USGBC National Capital Region | U.S. Green Building Council
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USGBC National Capital Region is working to make healthy, sustainable buildings a reality for the people of the greater Washington, DC, metropolitan area within a generation. We serve the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and northern Virginia.

Our diverse membership is comprised of builders, architects, environmentalists and nonprofits, each providing a wealth of knowledge and industry access at every level. Today, in the D.C. area, you’ll find some of the strongest green building codes in the country; the most LEED-certified space per person in the U.S.; and one of the highest concentrations of LEED professionals in the nation.

As part of a large network helping advance sustainable places to live and work nationwide, we help fulfill USGBC’s mission in the National Capital Region by providing education, volunteer, and networking opportunities.

Learn more about our committees; our major initiatives for 2016, including resiliency, wellness, and LEED v4; and our partnerships with:



In Community 05.17.2016

Call for nominations: USGBC National Capital Region 2016 Awards of Excellence

USGBC National Capital Region is issuing a call for nominations for its 2016 Awards of Excellence. 


To promote and recognize excellence in sustainable design, environmental stewardship and community impact and to highlight the green building initiatives and achievements of National Capital Region projects, businesses and chapter leaders.

Please read the information below and linked document on “Award Eligibility, Submission Criteria and Judging Criteria” before submitting an application. 

Award Categories 

LEED Project of the Year, various categories (see below)

  • These awards recognize projects located in the USGBC National Capital Region territory, which have been awarded certification between June 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016. (Note: LEED ND projects may have been submitted for municipal review or in this same time frame.) 

LEED Neighborhood Development Certified Projects

  • Applies to projects certified under the LEED ND rating system, including new land development projects or redevelopment projects containing residential uses, nonresidential uses or a mix. Projects can be at any stage of the development process, from conceptual planning to construction; includes planned and built projects.

LEED Building Design and Construction Certified Projects

  • Applies to projects certified under the LEED BD+C rating system, including New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools, Retail, Hospitality, Data Centers, Warehouses and Distribution Centers and Healthcare.

LEED Interior Design and Construction Certified Projects

  • Applies to projects certified under the LEED ID+C rating system, including Commercial Interiors, Retail and Hospitality.

LEED Existing Building Operations and Maintenance Certified Projects

  • Applies to projects certified under the LEED EBOM rating system, including Existing Buildings, Schools, Retail, Hospitality, Data Centers and Warehouses and Distribution Centers.

Notable Green Project

  • Not all notable sustainable activities achieve LEED certification. Projects eligible in this category either do not have a third-party certification, or are certified under any of the following (non-LEED) third-party green building rating systems: Living Building Challenge, SITES, the WELL Building Standard, Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), Enterprise Green Communities, Earthcraft Green Homes, NAHB Green Homes, Energy Star and Net Zero. Notable Green projects will have completed construction between June 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016.

People’s Choice Award

  • Voting for this award will be done by your peers who attend the awards ceremony.

Sustainable Business of the Year Award

  • This award recognizes a business in our region that has demonstrated an unusually high, innovative or influential level of commitment to sustainability. These organizations may do exhaustive corporate sustainability reporting; have an excellent GRESB assessment; infuse their mentorship programs or daily operations with sustainability education, training or outreach; or will otherwise advance sustainability above, beyond and outside of what would be necessary and expected for their primary business goals. Applicants for this award will either be organizations in the region who are currently annual partners at the time of award submission or submitted by an individual in the USGBC National Capital region who is an active member at the time of submission.

Member of the Year

  • This award recognizes our most energetic, engaged and supportive USGBC National Capital Region members. Individuals who have made outstanding commitments through their personal time and energy, community connections, or other support are candidates for this award. You must be an active USGBC National Capital Region member at the time of submission to be eligible. 


Entries are due by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, June 17, 2016,* by completing the application.

*People’s Choice applications are due Friday, June 17; however, project boards are not due until Friday, July 15. They should be delivered to USGBC National Capital Region (2101 L Street, NW, 5th floor) no later than 4:00 p.m. EST. 

Application Review Fee

LEED Project of the Year, Notable Green Building Project Award, Sustainable Business of the Year: $125 

People’s Choice: $50

Member of the Year: No Fee

Presentation of Awards

A third-party selection committee will conduct judging and the winners will be announced at USGBC National Capital Region’s signature event, A Midsummer Night’s Green, on July 21, 2016 at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. 

See more information on requirements, submission guidelines and judging criteria. 

Please read the above linked information on requirements, submission guidelines and judging criteria in their entirety before completing an application. 

Submit an application

Email us for more information.

In Community 04.18.2016

USGBC National Capital Region Emerging Professionals Roundtable inspires both EPs and mentors

The USGBC National Capital Region Emerging Professionals (EPs) are one of our most ambitious and successful committees, regularly hosting very well-attended events, and the third "Meet the Board" roundtable event was no exception. The EPs held an engaging evening of networking and socializing with board members at the end of March at USGBC headquarters. 

