Last Thursday, Washington, D.C., was named the first LEED for Cities Platinum city in the world. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser was presented this honor by Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), at an event on the steps of Dunbar High School – the highest-rated LEED-certified school in the U.S.
“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,” said Bowser. “We are 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.”
Throughout the Bowser administration, Washington, D.C., has served as a leading city on issues of sustainability. Over the past two-and-a-half years, the administration has released Climate Ready DC, entered into one of the largest municipal on-site solar projects in the U.S., completed one of the largest wind power purchase agreement deals of its kind ever entered into by U.S. city, launched Sustainable DC 2.0, and, most recently, signed a mayor’s order pledging to uphold the commitments in the Paris Climate Accord. Today, the D.C. government is 100% powered by renewable energy, and D.C. is on track to derive at least one-half of the entire city’s electricity from renewable resources by 2032.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is among the most widely used green building rating systems in the world and is designed to help buildings achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. LEED for Cities was launched last year and enables cities to measure and communicate performance, focusing on outcomes from ongoing sustainability efforts across an array of metrics, including energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience (which includes education, prosperity, equity, and health and safety). LEED for Cities projects benchmark and track performance using Arc, a state-of-the-art digital platform that uses data to provide greater transparency into sustainability efforts and helps cities make more informed decisions.
Washington, D.C.’s LEED Platinum certification recognizes the outcomes, rather than intent, of the city’s leadership in creating a sustainable and resilient built environment, which includes reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, supporting clean energy innovation, and focusing on inclusive prosperity and livability in all eight wards.
“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,” said the USGBC’s Ramanujam. “Mayor Bowser and the city are once again showing that our nation’s capital is performing at the highest levels and that its buildings, neighborhoods and communities are as sustainable as possible.”
Also on Thursday, the Bowser administration announced that Brookland Middle School has achieved LEED Platinum certification by the USGBC. The school was awarded 85 out of a possible 109 points, making Brookland Middle School the third DC Public Schools (DCPS) project to achieve Platinum certification and the 19th LEED-certified DCPS facility.
Photo courtesy of the USGBC’s Twitter account