2017 PROJECT Award Winners

In 2017, the awards listed below were available for application by the USGBC-NCR community.  Projects were required to be located in the USGBC-NCR region, and where certification was required, projects were to have been awarded certification between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017.

New Construction

Applied to projects certified under the USGBC’s LEED for Building Design and Construction rating system, including New Construction, Core & Shell, Schools, Retail, Hospitality, Data Centers, Warehouses & Distribution Centers, Mixed Use, and Healthcare.

Awards were not given in all categories.  This is done when there were no submissions, or were not submissions which met, in the judging panel’s opinion, the standard of excellence and innovation that the Leadership Awards are intended to recognize.

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WINNER - Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School 

Select Notable Application Excerpts
  • "The Mundo Verde campus is a framework for learning expeditions about sustainability and natural systems. Environmental sustainability is integrated into all aspects of the school’s curriculum and operations. By undertaking comprehensive studies of real-world issues, students learn to make connections and understand diverse perspectives."

  • "The project extends beyond LEED through numerous sustainable performance matrices, but most specifically with the rigors and intensity with which the expeditionary educational curriculum is completely interwoven and employed in the building and campus. Conceptually, this is modeled from the AuSSI-SA Education of Sustainability Rubrics and Core Indicators for Schools – South Australian teaching for Effective Learning framework."

  • ...A "4th grade expedition canvassed the neighborhood about solar panels and how they would be good for the community and the school. The expedition is resulting in a grant application to continue greening the school!"

  • "Facing an antiquated 1920’s DCPS surplus building, expansion space needs, a 100% asphalt covered site, and stringent DC Water stormwater management requirements, MV’s resultant challenges include a major facilities renovation and new construction on the per capita facilities budget allotments established by the District’s public charter school system. Budget restraints are not unique to this project, but comparatively the team had around fifteen percent of the values DCPS spends on their own USGBC Silver Certified public school facilities."

  • "Opening a new charter school within any neighborhood requires initiating connections, making friends, keeping promises and intertwining roots together. Mundo Verde integrates the students, families (from all Wards of the city) and local neighbors into every facet of planning the new school and celebration of landmark moments in its realization."

  • "The existing school site was originally paved practically 100% with asphalt, so naturally the first design gathering was a Community + School Sidewalk Chalk Charrette! This became the vehicle to introduce the school to the community and a means of collecting everyone’s aspirations for the project. Equipped with big chalk and even bigger imaginations, students, parents, and neighbors put their thoughts to asphalt and imagined the future of their new community school. Much of the site programming, including the community gardens and expeditionary learning stations, are tangible results of this activity."

  • "Working with Casey Trees of Washington DC, the campus is becoming a woodland park within the neighborhood. The campus was carefully designed to integrate maximum shade tree cover for play areas with 40 indigenous and fruit bearing trees. Students, families and community again celebrated with planting and tilling of the earth!"

  • "Community Compost Co-op and School Garden Market: The Co-op engages the community by involving families and neighbors as well as the kitchen. MV will compost kitchen scraps in bins to use in the school garden. The school garden in turn feeds students and the community through the school garden market."

  • "Rain garden planting: MV was granted a RiverSmart Schools Award by the DOEE. This spring MV worked with the Anacostia Watershed Society to involve the 3rd grade in their spring Water expedition, in planning and planting a rain garden in the school yard. Students conducted water experiments and studied the impacts of erosion in the schoolyard leading up to the planting of the rain garden. They also made signs explaining the importance of a rain garden to our community."

  • "Electric Car Charging Stations: MV is currently receiving a Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments grant to help advance the Electric Vehicle/Plug-In Electric Vehicle infrastructure in the United States."

  • "The kitchen at Mundo Verde has been a place with a strong focus on serving healthy meals, and preparing snacks that celebrate local food and act as a connector to the classroom. MV works with a local vendor to supply school meals, keeping dollars local. ..This school year MV had kindergarten students work directly with the food service team to study how to beautify the kitchen through art and design. Partnering with local artists, this year MV students studied healthy food and designed final projects that celebrated building a more cheerful space and tackled a “problem.”"

