FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- The newly constructed Defense Information Systems Agency headquarters complex earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Gold rating Oct. 5.

The rating is the second highest possible mark as designated on the U.S. Green Building Council's Public LEED Project Directory.

Following the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendation that all DISA headquarters operations in the National Capitol Region be consolidated in a newly constructed facility on Fort Meade, agency leaders immediately sought to exceed the federal standard that all new construction projects meet basic LEED certification standards.

LEED ratings were established by the USGBC and are verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED is the nation's top program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, promoting a whole-building approach to sustainability.

LEED certification of DISA was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

"The design/build team quickly recognized the opportunity to take this project a step further and challenged themselves to design and build at least a LEED Silver certified complex," said DISA BRAC Executive David Bullock.

Surpassing Silver and getting to LEED Gold was a team effort by agency leadership, BRAC executives, the Hensel Phelps Construction Co., the contracted designer/builder and RTKL, a subsidiary of ARCADIS and the Designer of Record.

The team even sought input from DISA employees to come up with innovative and environmentally conscious design features. Planning considerations included a campus atmosphere that fosters collaboration, communication and a sense of well-being among staff.

The new complex adopted a whole-building approach to sustainability, incorporating such features as a wellness program, building automation systems to control lighting, water and energy conservation measures, and extensive use of public transit.

Environmental design and construction also create opportunities for future operational cost savings.

"Reducing energy use throughout the building by 30 percent will produce significant life-cycle cost savings," Bullock said.

A ceremony to recognize the LEED Gold achievement is being discussed.

For more information about the U.S. Green Building Council and a complete listing of LEED projects, visit