Washington D.C. Green Roof Program

In 2003, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation initiated a green roof demonstration project funded under the terms of a consent decree negotiated by the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority. The money was used to issue grants for the installation of eight different pilot green roofs that would reduce the cost of each green roof cost to the building owner by up to 20 percent. The pilot roofs served as models that building owners could use for future green roof projects, by providing data on costs, construction methods, performance, and maintenance needs. 

In 2007, the District Department of Energy and Environment (DDOE) initiated a $3 per square foot green roof subsidy program that has resulted in funding for 12 green roof projects throughout the District. That subsidy was increased to $5 per square foot the following year. A Green Roof Toolkit  was also produced as a result of this effort to assist District building owners with practical information about designing and installing green roofs.

DC has a new Green Roof Rebate Program - designed for existing buildings. As of 2016, the DDOE's green roof rebate program will provide base funding of $10 per square foot, and up to $15 per square foot in targeted sub-watersheds. There is no cap on the size of projects eligible for the rebate. Properties of all sizes including residential, commercial and institutional are encouraged to apply. For buildings with a footprint of 2,500 square feet or less, funds are available to defray the cost of a structural assessment. 

Monitoring of the green roof installed at the headquarters of the American Society of Landscape Architects showed that it retained approximately 75 percent of total rainfall volume. As of October 2015, approximately 2.5 million square feet, or 58 acres, of green roofs have been installed in Washington, D.C.


For more information, DDOE and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation published a report about the program - "Green Roof Demonstration Program - Final Report." 




Publication Date: 2007

Related Organizations:

  • District Department of Energy and the Environment (DDOE) - Washington DC

Related Toolkits:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Best practice
  • Case study

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