District Passes 100 Million Square Feet of LEED Building Space
October 2nd, 2014
Last month, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced that the District has surpassed 100 million square feet of space certified as meeting LEED standards — a “green” building program developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998. Only three other cities in the nation (each of them with much larger populations than the District’s) have passed this significant threshold — yet another sign that the nation’s capital is also a national leader in building with sustainability and environmental sensitivity in mind.
Only Chicago, New York and Houston have more total square footage of LEED-certified space than the District, and the District currently leads all U.S. cities in the total number of LEED projects. Per capita, the District has led all states and major cities in LEED-certified projects and square footage for several years. The District now has more than 155 square feet of LEED certified space per person — by far the highest of any large city.
“While we may not be one of the largest cities in the nation, we match and surpass the nation’s biggest metropolises in our commitment to green building,” said Mayor Gray. “The collaborative leadership on sustainable building across the District’s private sector, District agencies, and federal partners is truly outstanding. This is the type of innovation that will make the District the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the nation.”
The greening of the District’s buildings is crucial to the implementation of the groundbreaking Sustainable DC Plan, which was released by Mayor Gray in February 2013 following 18 months of broad community input and planning. The initiative — to make the District the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the nation in one generation — focuses on creating jobs and economic opportunity, improving residents’ health and wellness, ensuring equity and diversity across the city, reducing climate change and protecting the District’s local environment. Success in green building is central to achieving Sustainable DC goals and actions across the built environment, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste and water.
Several District agencies have committed significant resources to design and build LEED-certified buildings across the city following passage of the Green Building Act of 2006. Together with the District’s building industry and federal partners like the General Services Administration, building owners and managers have now achieved LEED certification for more than 500 projects across all building types.
“Mayor Gray and our forward-looking public- and private-sector partners share a common vision of the District as a national and world leader in green building,” said Keith Anderson, Director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE). “Crossing the 100-million-square-foot threshold is proof that the District is growing a robust green marketplace where owners, developers, designers, tenants and our city as a whole all share the benefits of healthier, more efficient buildings.”
At the end of 2013, the District also had 66.8 million square feet in 208 ENERGY STAR™-certified buildings within the city limits. On a per-capita basis, the District leads the nation’s large cities in both LEED and ENERGY STAR™-certified projects and square footage.