Good for business: LEED spaces distinguish DC locales | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in LEED
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED

During Greenbuild 2015, we highlighted four recently LEED-certified spaces in the nation’s capital that are helping transform the way businesses and organizations design, construct and maintain buildings. Below is a quick project snapshot of each unique space, just in case you missed it.

Wal-Mart: 77 H Street NW

Wal-Mart, once known for sprawling supercenters off interstate highways, is now finding new homes in metropolitan areas like Washington, DC, where space is in high demand and building standards are even higher. To fit in, Wal-Mart’s new locations need to seamlessly integrate with existing communities, while meeting the sustainability goals set by the company and the District. 

The 77 H Street store, located a few blocks from DC's historic Union Station, is the first full-service Wal-Mart in the United States to be integrated into a mixed-use building. Designed by Massa Montalto Architects P.C., the 83,726-square-foot space was certified LEED Silver in March 2015, and was the first of four new locations to open in the District. It’s also the first Wal-Mart to achieve LEED certification in alignment with the District’s Green Building Act of 2006, which requires all new nonresidential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to meet LEED certification within two years of receiving a certificate of occupancy.t

During the certification process, the space received high marks for site selection, development density and community connectivity, water use reduction, optimized energy performance and alternative transportation. As part of the 77 H Street mixed-use development, the project has received numerous industry awards, including Washington Business Journal's Best Real Estate Deals of 2014 Community Impact Award, the Washington Building Congress 2014 Craftsmanship Award for Unit Masonry, and silver recognition by the Brick Industry Association's 2014 Brick in Architecture Awards. 

Pret a Manger: 301 Penn

Lauded for creating delicious, ready-to-eat, fresh food, Pret a Manger is known for its commitment to doing the right thing. Whether by making healthy, tasty food that’s free of additives and preservatives, donating unsold food to underserved populations or reducing the environmental impact of their restaurants, Pret prides itself on responsible business practices.

Their location at 301 Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of Washington, DC, is a prime example of how green retail space reflects well on the company’s commitment to sustainability. The 4,631-square-foot LEED Silver space is one of four LEED certified spaces that Pret leased in the United States. Certified in January 2015, 301 Penn received full marks on the sustainable sites and innovation sections of the LEED scorecard. Thoughtful site considerations during the planning process helped push the project to achieve Silver status, including working within existing infrastructure and locating near alternative transportation. As a result, 301 Penn helps reduce environmental impacts on greenfields and reduces pollution and land development impacts from car use. The project also demonstrated exceptional performance, above the requirements set by LEED, through innovative commercial interior design.

Georgetown University Nevils Hall

Georgetown University is currently pursuing broad-based, practical approaches to sustainability, including an ambitious goal of cutting its carbon footprint in half by 2020. A core tenet of Georgetown’s sustainability program is building performance, and therefore, the university has committed to achieving LEED Silver or higher for all new facilities and major renovations on campus.

Nevils Hall, a residential hall featuring four-, five- and six-person apartments, is popular with upperclassmen because of its spacious feel and unique design. The 73,535-square-foot building was awarded LEED Silver in May 2015, and is among eight on-campus buildings at Georgetown that have achieved or are actively pursuing LEED.

As a result of the LEED certification process, Nevils Hall achieved a 100 percent reduction in potable landscape water use, boasts quality views for 90 percent of occupied space, and ensured 20 percent of its building materials were made of recycled content. The building has 14 green activities that achieved outcomes of energy-efficient design, water use reduction, sustainable site selection and development, responsible materials selection and waste management, enhanced indoor environmental quality and energy performance disclosure.

Safeway 2808

Safeway has made a longstanding practice of employing sustainable construction and design techniques since the launch of its sustainability strategy in 2004. In an effort to assess and drive results in its program, Safeway selected a LEED-based system for its buildings to follow. Today, Safeway has nine LEED-certified buildings in the United States.

The Safeway on Georgia Avenue had a notorious reputation before it was temporarily closed in 2012, demolished and completely rebuilt from the ground up. The new 62,550-square-foot space, which opened in 2014, is located within a mixed-use residential and retail building in the District’s Petworth neighborhood. Nearly three times the size of the previous store, the new Safeway achieved LEED Gold in March 2015 and anchors a 218-unit apartment building called The Swift.

Safeway 2808 is green because it scored high points in the categories for enhanced commissioning, site selection, development density and community connectivity, alternative transportation and water use reduction.