National Geographic Society Headquarters PDF Print E-mail

Project Overview:

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet.

It reaches more than 370 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines, National Geographic Channel, television documentaries, music, radio, films, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, school publishing programs, interactive media, and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.

The 2010 recertification makes the National Geographic Headquarters one of only of a handful of buildings to recertify under the LEED-EB program. The 746,237 square foot building was the first to receive LEED-EB certification under the USGBC’s Pilot Program, earning Silver certification in 2003. Over the six years since the building’s initial certification, National Geographic Society implemented continuous sustainability improvement measures guided by the LEED-EB rating system. Using Leonardo Academy as the LEED consultant for ongoing recertification efforts, National Geographic has now earned Gold certification twice under LEED-EB v2.0.

Key Project Information

Project Title: National Geographic Society Headquarters
Project Location: Washington DC
Building Type: Office and Exhibit Space – 746,237 sq. ft.
Implementation Cost (Hard Cost): $6,700
Annual Net Savings: $1,528
Simple Payback: 4.4 years
Implementation Cost (Soft Cost): $20,700
LEED Status: LEED for Existing Buildings pilot Silver (2003); LEED for Existing Buildings v2.0 Gold (2009); LEED for Existing Buildings v2.0 Gold (2010)

“The LEED program has become our master plan by which we evaluate our facility operations and services,” – Robert Cline, VP of General Services

“We take great pride in our LEED status. Being able to say we are LEED-EB Gold is a badge of honor. Yet, we have a target out there called LEED Platinum that serves as a constant reminder that we can always do better,” – Hans Wegner, Chief Sustainability Officer

The National Geographic Society implemented many green actions to achieve Gold recertification.

  • Recycled over 57% of all waste through a comprehensive diversion program focused on cafeteria recycling and composting.
  • A comprehensive alternative transportation and commuting program, including flexible schedules, telecommuting, bicycle racks, and preferred parking for carpools and hybrid vehicles.
  •  Fixture water use reduction 36% greater than LEED requirements (calculated savings of 1,291,280 per year).
  • An overhaul of the major mechanical systems that led to a 20% decrease in energy use.

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