A green White House?

White House dayAccording to an article on the Sierra Club’s website, the White House plans to green-up the White House sufficiently to earn a LEED certification. LEED -the “green” Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system of the USGBC – measures the degree to which buildings and communities implement the many elements of green building design, construction, operation, and maintenance.

Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and President of the USGBC, believes that “LEED certification of the White House is absolutely possible and viable.”  Christine Glunz,White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) spokesperson,  says the effort to get the White House to LEED certification includes energy and water systems as well as waste.

CEQ is looking to reduce the carbon footprint of the White House in a variety of ways:

  • implementing computerized energy management systems
  • automatic light sensors that turn off in unoccupied rooms and low-flow water valves
  • paints and sealers with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • biodegradable cleaners and recycled equipment to be used by White House groundskeepers and engineers
  • adding window films to lower UV rays and save energy

The White House plans to donate any leftover materials from renovations and demolitions from making the nations’s first house eco-friendly to local reuse organizations, reveals an article on the National Geographic website.

All of this is in line with President Obama’s intention to set an example for Americans on how to live more eco-friendly. Not an easy job when it comes to such a historic site, but it will be a real step forward for a country that for the past 8 years was held back from taking any real environmental stand.

First the White house, then …?