The Daily Feed

For the Greener Good

Photo courtesy of
‘green roof’
courtesy of ‘(afm)’

Building environmentally sound buildings is extremely important because people spend the majority of their life indoors, and nobody wants to live, work, or play in a space that could be potentially detrimental to their mental or physical health.  Furthermore, even more imperative, is the status of our schools.  A place where children are meant to grow and learn – and be safe – yet, many primary and secondary schools expose children to toxins and other potentially harmful deficiencies.

Tonight, the National Building Museum is hosting For the Greener Good Lecture Series on Sustainable Schools, where expert healthcare, design, and education panelists will convene to share ideas for building schools – discussing the art and science of the education environment.

Learn why greener schools mean a brighter future for everyone.

For the Greener Good Lecture Series: Sustainable Schools will be from 6:30 – 8:00 PM. The cost is $12 for members and $20 for non-members, Free for students with valid ID. You can purchase tickets here or at the door.

The Features

Behind the Design: Sweetgreen

Photo courtesy of
‘Sweetgreen #14’
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

A bit over a year ago, as I was sitting in my Institutional Design Studio, I was flipping through my favorite magazine – Metropolis – when I came across a feature story on Georgetown’s Sweetgreen.  I was in awe of the historic retrofit, the building used to house the Little Tavern hamburger ‘hut’, in conjunction with its eco-friendly and streamlined interior – I knew that as soon as class was over I would be off towards M Street in order to explore further. Could it be true? Does a piece of design paradise exist with-in a 460-square foot envelope just down the street from me?

Fast-forward a year later, to yesterday actually, where my investigation of Sweetgreen continued with Nic Jammet, one of the restaurants three owners (the others are Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru), at their newest location in Logan Circle.

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The Daily Feed, We Green DC

Woodbridge Aspires to Have World’s First Green Car Wash

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘constantly_Jair’

The little car wash that could is chugging away in Woodbridge.

Yesterday, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for The Smart Car Wash, which is seeking to become the world’s first car wash to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

The Smart Car Wash will re-use over 90 percent of its water, reduce noise and light pollution, use technology that cuts equipment power requirements in half, and wash cars only with bio-friendly chemicals. Designed with sustainability in mind, it will follow guidelines from the US Green Building Council.

Soon, you’ll be able to get your car green-clean at the Smoketown Shopping Plaza near Potomac Mills.

The Daily Feed

How Green is this Green Community?

Photo courtesy of
‘2009 Solar Decathlon’
courtesy of ‘Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon’

Today the Washington Post tells the story of the revitalization of St. Charles in southern Maryland as a “green community”, with housing that features low-flow toilets, better insulation, and Energy Star certified appliances, among other things.  Developers call this a test for the commercial viability of green homes in a generally conservative area.

While I’m all for more green features in new homes, this doesn’t sound like the most green way to revitalize a community.  St. Charles is 22 miles from DC with no direct transit access to the city, so any new residents would be driving to jobs, schools, and shopping centers.  A more green alternative would be to focus this new development where the infrastructure already exists, so that residents can live without cars.

Also, this is a revitalization effort that aims to start fresh with new housing in the area– 11,000 new homes on 4,000 undeveloped acres.  Personally, I’d think that retrofitting existing homes with energy-efficient features, building more housing where housing already exists, and preserving that 4,000 acres of open space would be the way to go.  But good for St. Charles in taking this first step towards greening the community.

The Daily Feed, We Green DC

Pepco Goes Green?

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Pepco announced a green honor today  — its corporate headquarters has received the city’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification, at the Gold level. (See more about LEED and DC’s first LEED Silver office building.)

To earn the recognition, Pepco dropped the building’s energy consumption by nearly 17 percent and water use by 1.12 million gallons through retrofits and energy conservation measures. An audit and education programs increased recycling.

I applaud any efforts toward sustainability, including this one — yet feel I must point out that only about 4 percent of the energy coming over Pepco’s lines today to DC and Maryland is renewable. (Did you know you were burning that much fossil fuel?) To put your utility dollars toward green power, check out Clean Currents.

We Green DC

We Love DC Green: Lafayette Tower a DC First in Green Buildings

LEED Platinum
The first thing I noticed when I saw Lafayette Tower at 801 17th St., N.W., near the White House, were the windows — lots of glass running from floor to floor, reflecting some fluffy clouds and blue sky. But this is not just any glass. It is triple-paned glass, made to be energy efficient. Its thickness blocks sound, makes it nearly as hard to break as a car windshield, and gives an extra layer on which to put a special coating that keeps heat from seeping through the pane — so the office stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

The windows are just one of the many features of this, the first commercial office building in DC to be recognized for its energy efficiency with LEED Platinum certification.

Okay, I hear you. What does that mean?
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