The Santa Monica office of the Natural Resources Defense Council opened in 2003 as a model of sustainable design and construction and points the way to the future. The organization remodeled an existing 1920s building as a demonstration project using environmentally sound materials, solar energy, and water conservation technology. It received one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum ratings in the country, the highest level of sustainable design awarded by the Green Building Council. Interestingly, their principles for using natural light and air circulation are the same as those used at the historic Mar Vista across the street.
The ground floor environmental learning center, with exhibits on global warming and conserving the oceans, is open to the public during business hours, and scheduled tours of the building are available.