Photograph of people walking outside on a Self-Guided Tour of Capitol Hill
Visitors can tour many highlights on Capitol Hill without registering.


The Architect of the Capitol’s challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic buildings; adapting state-of-the-art technology; and increasing responsiveness to environmental, security and safety considerations in a rich historical setting.
The Architect of the Capitol's challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic...


Supermoon rises over the Statue of Freedom on evening of June 22, 2013.
Myths, mysteries and folklore about the historic building and its previous (we...

Sustainable by Design and Greenscaping

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.