  • "MV is currently developing a procurement model rewarding local purchases, and networking with farmers and exploring goals for more sustainable purchasing....With the ability to now cook in house, teachers and food educators are aligning lessons with menus, celebrating seasonality and food grown in their garden. Witness to their bilateral education model, MV is also creating activities for celebrating the diverse student population by using family recipes and cultural traditions in the kitchen."

Project Team

Studio Twenty Seven - Architect
Tensquare - Owner's Representative
Christopher Consultants - Civil Engineer
Ehlert/Bryan - Structural Engineer
CS Consulting Engineers - MEP Engineer
Interface Engineering - Commissioning Agent

Carvalho + Good Landscape Architecture - Landscape Architect of

Siteworks Studio - Landscape Architect

Next Step Design - Food Service Consultant

Hush Acoustics - Acoustic Consultant


42,395 GSF


LEED v3 BD+C Platinum (80 points)



Daily Visitors


Additional Images and Juror Comments

WINNER - Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School 

Honorable Mention - MGM National Harbor

Project Team

SmithGroupJJR - Architect of Record

Hamilton Anderson Associates, Inc. - Associate Architect of Record
HKS Architects, Inc. - Design Architect
Cagley & Associates, Inc.
- Structural Engineer of Record

Mahan Rykiel Associates, Inc. - Landscape Architect - Exterior and Interior
Soltesz, Inc. - Civil Engineering
Whiting-Turner - Construction


1,034,783 GSF

LEED v3 BD+C Gold (68 points)



Daily Visitors


Select Notable Application Excerpts
  • "MGM National Harbor features a twenty-three story, three-hundred and eight room luxury hotel with amenities
    including: fine dining from local and celebrity chefs, world-class entertainment, luxury retail shops, and a three thousand-seat theater and a resort spa."

  • "Given the project’s location and usage, sustainable strategies sought to transform this once contaminated site into a major destination, easily accessible by public transportation, without compromising the local micro-climate or regional ecosystems. Using test pits and soil borings the extent of the petroleum-impacted soil was identified, then subsequently handled and disposed successfully remediating the brownfield condition."

  • "In order to help reduce the transportation impacts of the guests and employees of MGM National Harbor, the Project Team worked in conjunction with the local transportation authority to enhance public transit services. A new transportation stop, located directly adjacent to the MGM National Harbor has been constructed to expand public transportation routes and frequency."

  • "To help preserve and improve the water quality in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, MGM National Harbor integrates design and function with the adjacent park for stormwater quantity control. Our design contains on site a minimum of 25% of stormwater runoff from a 2-year storm, using approximately 67,000 SF of green roof over portions of the parking garage, two bio-swales built to treat the landscaped area at the west end, and cisterns to retain water for irrigation of landscaping, toilet flushing, and cooling the buildings mechanical systems."

  • "In an effort to both reduce the stormwater runoff and improve water efficiency, the design includes two cisterns totaling 700,000 gallons, on the lowest level of the building. The cisterns capture the rain water from the 335,460 square feet flat roof or 7 football fields. The collected storm water is stored, treated and used for drip irrigation, flushing toilets and urinals and cooling tower makeup water."

  • "The project has a combined heat and power tri-generation plant which is comprised of a natural gas generator, absorption chiller, and heat recovery boiler. This produces electricity, as well as chilled and hot water for use on-site. The central chilled water plant also includes 6 - 700 ton highly efficient magnetic bearing centrifugal chillers that operate in parallel and are designed for variable flow to maximize energy efficiency. An innovative building controls optimization software tracks and predicts building loads to actively adjust the efficiency of the central plant. The system automatically decides how many pumps, chillers and cooling towers to operate to
    minimize kWh energy consumption."

  • "Leveraging the purchasing power of a project this size, the team asked every manufacturer considered to
    be incorporated in the design, to provide a material ingredient disclosure or Health Product Declaration disclosing the chemical inventory of the product to at least 1,000 ppm. Examples of products that fully disclosed their chemical inventory that were implemented in the final project include toilet accessories, joint sealants, ceiling tiles, ceramic tile and grout, solid surfacing, linoleum, both foam and batt insulation, roofing systems, paint, and drywall.
    These are ubiquitous products in vast quantities, ultimately driving the market to embrace material transparency."

