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Oregon Ranks in Top 10 for Green Buildings

By Eric Tegethoff, Producer | Public News Service

Oregon is high on the list of states focused on sustainable building practices, according to a new report.

The state comes in at number 10 in U.S. Green Building Council’s ranking released today. The ranking is based on the construction of LEED-certified buildings, a widely used system which rates environmentally friendly practices.

In 2022, Oregon added more than six million square feet of LEED certified space.

Stephanie Gabriel, pacific regional director for the U.S. Green Building Council, said the next step for the state is to expand this type of construction outside major cities.

“Bringing green buildings to more rural environments or small towns outside of Portland metro area and Salem; the larger cities of Oregon,” Gabriel emphasized. “Making sure that we’re addressing green building throughout the state.”

Gabriel pointed out the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden last year will bring federal funding to states with green building initiatives, which could increase the pace toward more sustainable construction.

Rhiannon Jacobson, managing director of U.S. market transformation and development for the council, said LEED certification involves rating operations of buildings such as air filtration, and stressed greener practices within a building have been shown to benefit the workers inside.

“A lot of the design principles that are put forth are going to allow for top performance,” Jacobson noted. “We do see things like lower levels of absenteeism in a LEED building. We see lower turnover rates.”

Oregon appears on the list for the second year in a row. California ranks fourth, and Massachusetts came in at number one.



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