Going green has become in vogue in both residential and commercial building design. The carbon footprint of a building has become a major issue in design, as data from the US Department of Energy had accounted that 35 percent of total electrical consumption, according to a report from Forbes.com.

The major obstacle to going green is the cost. The Forbes report, quoting CrediFi, estimated that an additional 10 percent to 30 percent cost would be shouldered by the developer. On top of that, obtaining the environmental certifications entail additional cost. The certifications, issues by the non profit organization US Green Building Council and Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star can cost between several thousand to nearly a million.

These though are still options available and not enforceable under the law. A recent report from MarketWatch had identified the most toxic real estate markets in the United States.  The most polluted market is California, with the top most toxic areas are Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim. These three areas had registered very high levels of unhealthy air, polluted land and/or water.  There were even many dangerous drug labs with contribute to the overall pollution.

The second most polluted areas were in the state of Illinois, specifically Chicago, Naperville and Elgin. Coming in third is Michigan, with Detroit, Dearborn and Warren.

The data obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Drug Enforcement Agency had categorized the areas based on the level of pollution. The categories are the "Superfund" clean up sites, the "brownfields" areas and former drug lab locations. Superfund sites would warrant a cleanup from the EPA while Brownfields have hazardous materials in abandoned sites and former drug labs.

The data identified 7,700 ZIP Codes based on air quality conditions and were given specific grades based on their current conditions.