Washington has been named the first LEED for Cities Platinum city in the world by the United States Green Building Council. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser was presented with the honor by Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC, at an event on the steps of Dunbar High School — the highest rated LEED-certified school in the United States. The mayor and Ramanujam were joined by Mayor Bowser’s chief technology officer, Archana Vemulapalli, and Jay Wilson, the District Department of Energy and Environment’s green building expert.
“It is in the best interest of Washington, D.C.’s safety, economy, and future to take sustainability and resiliency seriously, and as the nation’s capital, we have a special obligation to lead the way on environmental issues,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are proud to be recognized as the world’s first LEED Platinum city. Our commitment to these issues will not yield, and we look forward to continuing to build a greener, more resilient, and more sustainable D.C.”
According to USGBC, LEED for Cities was launched last year and enables cities to measure and communicate performance, focusing on outcomes from ongoing sustainability efforts across an array of metrics, including energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience (which includes education, prosperity, equity, and health and safety). LEED for Cities projects benchmark and track performance using Arc, a digital platform that uses data to provide greater transparency into sustainability efforts and help cities make more informed decisions.
“Washington, D.C. is setting the bar for smart cities all around the world by leveraging technology and data to achieve sustainability and resiliency goals, creating healthy and safe communities where citizens can thrive,” said Ramanujam. “Mayor Bowser and the city are once again showing that our nation’s capital is performing at the highest levels and that its buildings, neighborhoods, and communities are as sustainable as possible.”
The Bowser Administration also announced that Brookland Middle School has achieved LEED Platinum certification by the USGBC. The school was awarded 85 out of a possible 109 points, making Brookland Middle School the third D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) project to achieve platinum certification and the 19th LEED certified DCPS facility.
According to USGBC officials, Washington has served as a leading city on issues of sustainability. Over the past two and a half years, the Bowser Administration has released Climate Ready DC, entered into one of the largest municipal onsite solar projects in the U.S., completed the largest wind power purchase agreement deal of its kind ever entered into by an American city, launched Sustainable DC 2.0, and, most recently, signed a Mayor’s order pledging to uphold the commitments in the Paris Climate Accord. Today, the D.C. Government is 100% powered by renewable energy and DC is on track to derive at least one-half of the entire city’s electricity from renewable resources by 2032.