Surprisingly pleasant news came out of Washington DC this week—the city was named the first LEED Platinum City in the world.
The honor was presented to Mayor Bowser from the President and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Mayor Bowser commented that, “It is in the best interest of Washington, DC’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. 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 DC.”
So what is this new honor and what does it mean for the industry?
LEED Platinum City
LEED stands for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is most widely known for use in green building rating systems around the world.
We most commonly use it to measure and achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.
For DC, the city is recognized for its outcome of creating sustainable and resilient built environment, which includes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting clean energy innovations, and focusing on inclusive prosperity and livability.
So how did they do it?
By focusing on making more neighborhoods walkable, creating routes for commuters to get to work without requiring a car (bikes, public buses, walk, etc.) and running government building with one-hundred percent renewable energy—Washington DC was able to create this environmentally-friendly oasis.
What this mean for us
When it comes to planning for the future, our industry can have better control on making environmental decisions.
- Does the neighborhood we're planning connect to other parts of the city or town easily that bikers and walkers can use?
- Are the materials we are looking to build, replace, or renovate with help the environment?
- Can we upgrade roofs to include solar-panels?
- Can our design incorporate more renewable energy options?
By focusing on green building—and taking a lesson out of Washington DC's book—we can help contribute to more LEED Platinum Cities.
Let's shift the focus on ongoing sustainability efforts for energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experiences.