Serving Congress and the Supreme Court, preserving America's Capitol, and inspiring memorable experiences

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Abraham Lincoln Statue
The statue of President Abraham Lincoln in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol...

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Prohibited Items at the U.S. Capitol Building
In order to ensure the safety of visitors and staff and to preserve the...

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Dr. William Thornton
 The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the builder and steward of America’s...

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Union Troops at the Capitol - 1861
Weekdays at 3 p.m. — In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, a...

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.