by , 12/14/05


Contemporary sophistication and environmentally-friendly design have made Nusta Spa the first spa to achieve LEED Gold Certification for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI). Located in downtown Washington, D.C., Nusta Spa has found an edge in spa design by integrating sustainability not only into their products and services (which has been done for ages), but into their overall building and site design. In doing so, they can offer truly comprehensive health and wellness to their employees and clients.

Elizabeth Snowdon, Nusta Spa?s founder and president, conceived the idea of Nusta around a mission to create an environmentally friendly spa. Having worked for Envision Design, a multidisciplinary architectural firm that focuses on sustainability, she already held a commitment to and understanding of environmental design. A visit to Peru?s ancient ruins deepened her inspiration, and Snowdon knew that her spa must embrace a the deeply-rooted awareness of balance between people and their environment that she witnessed in her travels. Nusta is Quechua for ‘Royalty”, and it is fitting that the spa’s stated vision is to treat guests, staff and the environment with the greatest respect and care.

The spa’s architects fulfilled LEED requirements in every aspect of the design, starting with the site selection of the spa – near three metro stops, which allows for ease of use of the public transportation system. Interior details include bamboo flooring throughout, reused beams from an old barn, and salvaged ceiling tiles. Energy Star Appliances, Flourescent and LED lighting, combined with an agreement to purchase all of Nusta’s electrical power from renewable sources comprise a highly efficient, low-energy plan. As with most high-end spas, Nusta’s interior is decorated with beautiful, high-quality furnishings; but unlike many of its counterparts, Nusta worked with companies who have an established environmental commitment, and who support ecological practices from sourcing materials, through manufacturing and finishing.

With it’s dedication to eco-conscious, high performance design, Nusta Spa’s pure green atmosphere seems particularly appropriate for those looking to escape the stress and toxins of daily life.

+ Nusta Spa

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Weston Blaney December 15, 2005 at 6:16 pm


    Thanks for the post. It is nice to see our work showing up in the blogosphere. One small correction, though. Your post seems to indicate that Ms. Snowdon worked for Envision Design at some time. She is actually a client of ours, and she worked WITH Envision Design (the architects) to manifest her vision. Of course, now I’m a client of hers… Nusta has the best massages around!

    Wes Blaney, Envision Design

  2. Evelyn December 14, 2005 at 7:19 pm

    Mahalie –

    Yes, we are aware of the other projects that have received LEED GOLD under LEED-CI. However, Nusta Spa is the first SPA to receive LEED Gold under LEED-CI. Seeing how spas are often associated with good health and relaxing toxin free environments, highlighting Nusta Spa in relationship with their Gold LEED Certification under LEED-CI along with their own environmental commitment ( was of extra interest to Inhabitat.

    Thank you for reading and posting,


  3. mahalie December 14, 2005 at 6:29 pm

    According to the nation’s first LEED Gold under LEED-CI was awarded to REI Portland ( There are several other, earlier projects listed at on the USGBC site as well ( Perhaps you meant the first LEED-CI Gold rated project in Washington DC?

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home