Housing Complex

Smoggy Awards: D.C.’s Highest-Emitting Public Facilities

This year's winner!

It's the moment you've been waiting for: The Department of General Services and Department of the Environment have released their annual benchmarking survey of public buildings for fiscal year 2012. The Washington Business Journal has the news; I'll supplement it with a rundown of the highest carbon dioxide-emitting city-owned facilities. So, without further ado, the Smoggy Awards for 2012:

Public school: Bell-Lincoln Multicultural High/Middle schools
At 3,983.38 metric tons of CO2, Bell-Lincoln comes out by far on top in the schools category. Granted, it's a large campus, but its emissions are considerably higher than those of Roosevelt High School, Dunbar High School, and Wilson High School—all bigger schools in terms of square feet of floor space.

Library: Martin Luther King Jr. Library
This one's not even close. At 5,543.78 metric tons of CO2, MLK's leaps and bounds ahead of runner-up Chevy Chase Library, and while it's also much larger, MLK pumps out a good 50 percent more CO2 per square foot than its Upper Northwest cousin.

Recreational facility: D.C. Center for Recreation Therapeutic Pool
Once again, Chevy Chase comes in second place with the Chevy Chase Community Center, but it can't top the therapeutic center at 3030 G St. SE.

Office building: One Judiciary Square
The big office building at 441 4th St. NW, home to government agencies like the Office of Zoning and Board of Elections and Ethics, bests (or worsts) the Henry Daly Building at 300 Indiana Ave. NW.

Fire/police station: Police Training Academy
The academy on Blue Plains Drive SW is the clear winner in this category, but also the largest contender by far. But the runner up is really the worst offender in the category, as it's the biggest emitter per square foot. That distinction goes to the Fire Department Office of Communications. I suppose I'll be hearing from them...

Overall emitter: D.C. General Hospital Campus
The former hospital at 1900 Massachusetts Ave. SE, which now serves as a homeless shelter, is smaller than One Judiciary Square, but its emissions are more than 50 percent higher, making it the official overall winner of the 2012 Smoggys. Congratulations!

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