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October 10, 2008
Reagan Building
Launches Green Meetings

The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center is implementing the "ReSolve Initiative" (Resource-efficient, Sustainable, Organic, Leading, and Visionary Events), designed to enable guests to incorporate eco-friendly practices into their special events.

Patterned after the EPA's 14-point Green Meeting Initiative, it includes: using china, glassware, and flatware whenever possible to minimize reliance on single-use products; re-using table linens and skirting for multiple day events; incorporating organic and local ingredients into menus; donating leftover food to the DC Central Kitchen; providing filtered drinking water in pitchers as an alternative to bottled water; following economically and environmentally friendly landscaping practices; using recycled carpet wherever possible, and ensuring discarded carpet is recycled.

Reagan Building official Julia Rapley says: "Our clients are responding very favorably to our green meetings initiatives and often offer their own ideas which we are glad to incorporate."

For Own Digs, Architecture Firm
Goes for Platinum CI

RTKL's DC office is readying for its February scheduled move to the 63k SF that it's leasing in Vornado-owned 2101 L. Not surprisingly, those plans include a buildout of space with the goal of being Platinum LEED CI. What may be surprising, though, is that the architecture firm found that reaching this goal proved to be, in the words of vice president Dennis Gaffney, "an interesting juggling act."


To be sure, RTKL is well acquainted with the rigors of LEED certification. The company has participated in the Silver-certified Walter Reed Community Center project, which is now seeking Gold and 1225 Connecticut, which is pre-certified and seeking Gold as well, to name just two examples.

But the company has not been involved in any Platinum CI projects; indeed there have been only a handful of such projects in DC.

In short, going for platinum is proving to be an unexpected balancing act, says SVP Kim Heartwell, who has been overseeing the project for her firm. For instance, the company is feeling positive that it will have the necessary points for Platinum. But it decided it wanted to have a few in reserve just in case. So it postponed its move by two weeks to be able to conduct relevant indoor air quality testing to get that additional point. "We are finding that [trying for Platinum] is touching upon almost every aspect of a move, down to such details as deciding what furniture we will take and what we will replace," Heartwell says.

The company would have gone through the process for its own intrinsic merits, both executives say. But they say this experience will also prove helpful as more developers opt to design for LEED CI on a spec basis. "There is definitely a trend towards that now," Gaffney says. Currently, the company is working with a developer to build out three office suites to LEED CI Silver. The client, he says, "feels that having space already designed for LEED CI would be great for marketing."

Green Money

DoE has announced the first phase of awards for its Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative. Twenty-one companies, including retailers, financial institutions and commercial real estate firms, will work with two of DoE's National Laboratories to produce building designs to reach specific energy savings in their commercial buildings. The winning companies are receiving technical assistance that DoE values at $15 million.

The goal of the initiative is to achieve savings of 50 percent above the standard set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers for new commercial building designs, and a savings of 30 percent for retrofits to existing buildings. The labs will assist researchers, building professionals, the construction industry, and component and equipment suppliers. Companies participating in the initiative this year include Best Buy, JCPenney, John Deere, Macy's, SuperValu, Target, Toyota, Whole Foods Market, CB Richard Ellis, Forest City Enterprises, Hines, InterContinental Hotels Group, Opus Group, ProLogis, Regency Centers, Ryan Companies US, Simon Property Group, Tishman Speyer, the Westfield Group, Bank of America and PNC Financial Services Group. For more information about DoE Green initiatives, visit

Separately, NeighborWorks America has distributed more than half a million dollars in grants to forty-three non-profits to support environmentally conscious housing rehabilitation, new construction and business retooling. According to Tom Deyo, senior advisor of NeighborWorks America's Green Initiative, the organization had more than 60 applications for new housing developments that sought $3.7 million in grant funding to develop over 2,800 units of new green housing.



USGBC is looking for members interested in joining the team that provides peer review of the courses and content for its Education Provider Program. Specifically, green building subject matter experts and educators are being sought. For more details, visit


CBRE has become the first commercial real estate services company to join the Climate Group, an independent, nonprofit organization that works with government and business leaders to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.


Oct 15-17. The International Facility Management Association's World Workplace 2008 Conference & Expo, in Dallas. Includes several sustainability sessions including Destination Platinum: A LEED EB Case Study, Looking Past Single-impact Certifications: What Promises Do They Really Make?, Elements of Sustainable Lighting, Accelerating Sustainability: Combining On-site Renewables and Energy Efficiency to Fuel Economic, Environmental and Social Progress, Green Renovations Boost Bottom Line and Engage Tenants, and Creating Sustainable Workplace Assets and Operations for Today and Tomorrow. Visit

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