(Washington, DC) Mayor Adrian M. Fenty today announced the recent installation of green roofs atop two of the District government’s largest office buildings.
“These roofs are a symbol that the District of Columbia is committed to being the greenest and most environmentally sustainable major city in the country,” said Fenty. “By greening our government office buildings we are setting an example that hopefully will inspire others to follow.”
The roofs were installed by DC Greenworks, a local nonprofit organization that offers hands-on green-centered apprenticeships for disadvantaged District youth. In 2007, more than a dozen young adults have had training in green roofing through DC Greenworks, including those who helped install the roofs on District buildings.
The largest roof–8,000 square feet–covers over 50 percent of the One Judiciary Square building at 441 4th Street, NW. The green roof at Franklin D. Reeves Center at 2000 14th Street, NW, covers 4,000 square feet of space. Both roofs were designed to help reduce stormwater run-off into the Anacostia River and global warming while creating job training opportunities for young people.
“These two green roofs are just the first of a number of green actions our agency is taking to make sure our existing and new government buildings are as green as possible,” said Lars Etzkorn, director of the Office of Property Management. “We are committed to the green mandates of the DC Council and of Mayor Fenty’s commitment in 100 Days and Beyond to achieve the highest possible LEED standards while offering job training for District youth.”
Green roofs reduce energy consumption of buildings and reduce stormwater runoff. Rooms under a green roof are at least five to seven degrees cooler than the outside, according to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, North America Inc., a nonprofit industry association dedicated to developing the green roof technology. Other studies show that green roofs can reduce total stormwater run-off by 60 percent.
In the District, most land is covered by streets, buildings, parking lots and driveways that prevent rainfall from filtering through the soil. Rainfall generates stormwater run-off that often doesn’t receive any treatment for pollution before it enters the Anacostia, Potomac and Rock Creek. Stormwater run-off, if not properly managed, causes flooding, erodes stream channels, and damages or destroys fish and wildlife habitat.