Embassy of Finland Takes Top LEED Rating in U.S.

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Ambassador Ritva Koukku-Ronde of Finland shows off LEED plaque with Roger Platt of the U.S. Green Building Council at the Embassy of Finland. | Robert Devaney

“Our embassy has gone from green to gold, and now platinum,” said Finnish Ambassador Ritva Koukku-Ronde, as she welcomed guests to a Jan. 28 party to celebrate the embassy’s singular honor.

The Embassy of Finland was awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification – and is the first embassy in the United States to do so.

”All this reflects Finland’s strong commitment to environmental sustainability,” Koukku-Ronde said. ”We are a leading country in renewable energy and clean technology and are happy to share leadership in this area with our friends at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki.”

The Finnish Embassy building is the second in the world to be awarded the LEED Platinum, which is the highest of four levels of certification. The other LEED-Platinum building is the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki.

Roger Platt, president of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), was at the event to present the LEED plaque to Koukku-Ronde.

Peter Stenlund, Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, was pleased with the Finnish Embassy’s top certification but also wanted a higher goal or rating to strive for. Perhaps, he said, it could be called ”Titanium” or ”Finlandia.”

On Massachusetts Avenue across from the Vice President’s Residence, the Finnish Embassy is known for its contemporary architecture and open design to the surrounding woods.

As an internationally recognized mark of excellence in green buildings, LEED’s success as a global green building tool is based on many factors but is primarily due to the leadership and commitment of volunteers, members and partner Green Building Councils around the world.

Introduced via a video greeting by the U.S. Ambassador Bruce Oreck, in Helsinki, the popular journalist-heavy rock-n-roll band, Suspicious Package, entertained the crowd, which enjoyed such specialities from Finland as herring, smoked salmon, duck liver pate and Finnish meatballs.

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