The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) named Washington, D.C. the world's first LEED Platinum City for successfully achieving "sustainability and resiliency goals," according to a press release by the organization. Mayor Muriel Bowser received the honor from the USGBC president and CEO, Mahesh Ramanujam at an event held in the city's Dunbar High School—also the country's highest-rated LEED-certified academic institution.
After more than 20 years of experience in advancing sustainable and green building design and construction, last year, the council announced the addition of two pilot certification programs: LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities. Depending on the unique challenges each city faces, the project team must register on Arc—a digital platform that enables cities to measure, manage, and communicate their performance in various categories including energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience—to input data, and use the platform to set goals, utilize standards, and implement relevant strategies. The platform also allows cities to analyze their own performance as well as compare it against other cities. Arc can generate a building performance score ranging from zero to 100 based on the provideddata.
According to the same release, "Washington, D.C.’s LEED Platinum certification recognizes the outcomes, rather than intent, of the city’s leadership in creating a sustainable and resilient built environment." This includes, "reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting clean energy innovation, and focusing on inclusive prosperity and livability in all eight wards."
D.C. has taken clear steps toward becoming a leader in achieving sustainability under mayor Bowser's administration. In June, the mayor's Executive Office announced its support of the Paris Climate Accord by signing a mayor's order document, despite the President's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement. The city currently has over 850 LEED-certified commercial structures and more than 546 LEED-certified residential projects. The most recent addition to D.C.'s list of Platinum–certified public schools is Brookland Middle School. According to the mayor's chief technology officer Archana Vemulapalli, "smarter D.C. is fundamentally about leveraging technology strategically to deliver a more sustainable, resilient, equitable, and healthy city transparently," said in the press release.
“We are proud to be recognized as the world’s first LEED Platinum city," said the mayor at the event. "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.”