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Arizona cracks top 10 of green buildings for first time

PHOENIX — For the first time ever, Arizona has cracked the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED top 10.

LEED is the world’s most widely-used and recognized green building rating system. Arizona is tied with New York at number 10 and that’s saving both local families and businesses big dollars.

Gonzo Gonzalez, head of USGBC’s Arizona chapter, said the ranking goes to show the green advancements that have been made within Arizona over the past few years in both the public and private sector.

“A LEED-certified building is going to be more energy efficient,” he said. “It’s just designed to a higher standard. It’s going to a healthier building for employees and a healthier home for people who live in it.”

With water increasingly growing as an issue in Arizona’s future, Gonzalez said the ranking shows the state is headed in the right direction on saving water.

“It’s a huge deal and, in some cases, these buildings aren’t using potable water at all,” he said. “They’re using reclaimed water or water that’s being used in the building and they’re just recycling it.”

Gonzalez cited the former U.S. Airways’ headquarters in Tempe and the San Diego Padres clubhouse in Peoria as two shining examples of notable projects that were certified as LEED Gold in Arizona in 2014.