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

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Painting depicting the Pilgrims on the deck of the ship Speedwell
This painting depicts the Pilgrims on the deck of the ship Speedwell on July...

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A virtual Map of Capitol Hill from above
View a map of the U.S. Capitol and other buildings and grounds cared for by the...

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Photo of the U.S. Capitol Building, West Front, Early April 2014.
A multi-phased project designed to address deferred maintenance, extend the...

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Detailed view of Piper nigrum plant
Learn how pepper, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg became a part of our...

Sustainable by Design and Greenscaping

Sustainable by Design and Greenscaping

Bee on blooming forsythia on Capitol grounds.

The method in which we design, construct, manage, and maintain our facilities can have a major impact on environmental issues such as energy consumption, resource management, pollution, and environmental impact. Sustainable design and construction is a holistic approach to facility management that considers impacts on human health and well-being as well as the natural environment at every stage of the building life cycle.

The AOC has embraced the principles of sustainable design in the ongoing planning, building, operations, and maintenance of the facilities and grounds entrusted to our care. These practices include improving energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

In the maintenance of the Capitol Grounds and U.S. Botanic Garden, the AOC follows the practices of "greenscaping" that help reduce environmental risks while still preserving the beauty and health of outdoor spaces. This includes activities such as “grasscycling” (leaving grass clippings in place when mowing), using the least toxic method for weed and pest control (such as hand pulling), organic fertilizer, and carefully selected plantings that promote sustainable best practices.