USGBC Headquarters

©Halkin Mason Photography

As the non-profit organization dedicated to green building for everyone and the creator of the LEED certification system, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) made sustainability the top priority in the renovation of its Washington, DC headquarters. GHT provided MEP engineering design services, focusing on the implementation of sustainability measures to support the achievement of Triple Platinum Certification in LEED, WELL, and TRUE.

From the design aesthetic to occupant comfort, everything at USGBC’s headquarters is connected, made possible by the early involvement of design team members and seamless coordination throughout the project. For sustainability measures, the building now has a system of metering every item in the space for an accurate depiction of energy use, as well as controls and sensors to monitor air quality and volume. IAQ sensors throughout the space display the air quality for occupants, and a setback control for VAV units aligns with the number of occupants to allow for increased energy efficiency.

Achievement of the Triple Platinum Certification was a collective effort, requiring an extensive understanding of project goals, coordinated systems integration, and constant collaboration between design team members. Renewable energy systems, enhanced refrigerant management, and the use of low emitting materials are several of the sustainable strategies that culminated in the achievement of LEED Platinum. To attain WELL Platinum, the space prioritized occupant wellness by incorporating water quality evaluations, IAQ monitors every 3,5000 SF and mandating annual IAQ testing to monitor carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and more. Finally, TRUE Platinum was achieved by prioritizing waste reduction through recycling and composting, resulting in the reuse of 80% of the existing furniture and the reduction of both operational and embodied carbon.

In addition to sustainability measures, the space incorporates new amenities such as a recording studio, a tenant gathering space, and a knowledge center for USGBC/LEED education. Not only does this space educate the community about sustainable design, but it sets the standard for future tenant interiors renovation projects seeking to achieve LEED, WELL, and TRUE Certification.

USGBC HQ Materials Wall
USGBC HQ Huddle Room
USGBC HQ Conference Room
USGBC HQ Recording Studio
USGBC HQ Flex Area