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As Good As Gold: NPR Headquarters Earns LEED Gold Certification

Justin Winn

We're wearing gold to celebrate NPR Headquarters earning an official LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

NPR is proud to join the more than 900 other LEED certified buildings in Washington, D.C. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a world-wide certification program for buildings and communities seeking to be environmentally friendly. Our building was planned, constructed and currently operates in ways designed to lessen its impact on the environment.

There are various levels of certification, and NPR took a number of actions to achieve LEED Gold. Five key steps were:

  • NPR selected a location in an urban environment that is walkable to services, public transportation and residential developments. We also earned credit for offering incentives for non-single passenger commuting such as bicycle storage, a locker room, and preferred parking for low-emitting and carpool vehicles.
  • The new building is 35 percent more energy efficient than a baseline model of the building. A number of items helped with that, including the green roof, insulation and the way NPR runs our HVAC system.
  • We diverted 95 percent of all construction waste away from landfills, and to recycling and reuse programs.
  • What little wood we have in the building is FSC-certified, meaning it comes from well-managed forests.
  • Automatic flush valves and motion-sensitive sinks significantly reduce water usage.
  • But we aren't stopping there. We've removed disposable cups from the kitchens, have lights that automatically shut off in unoccupied areas, and recycling and compost bins in every kitchen area.

    We think our new building is as good as gold, and hope you'll think so too. Plan a visit next time you're in Washington, D.C., and see the space for yourself.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Lori Grisham