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

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Black and white picture of Frederick Law Olmsted  best known for designing the grounds of New York City’s Central Park, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Regarded as the founder of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law...

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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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An AOC worker mowing the grass on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol
The roles and responsibilities of the Architect of the Capitol cover an...

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The Capitol Crypt, which now houses statuary and exhibitions, was once used as an informal storage space where bicycles were parked, seen here circa 1900.
The term “crypt” has long referred to a space beneath the main floor of 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.