U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Headquarters Office

Washington, D.C.
Certification level: 
Percent of Overall Diversion Achieved: 
Facility Size: 
16,498 sq. ft.
Project Owner: 
Project Overview: 

This project is a space renovation in which the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) downsized from two spaces totaling 59,756 square feet in two different locations to 16,498 square feet in one commercial interior location.

During the renovation, we employed strategic demolition to save existing materials such as ceiling tiles, drywall, glass panels, lock hardware, shades, terrazzo, and wood. We also reused cased goods furniture for offices, workstations and freestanding furniture throughout the space with minimal new furniture purchased to reduce embodied carbon. We reused office supplies and kitchen supplies to divert as much from landfill as possible. We donated and auctioned furniture and equipment that could not be reused in the new office. The project earned an innovation point because reuse was intentionally designed into the new office. Reuse was included in the architectural drawings for demolition, for furniture, and salvaged materials such as wood, carpet and terrazzo tile.

Onboarding orientation training for staff, temporary staff and interns includes zero waste information that explains the types of waste streams and what is acceptable for each bin. Zero waste goals, policies, and updates are communicated to all staff through onboarding, sustainability presentations, waste audit reports, a sustainability guide, an interactive online course with quiz, educational material on the video wall, and ongoing trainings. Games and activities during Earth Day celebrations provide staff fun ways to learn and practice sorting waste into the correct bins. The new space has incorporated bins built into the millwork for all waste streams and placed them in common areas to facilitate recycling and composting. Easy to read text and graphic signage provide support for staff and visitors on how to correctly divert waste.

USGBC’s commitment to environmental stewardship begins with our own actions," said Peter Templeton, President and CEO of USGBC, GBCI and Arc. "By reusing over 80% of our furniture and diverting more than 94% of our waste in our headquarters, we’ve reduced both operational and embodied carbon, and minimized our impacts on the environment and our community. We’re proud of the commitment and actions taken by our entire team to meet the rigorous standards of TRUE certification."

Learn more about USGBC Headquarters' journey to TRUE Platinum certification in their case study.