White House Turns Green
He and Michelle are pushing for the symbolic home of our country to meet LEED certifiication standards set out by the U.S. Green Building Council. While the Obamas are not the first of First Families to make environmentally-conscious upgrades to the White House (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and even George W. Bush made some upgrades), their plan is the most ambitious.
Here are some details ...
Part of the challenge is the age of the White House. First built in 1792 it has been modernized and updated to the taste of it's occupants from the very beginning. However, some aspects of LEED certification would be too invasive to incorporate into parts of the building.
According to Re-Nest, here are the goals associated with getting the White House LEED certification:
- Install energy saving and UV filtering window films
- Use biodegradable cleaners, recycled products and low-VOC finishes
- Reduce energy use through computerized energy management, more efficient HVAC systems and install motion/occupant light sensors
- Upgrade plumbing to low flow water fixtures
- Eliminate all CFC refrigerants (found in cooling equipment)
- Provide staff training on recycling and life cycle considerations of new purchases
President Obama and his wife Michelle first got people talking about their green initiatives this past Spring. Michelle started an organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn to highlight the importance and accessibility to chemical-free, locally-grown food. (If you'd like to do the same next Spring, here are some suggestions on how you can start a veggie garden while living in an apartment.)
For more green news and advice read the Apartment Earth column.