US Green Building Council Headquarters

US Green Building Council Headquarters

Leed®, Follow, or get out of the Way

In 2006, we were privileged to construct the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) headquarters. Just two years after completion, fast growth necessitated that USGBC move to a larger space, and we were once again selected as their general contractor. Our task was to transform two floors into a sustainable work environment — to be the first in the country to earn LEED Platinum® under the v3.0 rating system. Having this opportunity a second time validated our company-wide commitment to green performance and cemented our reputation as a market leader in sustainable construction.

  • Project type
    Commercial Interiors
  • Architect
  • client
    US Green Building Council
  • awards
    AIA DC Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design; AGC of DC Award of Excellence, Best Sustainable Interior Project; ENR Mid-Atlantic Best Project of the Year, Interior Design/Tenant Improvement; IIDA Mid-Atlantic Pinnacle Award, Silver; NAIOP MD/DC Award of Excellence, Best Sustainable Design

The project was on a tight timeline and had several challenges, including the need to incorporate donated materials into the schedule. The DAVIS team went well beyond expectations to meet every challenge thrown at them. We love our space, which is praised by all of the visitors we receive here.

Chris Smith, Former CEO, USGBC

Creativity is Our Renewable Resource

From the beginning of the project this was an integrated design and construction process, allowing the team to explore new concepts on a compressed schedule. Design charrettes, workplan development, and check-in reviews improved opportunities for strategic and innovative ideas, and critical details were hammered out as a full team. Navigating USGBC’s new LEED standards, the design team’s objectives, and achieving top energy savings were formidable goals — but goals we were determined to meet.

Since move-in, over 75,000 individuals have toured USGBC's headquarters.

A Green Thumb for the Details

As the contractor, we lived in the details. We worked closely with manufacturers and vendors to source the most innovative sustainable materials available. Many of these products were so new that specifications didn't yet exist, so we assisted manufacturers in matching specifications to LEED requirements. When it came to ensuring a healthy jobsite, we implemented our own internal checklist and construction ideology, which included processes for dust containment, equipment protection, and guidelines to minimize harmful materials.

We Put the Ability in Sustainability

Demonstrating USGBC’s core mission affected all facets of the project. As the first project to utilize LEED v3.0 and LEED Online, our approach was holistic. Spaces were visualized at the same time that heating, cooling, and lighting needs were calculated, recalculated, and designed. Our solutions lowered energy consumption — in some cases below new baseline requirements. Our team's experience on past sustainable projects and research into new materials and resources created an environment where the organization's character and culture were strengthened through green sensibilities and beautiful aesthetics.

We created Green Toolbox Talks, a weekly knowledge share with our trade partners on the jobsite to discuss observations and ideas. The lessons were structured to mirror LEED credits relevant to field activities, educating everyone involved.

Photos by Eric Laignel