Washington D.C. was able to provide 32.45 square feet per-capita in green office solutions, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. This is partly due to the fact that many of the district’s federal buildings are going through eco-friendly renovations.
Recently, the United States government took this initiative and brought it overseas to build its embassies and consulates. Last week, the Department of State unveiled the LEED Silver certified consulate in Guangzhou, China, featuring rainwater collection and low-flush toilets, its news release stated.
“[Overseas Buildings Operations] mission is to provide safe, secure, and functional facilities that represent the U.S. government to the host nation and support our staff in the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives,” the State’s spokesman explained. “These facilities should represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution.”
By building along Ghongzhu’s Pearl River, the U.S. Consulate will be able to benefit from the stream’s breeze, keeping cooling costs low in the southern part of China. The consulate’s main building also has a white, reflective roof, which is intended to divert the sun’s rays off the building toward other parts of the complex, according to Archinect.
In fact, about 50 percent of the waste that was derived from the construction site was either re-purposed, reused, or recycled for other projects—lessening the amount of waste in local landfills. Since China is one of the most populous nations in the world, any readjustment helps its overall greenhouse output.
Businesses that are also looking into reducing the amount of waste they contribute to the environment can make small, but impactful adjustments like purchasing lightly-used commercial furniture. Whenever a company is looking to expand operations, purchasing used workstations and office chairs can improve the bottom line while remaining eco-friendly.