SmartRoof Program Makes Washington DC One of the Greenest Cities in America

The Washington DC Department of General Services (DGS) pioneered a comprehensive roof asset management program in late 2010. Once DGS stabilized its roofs through proactive roof asset management, they could convert over 25% of them into SmartRoofs. The DGS SmartRoof Program is the nation’s first comprehensive, roof-based, clean technology implementation. The District’s once leaking roofs are now:

  • Producing renewable energy. 12 MW of solar capacity on ~50 sites is the largest roof-mounted photovoltaic solar array installed by a single government.
  • Preventing storm water from polluting the Potomac River. Green roofs are thriving on 36 buildings. These roofs also provide workforce training in horticulture and green roof installation through the DC Greenworks apprenticeship program.
  • Solving urban heat island issues through cool roof restorations. This solution achieves an estimated lifecycle GHG reduction of 20,000 metric tons of CO2 across 9 million square feet of roof surface. The restoration method reduced capital requirements by 75% and provided local workforce development.
  • Boosting energy conservation through weatherization of older buildings.
  • Creating “Buildings that Teach.” Students are learning first-hand about botany on vegetative roofs and renewable energy technologies.
  • Creating green jobs for D.C. residents. The program has created 224 jobs with current technology and has the potential to create 334 more though SmartRoof 2017.

By leveraging private sector financing for solar PV, as well as grant funding for vegetated green roofs, SmartRoof will achieve a lifecycle return on investment (ROI) of more than 1,000%. The SmartRoof construction projects completed to date will save DGS over $33 million over 20 years, and will make DC one of the greenest cities in the country.