Additional Images and Juror Comments


WINNER - Nixon Peabody

Select Notable Application Excerpts
  • "In addition to achieving LEED-CI Platinum, the project meets the 2030 challenge. Nixon Peabody has installed photovoltaic panels on the roof of the building that supplement their power use as well as that of a local low-income housing project at no cost to the residents."

  • "The tenant space was reduced from 92,000 SF in Nixon Peabody’s previous office to an efficient 66,000 SF in the new space—while also allowing for future expansion. The reduction in perimeter office sizes and centralized amenities, affords the opportunity to have more public spaces along the window line that benefit all employees."

  • "Three-story living wall, equivalent to five 14 ft trees, is irrigated through reclaimed HVAC condensation, naturally filters the air, reducing occupant exposure to potentially hazardous chemical and biological particulate contamination."

  • "The contractor’s preconstruction team worked hand-in-hand with the design team to provide cost analysis and budgeting, simultaneously with design concepts."

  • "All materials were reviewed against the Architect’s Precautionary List to minimize the use of substances of concern to human health in the building products specified."

  • "Lighting and ceilings in these support areas are designed to be flexible to accommodate future reconfiguration through the use of demountable partitions. The fully connected lighting load is reduced by 40% over building code and meets the AIA’s rigorous 2030 Challenge energy reduction goals."

  • "Height-adjustable desks, treadmill phone rooms, and other fixed standing-height meeting places are available to all staff."

  • "The building (LEED EBOM) was chosen because of its location in a densely populated urban neighborhood with many local amenities that encourage employees to use active means of transportation. It has a walk score of 97, a transit score of 100, a bike score of 89, and a Capital Bikeshare station within one block."

Project Team

Nixon Peabody, LLP - Client
Perkins+Will - Architect 
DAVIS Construction - Contractor
GHT Limited - MEP Engineer
Pat Kazinski - Lighting
CMS - Audio Visual
Hush Acoustics - Acoustics


65,500 GSF


LEED v3 ID+C Platinum (84 Points)




Daily Visitors
Additional Images and Juror Comments

“Far from designing for us, our design team has done an incredible job of listening, working collaboratively and bringing out the best in us in the design for our new office. They’ve enabled and emboldened us to lead the legal industry in reimagining physical space for 21st century law, and it’s been a joy to watch our culture, personality and brand manifest itself in innovative, energetic, responsible design.”
— Jeff Lesk, Managing Partner of the DC Office

WINNER - Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School 

Honorable Mention - American University at 4401 Connecticut Avenue

Project Team

AU Design & Construction

Gensler - Architect

GHT - MEP Engineering

Coakley-Williams - Contractor


70,692 GSF

LEED v3 ID+C Gold (68 points)



Daily Visitors


Select Notable Application Excerpts
  • "WAMU, the national public radio station, broadcasts from American University and occupies the first through third floors, a portion of the fourth floor, and the lower (terrace) level; totaling approximately 40,000 square feet. The upper three floors are occupied by AU departments, including University Communications and Marketing."

  • "An ergonomic presentation is used prepared to educate employees on the benefits of improving ergonomics and the importance of individuals’ comfort and productivity. A survey was also circulated, which will be conducted annually, to determine the comfort levels of the employees and allow Human Resources to address concerns related to ergonomics."

  • "To achieve cooperation across disciplines within the project, the team worked closely with the systems integrators, WAMU technicians, the MEP consultant, and acousticians to develop a plan that would achieve the wide range of functional requirements inherent to a radio station studio, as well as create a pleasant place to work. These parties and stakeholders were involved up-front to achieve the best possible results."

  • "As future changes in development planning, building use, organization change, and structure occur, studios can adapt to different purposes because of flexible design. The workplace was designed with universal workplace standards to allow for groups to grow and shrink without needing to re-work the walls and furniture."

