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Seeing the Capitol in a New Light

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A new lighting system will bathe the Capitol dome's exterior in a decidedly green light. Not literally green, of course.

The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer is moving forward with an effort to illuminate the Capitol dome with environmentally friendly lighting as part of the Green the Capitol initiative.

Philadelphia-based The Lighting Practice has been awarded the contract to design the new configuration on the dome's exterior lighting scheme.

US Capitol

"The dome currently has energy-inefficient lighting that generates enormous amounts of heat and requires vigilant maintenance," said Chief Administrative Officer, Dan Beard. "Modernizing the dome's lighting will bring us in line with other landmarks, like the Jefferson Memorial, which has already transitioned to more energy efficient illumination."

Exactly how much energy will be saved with the new design has yet to be calculated because the specific kinds of lights still need to be selected for the project. However, the National Park Service estimates that the relighting of the Jefferson Memorial resulted in an energy savings of 80 percent, using 20 percent fewer fixtures and providing lighting over a 30 percent greater area.

After the dome lighting designers have completed their work, their plans will be turned over to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC). The AOC will then have to select, through a bidding process, a vendor to actually install the lighting.

The project awaits final Congressional approval.

Did You Know?

Water Conservation

Water Conservation

We have projects underway to reduce water consumption by an estimated 32%. We are replacing inefficient toilets and faucets with low-flow models, and exploring options for substantially reducing irrigation water use.

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