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Council on Foreign Relations Goes LEED

usfc leedThe Council on Foreign Relations‘ new building in Washington, D.C., took extra steps to attain LEED Gold status by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The headquarters is actually the melding together of two existing buildings that were renovated to LEED standards. The first is an 1871 Victorian-style townhouse, the second a modern concrete and glass building from 1981. The two buildings were tied together by a modern facade.

Some of the steps taken to achieve LEED Gold status for existing structures, according to a press release, were:

  • Recycling seventy-five percent of construction debris, thereby diverting it from landfills.
  • Planting water efficient landscaping, expected to result in a fifty percent reduction in water use.
  • Installing a rainwater capture system to store 5,000 gallons of diverted rainwater to use for irrigation and washing of sidewalks.
  • Replacing all windows and adding new insulation throughout to reduce utility use.
  • Utilizing twenty percent recycled materials in renovations, including carpeting and furniture fabrics.
  • Using Forest Stewardship Council certified woods for millwork, paneling, and furniture.
  • Setting up air filtration inside the building to minimize the amount of dust produced during construction, thus making the worksite healthier for workers.
  • Installing automated lighting controls throughout the buildings to reduce energy use.

The building received a 2009 Green Building of America Award from Real Estate Construction & Review.

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