A Green Certification on the Horizon for the White House?

A Green Certification on the Horizon for the White House?

Update, September 21, 2009: Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, emphasizes that pursuit LEED of certification for the White House has been discussed but not decided upon. "While I have participated in conversations about the feasibility of using LEED to green the White House, there has been no decision made to seek LEED certification,” Fedrizzi said in a statement provided to GreenerBuildings.com today.

Going far beyond the organic vegetable garden and playground made from recycled materials, President Barack Obama intends to get the White House LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

That's the word from an article on Sierra Club's Green Home website. From the article:

White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) spokesperson, Christine Glunz, says the effort to get the White House to LEED certification includes energy and water systems as well as waste. She believes it is vital to consider toxicity and life-cycle when making purchases for facilities. CEQ is looking to reduce the carbon footprint of the White House by implementing computerized energy management systems, automatic light sensors that turn off in unoccupied rooms and low-flow water valves. Paints and sealers with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), biodegradable cleaners and recycled equipment will all be used by White House groundskeepers and engineers, according to a White House spokesperson. Window films that will lower UV rays and save energy will also be added.

According to an article on the National Geographic website, any leftover materials from White House renovations and demolitions will be donated to local reuse organizations. If President Obama continues to enforce such eco-friendly changes throughout his term, he will be on the right track to making the White House more of a "green house," proving with a LEED certification that he can lead Americans to a greener world.

We regularly report on the benefits and importance of retrofitting existing buildings as one of the keys to cutting the country's energy dependence. Even if greening the White House itself would have just a small impact on the nation's capital, its symbolic importance would be considerably greater.

White House photo CC-licensed by Wikipedia user UpstateNYer.