Union building in Washington, D.C. achieves LEED certification

December 14, 2012

The International Union Headquarters in Washington, D.C. has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) Platinum Certification. Located at 1800 Massachusetts Avenue, the building was originally awarded LEED Gold certification in 2007 in the new construction category, despite initially being built in 1979, after undergoing a significant renovation.

The property management company in charge of overseeing the building has dedicated themselves toward continued improvements measured by LEED certification standards.

"No matter how sustainable a building is designed and constructed, it will only remain efficient if it is operated and maintained in a similar manner.  For this reason, we are extremely proud to achieve LEED EB Platinum Certification on behalf of SEIU. We are pleased with the accomplishment and look forward to the continued privilege of operating the building as a LEED Platinum facility," said Todd Anderson, Property Manager at Akridge.

The new changes to the building include adding an onsite composting station for all landscaping waste and an upgraded elevator electrical distribution system and lights to reduce annual energy use by approximately 43,000 kWh – or the equivalent of the average yearly consumption rate of three homes.

In addition, the new sustainability system diverts 100 percent of the electronic equipment sold waste from the landfill as part of a new recycling program. By making these changes, the property management team has achieved an ENERGY STAR rating of 89 out of a possible 100 points, reduced annual emissions by 3,199 metric tons of carbon dioxide and now recycles 50 percent of daily accrued waste.

Washington, D.C. is well-known for promoting sustainability in design. City officials are trying to further increase the energy efficiency of the structures residing within the metro’s limits. However, D.C. is not the only region finding itself under scrutiny by agencies looking to increase the energy efficiency of local structures.

The U.S. Department of Energy established the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) to improve energy efficiency of buildings in Pennsylvania and promote regional economic growth. The agency was intended as an Energy-Regional Innovation Center, which dedicated its efforts toward improving the energy efficiency of buildings throughout the area.