Our Green Urbanism Program team released the results today of a report that analyzes and ranks Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) of states across the nation for their inclusion of green building strategies. Overall, the news is good, with a majority of states receiving better than average grades in our report, "Progress and Possibility: Green Building Criteria in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Programs" (authors Lauren Fuhry, Walker Wells, Ted Bardacke). Using an A to F grading structure, QAPs in all 50 states were analyzed and ranked on a 50-point scale comprised of 32 subtopics distributed across the categories of Smart Growth, Energy Efficiency, Resource Conservation, and Health Protection. This year's best in class: Connecticut and Maryland. Both states are the first to achieve perfect scores since we began our reporting and established a national performance ranking in 2006. Performing less favorably were states given D's, including Tennessee, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Utah. Most improved goes to Ohio, which went from a D to an A-.
Across the country, the adoption of green building measures has grown, with this year’s average of 31 representing a 20% increase from 2010's average of 26. This year, 27 state QAPs offered incentives for projects seeking to achieve certification through a third party green building program, such as USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Enterprise Community Partners' Green Communities Initiative, or Southface Energy Institute's Earthcraft, up from 16 in 2010. Energy Efficiency was the most full addressed category in the scoring analysis, with 75% of all possible points scored, and Health Protection surpassed Resource Conservation in terms of overall points achieved by states. Below, state grades.