Green building is an approach to buildings design, construction and operations that conserves resources while it protects human health. Green buildings use less energy, consume fewer natural resources such as water and forest products, and emit fewer pollutants into the environment. Because they are designed to make use of natural light and good ventilation, green buildings provide a healthier indoor environment for their occupants. Studies show that students in green buildings learn better and workers in green buildings are more productive.
Green building is an integral part of the District's sustainable development strategy. The Green Building Act of 2006 requires that all District public buildings meet the US Green Building Council's LEED certification standards for environmental performance. The District supports private sector innovation by expediting LEED Gold-level projects through the permitting process. By 2012, all new private development projects will be required to meet LEED certification.
- The District was the first city in the nation to require new privately constructed buildings to meet LEED standards, thanks to the Green Building Act of 2006.
- There are 24 buildings in the District certified as LEED Silver or higher. An additional 150+ projects are LEED registered.