The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has dedicated the new green roof, anchored by a concrete masonry vestibule, on its Washington, D.C.,
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has dedicated the new green roof, anchored by a concrete masonry vestibule, on its Washington, D.C., headquarters. Participating in a recent unveiling were the Honorable Linda Cropp, chair of the District of Columbia City Council; Steven Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, an organization promoting the green roof industry throughout North America; and, Michael Van Valkenburgh, FASLA, the landscape architect heading the project’s design team. ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville and ASLA President Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, also offered remarks.
This project will be a highly visible demonstration of the many practical benefits of green roofs for communities, for building owners, and for tenants, said Carmichael. For the city of Washington, ASLA’s green roof will help clean the air and bring us closer to compliance with the federal Clean Air Act, which in turn will release more transportation funds to the city. It will reduce and clean stormwater runoff, which sometimes overwhelms our infrastructure and eventually flows into the Chesapeake Bay. It will reduce the urban heat island effect, which can be a serious problem in the summer and will even restore a tiny part of the biohabitat for birds, insects, and plants.
On a practical level for ASLA, it will increase our property value, lower our building’s energy costs, and provide an amenity for our staff and a nice view for our neighbors in taller buildings around us. Can you imagine the cumulative effect if other, larger downtown Washington building owners join us in this effort?
To help track these environmental effects, ASLA has installed monitoring equipment on the 3,300-sq.-ft. roof and will track stormwater runoff, water quality, and air temperature to compare with data from the conventional roof on the building next door. This data will be available on the ASLA website, www.asla.org, along with visual coverage provided by a webcam.