U.S Green Building Council Headquarters

U.S Green Building Council Headquarters

Cambria Bold
Jul 15, 2009

As Metropolis writes, the U.S. Green Building Council's new headquarters in Washington, D.C. "tells you everything you need to know about where the green-building movement is today and where it's headed." It's a completely modern and cool aesthetic: white walls, tons of glass, and iconic designs like the Eero Saarinen Womb chairs in the lobby. But don't be deceived by its high style: it's as nitty-gritty green as you can get...

...and then some. It's actually the first project slated for LEED platinum certification under its own newer and stricter rating system. USGBC's president, Rick Fedrizzi, "wanted classic mod­ern furniture, light everywhere, and crispness." And it had to be corporate. Here are just a few examples of the many green details:

1st Picture: The walnut for the table came from a tree in Vienna, Virginia (outside of D.C.). CitiLog, a company that salvages urban hardwood and employs Amish craftsmen who make custom furniture out of it, sourced the wood. Side tables were also created from the same log.

2nd Picture: The salvaged-wood wall paneling is covered in a water-based finish and actually surpasses SCAQMD requirements for VOCs. The Terrazzo flooring is made with 100 percent post-consumer recycled glass, and was mixed on site.

3rd Picture: This executive office features non-PVC Ecoveil window shades, Cradle to Cradle certified. The electronically controlled system automatically raises and lowers shades based on seasonal sun angles, increasing the use of natural daylight. And they came from Edison, New Jersey (177 miles away from D.C.).

4th Picture: An "eco-corridor," characterized by light carpet and variable temperature, brightens the office while curtailing energy consumption.

5th Picture: The social space and break room all feature salvaged wood from the local D.C. area manufactured at a mill in Center, PA (165 miles away). The Lounge Poufs by Moroso are 100% wool and ISO certified. The plastic-laminate millwork substrate are Nu-Green by Uniboard with no added urea-formaldehyde, and made of 100 percent recycled wood fiber. All the paint is no-VOC Benjamin Moore Natura, and the Marmoleum floor is made of 40% recycled content and 33% rapidly renewable materials.

And wondering about the Eames molded-plywood lounge chair and coffee table, by Herman Miller? Well, they will never end up in a landfill. No one would dispute that fact.

One other great and admirable feature of this office is the Dashboard, a large TV monitor displayed prominently in the reception area that tracks the building's performance metrics, such as power and water usage, lighting HVAC performance, CO2 levels, and indoor air quality, and displays real-time statistics.

Definitely head over to Metropolis' website to read the full article and see many more pictures. Totally inspiring.

Images: Eric Laignel for Envision via Metropolis

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