Stewards of the iconic buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill since 1793.

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Construction activities for the repair and replacement of the Hart Senate...

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Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability Initiatives

A group of visitors walking in in front of the Capitol Building

Building, Infrastructure, People

The Architect of the Capitol is committed to reducing energy consumption through several sustainability initiatives. Capitol Hill comprises not only many of the nation’s most historic buildings, but also an intricate network of infrastructure and thousands of people who work at the campus or come as tourists. The AOC’s approach to sustainability and energy on Capitol Hill builds upon three defining elements —buildings, infrastructure and people. To adequately address the priorities and concerns of each element, a coordinated effort is essential to the effectiveness of our program.

The AOC developed commitments against five pillars (energy, water, materials, indoor environmental quality and site) and cross referenced them to the AOC’s overarching elements: buildings, infrastructure and people.

Program Implementation

A major component of the AOC’s sustainability program is to identify and target administrative and operational activities with the potential for improved sustainable integration. These activities encompass all five pillars and are pervasive throughout the organization. The AOC is focused on a number of technically specific plans that add structure and guidance. The following management processes assist the AOC in achieving its commitments:

Design Guidelines

The AOC’s Design Guidelines set high standards for construction and renovation efforts. To keep up with state-of-the-art technologies and practices, the design standards are regularly reviewed and updated.

Energy Plan

AOC’s Energy Plan provides action plans for jurisdictional energy managers to improve the energy performance of AOC’s facilities by providing a prioritized list of energy conservation opportunities that were previously identified by audits, surveys and retro-commissioning efforts.

Sustainable Operation Plans

The Sustainability and Energy Division collaborated with other AOC divisions and jurisdictional staff to address the operations and maintenance of AOC facilities. The team developed a series of customizable plans:

  • A Water Management Plan identifies best practices and products based upon previously conducted water conservation studies.
  • The Building Exteriors and Hardscape and Landscape Management Plans address maintenance activities and the historical integrity of AOC facilities.
  • The Indoor Air Quality Management Plan for Facility Alterations and Additions defines procedures for protecting indoor air quality (IAQ) during alterations consistent with the recommendations in the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association IAQ Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction, Second Edition.
  • The Integrated Pest Management Plan, Sustainable Purchasing Policy and Green Cleaning Plan define best practices for operations and maintenance activities which typically use pesticides and/or other chemicals.

Master Meter Program

The Master Meter Program provides the blueprint for the operations and maintenance of approximately 300 utility meters which measure steam, chilled water, electricity, condensate, domestic water, fire service water, natural gas and fuel oil consumed by the facilities on Capitol Hill. This advanced metering allows for AOC to more accurately analyze usage profiles and validate utility charges.

Building Automation System Master Plan

The Building Automation System is a network that allows AOC buildings to be interconnected via secure digital building control platform. The BAS Master Plan is focused on the operability and integration of more than 130,000 control points reporting to a central platform. These points monitor and control parts of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and vertical transportation systems, as well as utility meters and the Legislative Clock System. This plan looks at the future of the system to ensure that the network is managed to support future missions and system expansion. The plan also supports keeping the network as a robust tool to maintain occupant comfort, improve building performance, prolong equipment life-cycle and conserve resources.