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(Some Of) The Most Impressive Green Roofs In The City

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As the leaves begin to fall off the trees, we thought we would take a look at a few green roofs just to remind us of warmer seasons. Here are eight of the ones we thought deserved special mention since their locations range from being on top of an Exxon station to Sidwell Friends School to a Pepco Substation. The gallery is above, but after the break is a brief explanation of the design for each one.


? Sidwell Friends School, Cathedral Heights
An example of a great client and architect collaboration that leads to an amazing project. Kieran Timberlake architects transformed the school campus with their addition and renovation and gave the school a tangible representation of their ideals. The green roof also contains herb gardens for school kids as part of their curriculum.



? American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Chinatown
Not to be outdone at its own game, ASLA set out to create a project to demonstrate the possibilities and benefits of a green roof on top of its own home. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates produced an accessible area that negotiates limited space and various mechanical systems with their ‘green waves’.



?22 West Condos/Exxon, West End
A peculiar pairing of condos and a gas station. This greenroof on top of the Exxon station serves as a great visual barrier between the high-end condos above and the cab filled station below. Unfortunately not accessible to the residents, one can see the plants peek over the edge during the summer while driving by on New Hampshire Ave.



?ATF Building, NoMa
Designed by Safdie Architects, this fortress like building contains multiple green roofs including on top of its enormous castle like wall. Unfortunately the building does not fit too well into the newly vibrant and developing neighborhood of NOMA, but the green roofs as seen from above do help its case.





?FDIC Building, Arlington

One of the first completed federal green roofs in the Washington DC metro area finished in 2005. At 2,900 sq ft it was design to maximize storm water retention, allowing developers to offset high storm water management fees assessed by the county.



World Wildlife Fund (WWF), West End.
?One of the largest green roofs in Washington DC, with about 27,000 sq ft of extensive roof space. The roof was part of their Platinum LEED Existing Building program that was in step with WWF mission statement of protecting the future of nature.

Pepco Substation, Georgetown
?Eastbanc Inc. bought the air rights above the Pepco substation for a condo project that would overhang above the building. After that aspect of the development fell through, a green roof was built instead to add visual stimulus that abuts the Whitehurst freeway. Thanks to the over engineered substation roof, it was possible to use a wide variety of plants that can grow relatively high and can be spotted from the Whitehurst and Key Bridge.




Bread for the City, Shaw

?The first large scale roof top agriculture project in the DC region. An ongoing project that works with the community takes the green roof to another level. The Northwest Center boasts 3,500 sq ft with education and production coming together in an urban setting.

Compiled and written by architectural designer Vaclav Malek.

Sidwell Friends School

3825 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest , Washington, DC

Bread for the City

1525 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 202-265-2400

Pepco Substation

3303 Water St, Washington D.C.,

ATF Building

99 New York Avenue, NE. , Washington, DC 20226,