Friday, October 27, 2017

Washington D.C. Becomes First LEED Platinum City

Washington D.C. has made tremendous progress in sustainability-
all government buildings are now powered by renewable energy.

Earlier this year, Washington D.C. was named the first LEED Platinum city in the world and recognized for its commitment to sustainability. Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) presented the distinction to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Among several environmental achievements, every government building is now powered by renewable energy.

Mayor Bowser was joined by the D.C. Chief of Technology and the District Department of Energy and Environment's Green Building Expert. The ceremony was held at local Dunbar High School - the highest rated LEED certified school in the country.

"We re proud to be recognized as the world's first LEED Platinum city. Our commitment to these issues will not yield, and we look forward to continuing to build a greener, more resilient and more sustainable D.C.," Mayor Bowser said in a recent press release.

Over the past two and a half years, the Bowser Administration has entered into one of the largest municipal solar projects in the United States - which has lowered energy expenses for low-income families, released Climate Ready DC, completed the largest wind power purchase ever entered into by an American city, started Sustainable DC 2.0 and signed a pledge to uphold the commitments in the Paris Climate Accord. Today, 65% of D.C. neighborhoods are walkable, 58% of commuter trips are by bike, walking, or public transit and the city is on track to derive at least half of municipal electricity from renewable resources by 2032.

"It is in the best interest of Washington D.C.'s safety, economy and future to take sustainability and resiliency seriously, and as the nation's capital, we have a special obligation to lead the way on environmental issues," Mayor Bowser said in a recent press release.

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system. With more than 91,700 LEED projects around the world, Washington D.C's honor stands out. 

The selection process of LEED for Cities takes into account an array of sustainability metrics such as energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience (such as education, prosperity, equity, health and safety). Cities must not only make an effort to improve the environment, but must also improve the lives of their citizens - but usually these efforts go hand-in-hand.

"Washington D.C. is setting the bar for smart cities all around the world by leveraging technology and data to achieve sustainability and resiliency goals, creating healthy and safe communities where citizens can thrive," Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of USGBC said in a recent press release.

Washington D.C.'s commitment to sustainability has set a new benchmark for the world. With all that the city has already accomplished, the next few years bring excitement and hope for green design.

To learn more about energy efficiency efforts in Washington D.C., visit Sustainable D.C. To learn more about LEED Certification, visit Zack Academy for information and training.

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