Finnish Embassy First LEED Certified Embassy in US


We’ve judged this building (3301 Massachusetts Ave NW) previously but I just noticed that it is now LEED certified. Is it a big deal?

LEED Certified means:

“LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.”


6 Comment

  • To be the first of anything is good for marketing/boilerplate information. And most new designs are trending to sustainability, which incorporates use of natural light and recycled materials. In the long run, I think it’s more helpful than not.

  • ah

    My take on LEED is that the organization is more interested in collecting the fees in exchange for confirming certain boxes were checked that anything.

    There are plenty of “green” buildings (or mostly “green” buildings) that aren’t LEED certified, and I suspect many may be more green than some of those that are certified. LEED is a bit like figure skating–you get points for checking certain boxes, and if you get over a threshold of points you win!

    That said, better that they paid attention to greeness than not. I’m just not convinced that LEED certification in itself is a great claim

    • USGBC’s intent is that the LEED rating system will eventually become irrelevant. Its entire purpose is to make green building synonymous with all building, so that eventually no rating or tracking of green initiatives is needed.

      Of course there are buildings that employ sustainable initiatives, and that is a good thing too. However, there is one thing that makes LEED buildings stand apart: their owners and operators agree to maintain the building using sustainable principles into perpetuity. Since the greatest environmental impact of any building is its operation, not its design or construction, that is a significant commitment. Anyone can specify recycled materials. Sustaining a environmentally friendly operations process and maintaining it for the building’s lifetime is an entirely different ballgame.

  • Wasn’t that grid set in front of the glass facade covered with vines? Were they removed, making the new green certification ironic?

  • First LEED……in the US is a bit misleading.

    LEED is a rating system developed by the US Green Building Council. By it’s very nature, it applies only to buildings built in the United States. So there will never ever be a LEED building in another country (although Canada has a sister program).

  • Noticed there were several questions on LEED. We have a free whitepaper on the LEED Rating System and Certification. It is available online at

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