Additional Images and Juror Comments


No Award Made in 2017



No Award Made in 2017



WINNER - 650 Massachusetts Avenue

Select Notable Application Excerpts
  • "The project has a very diverse tenant base for a traditional office building downtown as it includes eight
    tenants plus a large tenant Georgetown University that posed several challenges relative to a traditional LEED for Existing Buildings Project."

  • "The customized Brookfield Volume Program was developed over the course of approximately two years taking feedback from multiple regions and multiple local consultant leads including the DMV. This process included prototype credit development within the LEED EBOM Program tailored specifically to Brookfield Operations and regional priorities."

  • "650 Mass Ave. has implemented a rooftop honeybee garden containing three beehives, which harbor an estimated 50,000 honeybees. The Brookfield Staff manages and operates these hives solely. Over the course of a six-month time period, roughly 40 pounds of honey was harvested at 650 Mass Ave, which would calculate to approximately 96,000 pollination trips by these bees."

  • "According to the transportation survey results for 650 Mass Ave., it was determined that roughly 10% of
    occupants get to work by self powered means (bike, walk, etc.). A thermal comfort survey was also performed that indicated a very favorable response for occupant comfort."

Project Team

Brookfield Property Partners - Building Owner, Property Manager
Sustainable Building Partners - LEED Consultant, Energy Audit, Ventilation
Testing & Calculations, and project manager


346,000 GSF


LEED v3 EBOM Gold (64 Points)




Daily Visitors
Additional Images and Juror Comments


WINNER - American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Headquarters

Select Notable Application Excerpts
  • "The project has achieved LEED-CI Platinum Certification and is in final review for achieving WELL Building Standard Platinum Certification—a feat that has not been accomplished by any other project to date."

  • "Early coordination throughout the design phase with all team members, consultants and the building management was vital to the project’s success. Experts were engaged from all angles—property management ensured certain pathways were available for implementation; human resources evaluated and instituted new forward-thinking policies; the team worked closely with manufacturers and their technical teams and scientists to ensure material health and compliance."

  • "With the aid of specialized wearable devices, a range of employee experiences will be documented pre and post occupancy to provide research information to the design community.  ASID subsidizes cost of wearable fitness and sleep tracking devices (Fitbits) for all employees to encourage exercise and healthy sleep habits. ASID uses the concept of gamification to develop friendly challenges among employees focused on healthy behaviors."

  • "Employees have no assigned seats, but rather select from a variety of workplace environments based on what best supports their specific tasks. Spaces range from highly collaborative teaming environments to more private heads-down focused environments."

  • "The new office includes a circadian lighting system, designed to mimic the daily color temperature cycle of natural daylight and an automated system raises and lowers the window shades in response to the sun, glare, and current weather conditions."

  • "Biophilic strategies were also used to reduce stress and trigger elevated levels of cognitive and emotional performance. Natural materials, dynamic forms, natural patterning, and spatial configurations to inspire feelings of mystery and refuge were all employed to resonate with occupants on a subconscious level...Over 100 SF of plants, including an herb garden for employee use, surround the perimeter of the office."

  • "A digital dashboard in the space displays data on air quality (temperature, humidity, CO2, particle count), sound levels and results of ongoing water testing."

  • "Products with third party health certifications were prioritized, including Health Product Declarations, Cradle to Cradle Certification, Declare Labels, and BIFMA Level Certification."

Project Team

American Society of Interior Designers
- Architect
rand* construction - Contractor
Savills Studley - Project Manager
GHT Limited - MEP Engineer
Benya Burnett - Lighting Consultant
Cerami - Acoustics Consultant
Terrapin Bright Green - Biophilia Consultant


8,000 GSF


LEED v3 ID+C Platinum (81 Points)




Daily Visitors
Additional Images and Juror Comments


WINNER - Intelligence Community Campus

Select Notable Application Excerpts
  • "The Centrum Building was designed and built to LEED Gold v2009 standard, which includes a LEED Master Site design to support the LEED strategy. The LEED Master Site will also support the LEED strategy of the three building renovations within the campus, which are being designed and built to LEED Silver v2009 standards. Unfortunately, due to the sensitive functional nature of the layouts, the projects are not able to pursue official LEED certification."

