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'LEEDing the Way' Blog – Making an '80s Office Building Sustainable

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Blog tracks ASCE HQ sustainability renovation

How do you take an office building that was built in the ’80s and make it “green”? How do you retrofit it for 21st-century sustainability standards, resulting in a building that is more energy efficient, inhabited by tenants who themselves are more efficient in the use of resources? And how can that be achieved in today’s economy, on a limited budget?

Those are the fundamental questions the ASCE Headquarters building’s owner, the ASCE Foundation, is working to answer as it pursues LEED-EB Gold certification for the Reston, VA, building. Our blog "LEEDding the Way – Making an '80s Office Building Sustainable" tracks the current progress of the Foundation’s efforts and looks back at the origins of the project. It’s intended to serve as a guide to owners and occupants of other older office buildings who want to put their facilities on a path to sustainability. 

The roots of the building renovation effort were planted back in 2008, when the Foundation pledged to support the Society’s sustainability initiative. The logical next step was to make ASCE’s headquarters building meet the initiative’s standards. If the Society is encouraging its members to factor sustainability into their civil engineering projects, then it stands to reason that its own headquarters should adopt the tenets of sustainability.

Overseen by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (the EB is for Existing Buildings), has become the international standard by which structures are deemed to be in compliance with sustainable practices. In 2009, the ASCE Foundation’s board determined that LEED Gold certification would satisfy ASCE’s definition of sustainability.

Over the past several months, this effort has become more tangible. A number of changes and renovations have been implemented or are in progress. We'll be updating our blog regularly to find out about these and some of the decision-making behind them.

Check out the 'LEEDing the Way' blog