U.S. Treasury Is World’s Oldest LEED Certified Building

Now, visitors will be treated to two kinds of green at the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, DC. The first is, of course, the green of American money and the second, the green of the building itself. In late December 2011, the Treasury Building earned a LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council, making it the oldest building in the world to do so.

The Treasury Building is more than two city blocks long and was constructed over a period of 33 years between 1836 and 1869. The east and center wings – which comprise the oldest portion of the structure – were designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument, and were built between 1836 to 1842. It’s the third-oldest federal building in Washington D.C., after the White House and the U.S. Capitol, and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1972.

The Treasury Building received its LEED Gold certification based on a number of green construction and operation features, including:
  • Increasing the use of natural day lighting to reduce energy consumption;
  • Establishing sustainable cleaning and landscape programs;
  • Developing and implementing advanced control and management of the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems;
  • Conducting waste stream audits to benchmark recycling programs and identify opportunities to maximize material conservation;
  • Creating a green procurement program for materials, equipment and services purchased
  • Increasing occupant space utilization;
  • Augmenting alternate transportation means; and
  • Establishing enhanced utility metering for improved systems management

“These improvements are paying big dividends,” wrote Dan Tangherlini, Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. ”Not just for the environment, but also for the Department’s bottom line – because going green saves green for taxpayers.”

Check out the video below to hear more about what the Treasury did to achieve LEED Gold:

Related Reading:

California Zoo Becomes First To Earn LEED Gold Certification

What Timberland Is Doing To Help The Planet

5 Ways To Start Your Green Home Renovation

Image Credit: Flickr – Rob Young


Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Nice to know. Thanks.

Nicole Gorman
Nicole Gorman6 years ago

This is amazing! I work in a LEED Silver certified property and know how truly hard these ratings are to achieve. Let's hope this is just one of many government buildings to earn these LEED certifications!

Elvina Andersson
Elvina A6 years ago

Nice to see something is done - thank you. Beautiful building also, lovely colons!

Elvina Andersson
Elvina A6 years ago

Nice to see something is done - thank you. Beautiful building also, lovely colons!

Joe R.
Joe R6 years ago

Good move. Hope to see it continue with other government buildings.

Dr Clue
Dr Clue6 years ago

(@Chad A.) Actually while solar,wind, etc. are great things (we use solar), sometimes they are not the biggest green bang for the buck.

For many urban situations putting a green space on the roof will reduce energy consumption by a factor far greater than the energy that would be produced.

Each installation site needs to be considered uniquely, but almost all sites can benefit from sort of green upgrade.

Chad A.
Chad A6 years ago

Can't we also put windmills and solar panels and solar water heaters on every government building?

Annemarie Vidal
Anne-Marie Vidal6 years ago

The Treasury Building should be a model of federal, state, and muncipal construction as should the way it is maintained should also be an example of modern construction an maintenance. And this building was built to last!

Duane B.
.6 years ago

It's a good thing they did this since the U.S. Government is having trouble paying its bills now, so anything that reduces their bills is a good thing!! ;-)

KS Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.