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

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The sun shining on the Ionic Columns on the Longworth House Office Building.
The Ionic column is typically identified by its capital, which includes large...

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Snapshot of a crowd of people on a guided tour through the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol
Official Tours of the U.S. Capitol Building are offered Monday through...

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Yellow flowers in front of the Capitol Building
The Architect of the Capitol annually publishes a wide variety of publications...

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Ted Bechtol, AOC Capitol Grounds Division
For two beautiful summer days in late July, I traveled around Chippewa National...

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.