NEW YORK—Upon completion of their new world headquarters in August 2016, Jehovah’s Witnesses received official recognition for the sustainable design of their new facility in Warwick, New York. The Green Building Initiative (GBI), an organization which offers environmental assessment and certification programs for commercial buildings, awarded the Witnesses the highest possible rating of Four Green Globes for all seven of their buildings that qualified for consideration.

Shaina Weinstein, senior director of engagement for GBI, states: “Out of 965 projects nationwide, only 64 buildings have received the highest rating of Four Green Globes. For Jehovah’s Witnesses to receive Four Green Globes for all seven of their buildings at Warwick is remarkable. This accomplishment represents a very high level of commitment to water, energy, and environmental efficiency.”

The Green Globes rating system, courtesy of GBI. All seven of the Witnesses’ headquarters buildings eligible for consideration scored at least 90 percent, equivalent to Four Green Globes.

The GBI, according to their official website, is “a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of building practices that result in resource efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings.” The GBI provides ratings in sustainable design and operation for newly constructed buildings. As part of the rating process, a third-party expert in the field conducts an on-site assessment to verify GBI’s findings.

David Bean, sustainable design coordinator for the Witnesses’ facilities in the United States, comments: “We appreciate these awards, which testify to the dedication of all involved to construct a campus that exemplifies many sustainable design features—a campus that integrates gracefully and appropriately into Sterling Forest State Park.”

The green roof of the Offices/Services Building, composed of native flora planted in a growing medium over a waterproof membrane. Storm water runoff from the building is treated on-site to reduce strain on the public water infrastructure.

The Witnesses’ strategy included preserving the trees on the property and incorporating felled trees into the construction project. “I appreciated the decision to mill the trees that were cut down to clear the site and reuse them in the new building designs,” says Jeffrey Hutchinson, former park manager for Sterling Forest. “The environmental aspects of what the Witnesses have done are excellent.” Shaina Weinstein also comments, In our opinion, the Warwick project exemplifies what environmentally conscious design and construction are all about.”

Richard Devine, who was chairman of the Witnesses’ Warwick Construction Project Committee, explains: “For decades, our organization has maintained the aesthetics of our properties in Brooklyn. Now we look forward to maintaining our eco-friendly facility in Warwick and preserving the existing beauty of Sterling Forest.”

Media Contact:

David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, 1-845-524-3000