Building Tours

Building tours are taking place on Tuesday, April 11 at the 2023 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit. To sign up for a building tour, please register for Summit here! Once registered, you will receive instructions on how to sign up. Please note, reservations are required as space is limited.

These building tours showcase impressive energy, decarbonization, and water efficiency practices and demonstrate real-world successes at a variety of D.C.-area properties – you won't want to miss out! View tour locations below (click or scroll down for more details):

Transportation is not provided unless otherwise stated.

U.S. Capitol 

Waiting List Only

Join U.S. Capitol Historical Society staff and trained volunteers for a walking tour of the Capitol Interior, filled with anecdotes and perspectives about the Congress, the origin and construction of the building itself, and discussions of the broader concepts of democratic government.

  • Time: 1:00-3:00 PM
  • Location: United States Capitol – Capitol Visitor Center First St NE, Washington, DC 20515



Learn why it took nearly 40 years to build the original Capitol Building as well as why and how it has been expanded and changed since then. Hear about famous – and infamous – incidents that have taken place inside, crucial turning points in the history of the republic, and how the daily activities in the complex today still shape the way our government – and nation – works.

Please note this tour is a different, more historically inclined, experience than the other Summit building tours focused on energy management and sustainability.

American University

Join American University Office of Sustainability staff members for a guided tour of campus sustainability. The tour will include LEED-certified buildings, green roofs, renewable energy, zero-waste efforts, student, staff, and faculty engagement with sustainability, and more!

  • Time: 1:00 - 2:30 PM
  • Location: 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

Weinberg Commons

Join us for a tour of Weinberg Commons, the first multifamily passive certified building retrofit in Washington, DC and the country. The on-site tour will cover project financing, passive house building principles included in the retrofit, and continued operations and maintenance. 

  • Time: 1:30 - 2:30 PM
  • Location: 5078 Benning Rd SE, Washington, DC 20019
  • Transportation Provided

The property is owned by the affordable housing provider Housing UP and comprised of 3 twelve-unit, three-story buildings that provide housing to low-income and formerly homeless families. The tour will be led by the property’s sustainability consultant, Michael Hindle, from Passive to Positive. See first-hand how multifamily properties can complete healthy building retrofits that are Passive House Certified and provide no-cost utilities to residents.

Catholic University

Catholic University recently completed the Energy Project, a multi-year effort to upgrade the heating and cooling systems across campus. During this tour, you will visit the campus Power Plant building and learn about the upgrades as well as how heating and cooling is distributed across campus.

  • Time: 3:30 - 5:00 PM
  • Location: 3590 John McCormack Road, NE, Washington, DC



John Lewis Elementary

This tour will discuss the process and explore how the John Lewis Elementary School building is striving to achieve “Net Positive Education” through dramatic resource conservation, healthy high performance school design, and by inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards.

  • Time: 4:00-5:00 PM
  • Location: 1335 Farragut Pl NW, Washington, DC 20011

John Lewis Elementary School was designed to be the first school in the District of Columbia to achieve Net Zero Energy (NZE). The project is also pursuing LEED for Schools Platinum and WELL certification, setting a new benchmark for the city and the nation. Through these approaches, the environment is designed to improve student and teacher performance, health, and well-being as well as reduce the building’s life-cycle costs. For a preview of this, and another concurrently designed DCPS school also targeting NZE, see this video:

Cannon & O’Neill House Office Buildings

Waiting List Only

The Cannon and O’Neill House Office Buildings are two Congressional buildings on Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill that have undergone renovations to preserve the historic and architectural integrity. Participants in this tour will get a firsthand look at how the Architect of the Capitol balances the preservation, sustainability, and performance of these buildings.

  • Time: 1:00 – 3:30 PM
  • Location: Visitor entrance New Jersey Ave SE between Independence Ave SE and C street SE (Canon House Office Building); Visitor Entrance located at C street SW between 2nd street SW and 3rd street SW (O'Neill House Office Building)


Library of Congress Buildings & Grounds

Waiting List Only

Participants will tour the Thomas Jefferson Building Great Hall and discuss the recent project work completed in these historically significant spaces. Topics will include an ESPC project overview, scope of accomplishments, and lesson learned from the implementation.

  • Time: 1:00 – 1:45 PM (Option A) and 2:00 – 2:45 PM (Option B)
  • Location: 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20540