 rankings to identify the metropolitan areas with the greatest number of Energy Star-certified buildings. The EPA identified the top 25 metros with the highest number of certified buildings as well as the top 10 in mid-size and top 10 in small metros. For comparison, the count of those metros with the most buildings are shown here based on the number of certified buildings per 1 million population. Because the EPA reports on just the top counts, some metros with fewer buildings but a higher rate per capita may not be listed here.