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Washington DC Goes Green

Greening the District with Green Roofs

By Laura S. Washington

The District of Columbia is a national leader in the total amount of Green Roofs constructed – second only to Chicago, IL in the total area of green roofs per capita – and we need your help getting to number one!  Administered by the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) with funding from the District Department of the Environment, the District’s Green Roof Rebate Program is the perfect way to fund your green roof – and it’s now is back in full swing.

AWS is offering $5 per square foot on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified DC buildings of any size!  This program is available for residential, commercial and institutional properties.

Green Roofs provide numerous ecological, health and economic benefits.  The owner of a green roof can benefit from lower energy costs, extended roof-life, fee/tax credits, and increased property values.  The 2003 National Research Council of Canada report found a standard extensive Green Roof reduced the average daily energy demand during summer months for some buildings by more than 75% as compared to a conventional bitumen roof.  Green roofs also improve the District’s air quality, lower the heat-island effect, and improve water quality.  In addition, they can provide ecological, quality of life and property value improvements by creating habitats for people, plants and animals.

Green Roofs offer numerous benefits.  Some of these include:

  • Improved stormwater management for buildings– through retention and purification
  • Reductions to the heat island effect
  • Increased health – for people, plants and animals
  • Energy conservation and noise reduction year-round
  • Reduced demand on the municipal sewer systems and potential reductions in fees
  • Extension of roof life
  • Reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions


You can begin the application process by visiting the Anacostia Watershed Society website and clicking on Green Roof Rebate Program in the right column.

~ Laura S. Washington, Anacostia Watershed Society Green Roof Program Coordinator

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