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[Thematic Report: Green Architecture in the United States]

by Jisoo Hwang | 02-05-2021 14:30 recommendations 0

We can define Green Architecture as an approach to design, construct and operate methods that conserve resources while also protecting human health. Green buildings use less energy, consume fewer natural resources such as water and forest products, and emit fewer pollutants into the environment. 

As the capital of the United States, Washington D.C. has set a great model to the rest of the world as an eco-friendly city. The local government has prioritized environmental sustainability as the main factors that represent the city, supporting the vision set forth such as the “Sustainable DC Plan”. Governors have been encouraging market transformations, funding research programs that promote innovation, and collaboration between communities and private sectors. With these efforts, D.C became the first city in the United States to pass the Green Building Act of 2006, requiring green building certification for both the public and private sectors.

With more than 1,200 projects certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the act covers nearly 140 million square feet, and the District is home to more LEED-certified buildings and square footage per capita than any other major city in the U.S. D.C itself has successfully implemented the LEED program all throughout the city. The U.S. Green Building Council, which certifies new and renovated buildings as LEED-certified based on its requirements, reported a total of 129 projects which nearly cover 24 million square feet of the city. 

Apart from these shocking statistics, I personally can feel the eco-friendly ambiance everywhere in D.C., with nature coexisting in harmony with different buildings and streets. Out of those, the American University is my favorite Green Architecture. As the first LEED Gold-certified building used for the School of International Service, the American University is prominent for its eco-sustainable features. With solar panels on roofs and wastewater systems installed everywhere, the building as a whole is designed to minimize energy use. 

According to the official website of the American University, 100 percent of the buildings receive their power from green electricity and 97 percent of on-site construction waste was diverted from landfills. Moreover, they are 27 percent more energy efficient than standard buildings, and around 13,000 square feet of green roofs are located within the campus. 

With COVID-19 crisis lockdowns, people spend more time at home or in other buildings, and the importance of energy efficiency is drastically increasing. It is time to pay more attention to eco-friendly architecture and make every energy usage count. Green Architecture is no longer a choice; it is a mandatory responsibility humans hold to save their loving planet.  

Works cited:

American UniversitySolar panels placed in campus


  • Korea, South E-gen Ambassador Jisoo Hwang


Yuseon Mentor

  • Yuseon Mentor says :
    Hi Jisoo,
    This is your mentor Yuseon:D

    Thanks for sharing your insight on the importance of Green Architecture.
    It is true that due to the Covid-19 situation, people are spending more time indoors, so naturally energy spent inside buildings are increasing.

    Including sunlight panels and utilizing wind energy, we should really find other ways to efficiently produce green energy and find other ways to increase energy efficiency.

    Keep up the good work:)

    Posted 13-05-2021 18:03

Debbie Mentor

  • Debbie Mentor says :
    Hi Jisoo,

    This is your mentor Debbie.

    I love the phrase “make every energy usage count” - this is literally the definition of “efficiency” but a more vivid way of illustrating it.

    It seems like the US is trying its best to “make every energy count” since you can even feel it in your local area! (Personally I don??t get that feeling near where I live, haha) Well, we should work towards this mandatory responsibility!!

    Thanks for your work!


    Posted 05-05-2021 10:10

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