US Treasury Building's Green Investment Pays Off in LEED-Gold Rating

Work to make the U.S Treasury Building more resource efficient has earned the third-oldest federal building in Washington, D.C., gold-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Stretching for more than two city blocks, the Treasury Building was under construction for 33 years from 1836 to 1869. (Only the White House and the U.S. Capitol are older.)

The most recent changes in operations and the latest facility improvements include:

• Increasing daylighting
• Putting in place an advanced control and management system for HVAC
• Auditing the waste stream to identify further opportunities for recycling and reducing waste
• Creating a green procurement program
• Enhanced metering for utilities
• Better use of space

The efforts have resulted in:

• A 7-percent drop in electricity consumption
• A 43-percent decrease in use of potable water
• A 53-percent reduction in the use of steam
• Adding 164 workstations

"We're proud of the improvements we've made around the Treasury Building -- both big and small - to help reduce our environmental footprint and save taxpayer dollars," Assistant Secretary for Management Dan Tangherlini said in a blog post. "They're part of a broader Administration-wide effort, which includes President Obama's recent $2 billion commitment to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers."

In the first year of his administration, Obama issued an executive order that calls on federal agencies to set a national example for greening their operations and facilities. GSA Administrator Martha Johnson detailed the government's aim and her goal of bring her agency's environmental footprint to zero at the GreenBiz Group's State of Green Business Forum 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Photo of U.S. Treasury Building by Carolyn M Carpenter /