Taking the LEED
In 2019, the BID earned LEED Platinum – the highest level of LEED certification — under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED for Communities rating system. The Golden Triangle is the first business improvement district in the world to be named a LEED-certified community.
What is LEED?
LEED — which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED enables cities, communities, and buildings around the globe to measure and track sustainability, evaluating key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience.
How did the Golden Triangle rank?
The BID was awarded 97 out of a possible 100 points. We reached maximum scores in energy, water and transportation, as well as high-level performance scores in waste and human experience. Additionally, we received points for our recycling initiatives, the installation of green infrastructure, homeless outreach program, community events, public art, and placemaking efforts such as Golden Streets and Golden Haiku. There are currently 63 LEED-certified buildings — representing 42 percent of the total built area in the BID. The prevalence of LEED-certified buildings underscores the value of sustainable building design and energy efficiency to property owners and investors.
Creating sustainable public spaces has long been a priority for the Golden Triangle. Since 2012, the BID has built six rain gardens and has helped convert 12,000 square feet of asphalt and concrete into green space. In 2019, we began construction on 10 new rain gardens and 10 expanded tree boxes along 19th Street, NW between K and M Streets. Installation is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The project adds more than 4,500 square feet of green space, lining two full blocks on one of the most vibrant corridors in DC. The rain gardens capture and filter millions of gallons of stormwater runoff annually and provide a refuge and resting spot for pollinators and people.
The redesign of Penn West — Pennsylvania Avenue west of the White House — is another urban sustainability initiative championed by the Golden Triangle. Building on the vision created by public and private stakeholders brought together by the BID, the Golden Triangle has been working with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) on construction plans for the iconic corridor for several years. The redesign of Pennsylvania Avenue from 17th Street to Washington Circle includes an acre of new green space and tree boxes that capture and filter rain water, an expanded tree canopy featuring a new double row of trees, and a half-mile of median protected bike lanes extending the city’s bicycle network.
A Bike-Friendly Community
To help make DC’s central business district a more bike-friendly neighborhood, we have installed more than 400 bike racks throughout the neighborhood, which accommodate parking for 800 bikes. The Golden Triangle also worked with the city to bring protected bikes lanes to L Street (eastbound) and M Street (westbound).