  • Metrics - Centrum Building: 38% reduction in energy usage per EPAct 2005; 59% reduction in potable water usage thru efficient fixtures and rainwater harvesting; 30% solar hot water heating; Green roof; 98% C&D waste diverted from the landfill

  • Metrics - Campus: LID principles to manage 100% of the storm water and restore the natural drainage patterns; 44% open space; 32% restoration of the site with native & adapted vegetation
    that mimics the natural landscape and promotes biodiversity

  • "...A net-zero-ready facility. The roof structure was built to allow structural loading and connection points for PV
    panels and conduit for easy installation of photovoltaics in the future."

  • "The team analyzed a number of energy conservation measures including a, the green roof, micro-bioretention
    swales, and rainwater harvesting to ensure the design effort and budget was directed toward sustainable features that best aligned with the mission and had the most beneficial environmental and social impact. For the sustainable features analyzed, the sROI analysis showed significant return on investment from social and environmental benefits beyond the traditional fiscal return on investment analysis (FROI)."

  • "It may have ne easier to start from “scratch” and design one new building at the site than work within and around the existing built forms. But, this design offers an alternative to the “intelligence fortress,” and provides a design whose massing consists of a collection of related, smaller scale buildings that relate to the neighborhood scale. Three of the existing structures are renovated, retaining the basic framework of the original campus and connecting to its past, albeit in a thoroughly modernized facility. Retaining the existing structures saved upwards
    of 75K tons of concrete and millions of tons in carbon emissions."

  • "Former surface parking lots are reconstructed and landscaped with native vegetation providing visual relief, biodiversity, and important storm water management benefits."

Project Team

United States Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District - Client Office of the Director of National Intelligence - Owner

AECOM – Designer and Engineer of Record
Leo A Daly – Design Architect
DBI – Interior Architect
Oehme, van Sweden – Landscape Architect
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company – Contractor


1,170,000 GSF




Daily Visitors
Additional Images and Juror Comments

WINNER - Bunny Mellon Healing Garden Dedicated to the First Ladies of the United States

Select Notable Application Excerpts
  • "In fulfilling the last wish of a former patient, Children’s National Medical Center has recently opened a beautiful
    green rooftop garden for paediatric patients and their families to enjoy. At the time of the patient’s stay, the
    hospital lacked a safe outdoor space – a space that could be accessed by very ill children receiving intravenous
    fluids or other treatments that could not be interrupted. The hospital staff became committed to building such
    a space, made possible with several generous monetary and in-kind service donations."

  • "In addition to plantings, the space features a calming labyrinth for meditation, a water feature for an element of sound, and ambient lighting that reveals the garden at night to patients from their rooms."

  • "Working atop an existing laboratory, the structural upgrades required 3,000 man hours of steel welding. To minimize disruption for patients, staff and visitors, the following techniques were utilized:  Installation of temporary exhaust fans in the roof to maintain negative pressure in the construction area compared to the surrounding environment;  Installation of welding smoke evacuation system for interstitial area;  Placement of carbon filters over the adjacent air handler intakes to eliminate odors into critical care areas of hospital

  • "Clinical considerations were at the core of every design and construction decision. For example, traditional rooftop gardens incorporate a stone paver system. However, this garden needed to accommodate wheel chairs, medical equipment, and patient beds – all of which have wheels and require a smooth, even surface. Using a custom blend of Flexi Pave, the surface is strong and balanced for easy wheeling. It’s also porous, allowing water to drain through the garden and onto the waterproofed rooftop that protects the laboratory below."

  • "CNMC’s infection control supervisor carefully reviewed all of the garden’s plantings to ensure that none of the flowers, bushes, or trees would threaten a patient’s immune system.""A custom water fountain was designed and installed to allow patients to enjoy play time at the fountain, but is suitable for a healthcare environment by having no standing water after each use."

  • "The entrance also includes a garden room where patients who are too sick to go outside can sit and view the garden."

Project Team

CoStar - Concept + Fundraising
Perkins + Will - Design
DAVIS Construction - Construction


7,220 GSF




Daily Visitors
Additional Images and Juror Comments