USGBC HQ Earns Triple Platinum Certification: LEED, TRUE, WELL

The U.S. Green Building Council’s new Washington, DC headquarters focuses on decarbonization, indoor environmental quality, and resource efficiency.

Reflecting its commitment to healthy, productive, sustainable, and responsible work environments, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) headquarters in Washington, DC has been awarded triple Platinum certification in LEED, TRUE, and WELL. The headquarters also houses Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI).

Templeton USGBC GBCI
Peter Templeton, President & CEO, USGBC and GBCI

With a clear emphasis on decarbonization, indoor environmental quality, and resource efficiency, the headquarters facility reflects the changing office landscape, according to Peter Templeton, president & CEO, USGBC and GBCI.

“Our triple platinum certified space models the mission and values of USGBC and GBCI,” said Templeton.

Waste Reduction: Prioritizing Reuse

The USGBC headquarters, located within a LEED Gold-certified existing building, prioritized reuse from furniture to equipment to supplies, contributing to a 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.”

An Award-Winning Workspace

Since its 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 DC Chapter.

USGBC headquarters

USGBC headquarters

USGBC headquarters

USGBC headquarters
(Photos courtesy of USGBC)

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 also features dedicated rooms for wellness activities and focused work, as well as a podcast recording studio.

The facility’s triple certification demonstrates that environmental sustainability and occupant health go hand in hand.

USGBC headquartersLEED 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, 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, fitness, comfort, and mind. 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 project team was led by Perkins&Will (design and project management) and included SK&A (structural engineering), JLL (owner’s representative), GHT Limited (MEP engineering), Advanced Building Performance, Inc. (commissioning agent), Hotbed Technology (audio visual), Newmark (lease negotiation), and HITT Contracting (general contractor). Landlord and building owner JBG Smith also played an integral part in the project.

For a virtual tour of USGBC headquarters, visit here.

Click here for more facility management news and information about renovations and expansions. 


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