USGBC’s Commitment to Sustainability Earns Their HQ Triple Platinum Certification
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oct. 30, 2023 – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that its headquarters in Washington, D.C., has been awarded a prestigious triple Platinum certification in LEED, TRUE and WELL. This trio of certifications reflects USGBC’s commitment to healthy, productive, sustainable and responsible work environments.
The new headquarters, which also houses Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), reflects the changing office landscape, with a clear emphasis on decarbonization, indoor environmental quality and resource efficiency.
“Our triple Platinum space models the mission and values of USGBC and GBCI,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO, USGBC and GBCI.
The USGBC headquarters, located within a LEED Gold existing building, prioritized reuse, from furniture to equipment to supplies, contributing to an outstanding 44% reduction in embodied carbon emissions—below the Carbon Leadership Forum baseline for an interior buildout. Workspaces were reconfigured, and the project reused all kitchen materials, mailing supplies, flooring from the lobby, window shades and much more.
- 95% of the original construction materials were reused or diverted from landfill, including ceiling tiles, ceiling grid, drywall, glass panels, hardware, millwork and terrazzo flooring.
- 60% of furniture and supplies were reused. To further avoid landfill, USGBC offered furniture to staff, donated items and sold items at auction.
- Multiple offices were kept in place and intact, reducing demolition waste.
“Keeping materials out of landfills was a top priority that was achieved through careful planning, targeted demolition and innovative reuse,” said Melanie Mayo-Rodgers, director, facilities, USGBC. “We succeeded in reducing not only waste, but also our project costs and environmental footprint.”
Since completion, the new space has won several industry awards for sustainability, wellness and resource efficiency. These include awards from the American Society of Interior Designers, the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks and the American Institute of Architects' D.C. chapter.
The new headquarters office is being used as a hybrid workspace, accommodating staff needs for in-person work and meetings on a rotating schedule. The office is designed to be more inclusive, adaptive, collaborative and configurable for staff needs. The space features dedicated rooms for wellness activities and focused work, as well as a podcast recording studio.
The design honors the legacy of USGBC while looking ahead to the future. The triple certification demonstrates that environmental sustainability and occupant health go hand in hand.
LEED certification provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings, offering environmental, social and governance benefits. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, and it is backed by an entire industry of committed organizations and individuals paving the way for market transformation.
TRUE certification is dedicated to measuring, improving and recognizing zero waste performance, measuring a tangible impact on our environment and community. The USGBC space saw a robust waste diversion rate of 94.3%.
WELL certification measures the impact of human health and well-being through air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community. The International Well Building Institute (IWBI) administers WELL and is a longtime USGBC partner. The USGBC space creates a healthier environment that improves physical and mental well-being and helps showcase the approach to wellness and the employee experience.
The success of this project is due in large part to the talented project team led by Perkins&Will (design and project management) and including SK&A (structural engineering), JLL (owner's representative), GHT Limited (MEP engineering), Advanced Building Performance, Inc. (commissioning agent), Hotbed Technologies (audio visual), Newmark (lease negotiation), and HITT Contracting (general contractor). JBG Smith (landlord and building owner) was an integral partner in this project, and its support and commitment to sustainability enabled USGBC to achieve these top-level certifications.
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