Meeting with industry experts

In addition to an opportunity to meet USGBC National Capital Region board members Jennifer Johnson, Architect III, SmithGroupJJR; Jim Landau, Director, MetLife Real Estate Investors and local industry leaders, Larry Beam, Senior Vice President, WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff and Corey Enck, Vice President of Technical Development, USGBC joined the roundtable.

Throughout the evening, EPs circulated the tables hosted by mentors for several 15-minute conversations. Conversations ranged from personal stories to professional advice on where the industry is headed, and the EPs really dug deep to ask hard questions. The mentors came from different backgrounds, such as real estate or engineering, so the EPs could relate to different mentors and gain different perspectives on broad-reaching industry topics such as LEED.

An exchange of ideas

This semi-annual event is always incredibly successful and enjoyable for the EPs and mentors alike. Jim Landau commented, “Meeting the emerging professionals was a great experience. I was impressed with the range of professions they represented, from finance and management to design and engineering. The fact that they are all focused on how they can enhance the sustainable focus of both their firms and their careers is promising. Several have already connected via social media, and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue!” Also, Enck joked that the emerging professionals he spoke with had tougher questions for him than ones he gets during national conferences.

The emerging professionals were equally excited to meet the board members and learn about trends, technologies and the future of green building. Gareth Saums, Project Manager, PICO Industries, said, “What stuck out in my mind was the consistent emphasis on how green building and LEED are becoming industry standard—and the growth and continued opportunity it presents. It was inspirational to see the passion and excitement from the board members when they discussed this.”

The ongoing conversation

After the formal roundtable discussions, everyone moved to a nearby bar to enjoy appetizers and continue the conversation in an informal setting. This allowed for more one-on-one time with the mentors and provided more casual opportunities to ask detailed questions. 

This event is a reliable success, and we are looking forward to the next one later this year! Special thanks to the mentors who volunteered their time to help inspire the USGBC National Capital Region Emerging Professionals Committee.  

In Community 03.31.2016

First session of WELL GreenLearn series is a great success (USGBC National Capital Region)

On March 23, 90 building professionals—from the design, engineering, real estate, local government and other professions—gathered to hear the first installment in the USGBC National Capital Region and the International WELL Building Institute’s joint presentation of “It Pays to be WELL.”

A panel of four local experts addressed, with this packed house at the USGBC headquarters, the foundational question, "why incorporate wellness into our design and business practices?" Dr. Whitney Austin Gray (Senior Vice President, Business Development at Delos—creators of the WELL Standard) kicked things off with the institutional perspective and some key statistics on the connection of the built environment’s impact on our health. Tying together key concepts of wellness with their respective healthcare and business costs, Gray encouraged us to focus on considering the costs of instituting wellness programs not solely as their first cost, but also as mitigating the costs of personnel. Employees are 90–92 percent of a business’s ongoing expenses, and happy and healthy employees are more engaged, productive and present. 

Her talk segued into that of Seema Wadhwa, Assistant Vice President of Sustainability and Wellness at Inova Health System. Wadhwa introduced us to a fundamental shift in thinking in sustainability and wellness—namely one that flips the thinking from “What are we doing to our environment?” to “What is our environment doing to us?”. She led us through how to integrate this type of thinking organizationally, and how INOVA itself is taking its sustainability program and building in health to redefine traditional wellness programs.  Health risk assessments, coaching and individual health management all become part of an overall system to make sustainability and wellness equal employee health. 

Adam Sledd, Director, Commercial Real Estate Engagement at the Institute for Market Transformation, took the forefront next, introducing wellness as the next wave of market transformation that will follow on the heels of over a decade of their work with LEED and energy efficiency management. 

Finally, Brynn Kurtzman, Sustainability Specialist at Gensler, brought us into the world of the practitioner implementing the WELL Building system. She began by highlighting both the benefits of being well and the costs of being unwell, as they directly relate to what “levers for wellness” can be engaged to increase the incidence of positive environmental factors in the workplace. She then led us through two examples of active WELL projects—the ASLA headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Delos’ own offices in New York City—to give us some perspective on the challenges and the positives of working with the WELL Standard. Bringing it all together, she then gave us a glimpse into Gensler’s own Wellness Week, and the activities, opportunities and encouragement they provide to their own employees to be healthy and well.

This first session provided an engaging and hard look at how we can begin to build the business case for wellness programs in the workplace, and in the design of the environments that surround us. USGBC National Capital Region professionals can look forward to even more detail from subject matter experts lined up to present on the seven concepts of the WELL Building Standard in our next three sessions: Air and Water; Nourishment, Mind and Fitness; and Light and Comfort.  If this month’s sold-out crowd is any indication, those interested should get their tickets now so they can be sure to join us in learning more about how healthy and happy we can be when #WeAreWELL.