WASHINGTON, DC — The headquarters of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank member that provides financing for private sector investment in developing countries, has earned a LEED-Platinum rating, the most prestigious of the U.S. Green Building Council certifications.
The 13-story building, whose 1,138,000 gross square feet house 2,000 employees, stands on the former site of the Marquette Apartments and several low-rise buildings on a nearly triangular area bounded by Pennsylvania NW, 21st Street NW and K Street NW in Washington, D.C.
The non-profit Leonardo Academy, which was the LEED consultant for IFC in its project to achieve certification for sustainability improvements and ongoing green measures, announced this week that those efforts were recognized by the USGBC. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and the green building rating and assessment system includes standards for the operations and maintainenance of existing buildings, called LEED-EBOM
The IFC building is the first structure in Washington, D.C., to receive platinum-level certification under LEED-EBOM -- and the second one nationwide -- since the standards were upgraded last summer.
A study released this week by Pike Research noted that existing buildings represent the major portion of the commercial green building certifications market. About 60 percent of total net green building space is in existing buildings, the study said, echoing findings of GreenerBuildings.com Executive Editor Rob Watson's Green Building and Market Impact Report 2009 and his Green Building Impact Report 2008.
To attain the platinum certification, Leonardo Academy worked with the IFC and the Brandywine Realty Trust, which manages the building, on measures to:
- Reduce water consumption by 1,106,750 gallons annually. Water-efficiency improvements had a payback of three months.
- Divert 100 percent of furniture and electronic equipment waste from landfill as part of a comprehensive recycle program.
- Purchase renewable energy from Wind Current equal to 100 percent of the IFC's annual energy usage.
- Achieve an Energy Star rating of 89 out of a possible 100 points, making them eligible for the Energy Star Label.
- Document an emissions reduction of 100,996 metic tons of CO2 equivalent when compared to the national average through Leonardo Academy's Cleaner & Greener Program.
- Install native and adapted plant species onsite that will reduce irrigation water consumption by 65 percent, require less maintenance and reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers.
- Implement a green cleaning policy mandating the use of 100 percent green cleaning products in the building and on the grounds.
- Develop a lighting plan that reduced the average amount of mercury to 43 picograms per lumen-hour per lamp.
Image courtesy of the Leonardo Academy and IFC.