May 21 2019 11:20 AM

The renovated building received the highest LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Photo: Jacquelyn Bianchini

From left to right: ASLA President Shawn T. Kelly, FASLA; ASLA CEO and Executive Vice President Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA and Mahesh Ramanujam, CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council
Photo: Jacqueline Bianchini

Members of the American Society of Landscape Architects can be proud that their association’s newly renovated headquarters lives up to their profession’s highest aspirations. The ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture in Washington, D.C. has been officially awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification.

Mahesh Ramanujam, CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council presented the certification to ASLA President Shawn T. Kelly, FASLA and ASLA CEO and Executive Vice President Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, during a reception for the ASLA Board of Trustees and Chapter Presidents Council.

“ASLA has been a valued partner of USGBC’s in promoting the power of green infrastructure and its ability to impact the lives of people and communities,” says Ramanujam. “Achieving LEED Platinum certification for their renovated headquarters in Washington, D.C. is another sign of ASLA’s commitment to creating sustainable spaces that prioritize the health and well-being of people. Its leadership in the development of the SITES certification system and its dedication to healthy, sustainable landscapes is vital to promoting a better quality of life for us all.”

The ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture is a showcase for sustainable design excellence. The 12,600-square-foot headquarters, located in the historic Chinatown district of Washington, D.C., was built in 1995 and completely renovated in 2016 with a focus on maximizing energy efficiency, occupant health and comfort and sustainable design. ASLA worked with the Gensler architecture firm and the Oehme van Sweden landscape architecture firm to build a new Center that embodies the mission, vision and values of the Society.

ASLA advocates land use practices that conserve and protect water resources and eliminate water pollution. To that end, a green roof — one of the first of its kind in the District of Columbia — was created for its headquarters in 2006. Since that time, ASLA has monitored and recorded the roof’s ability to absorb and cleanse stormwater, cool the air and reduce building energy use.

The renovation also incorporated a water harvesting system to collect stormwater for reuse by the irrigation system. That system has multiple flow meters and sensors to monitor not only the stormwater collection volume but also the amount of water applied to irrigation. Any excess water flowing off the green roof is captured in a ground-floor, 700-gallon cistern and is used to irrigate the green roof and the new outdoor patio space filled with native plants and green walls.

ASLA is routinely recognized for best workplace practices. It was recently named a Platinum Employer Ambassador by the D.C. Department of Transportation's goDCgo initiative, which honors organizations that provide its staff with innovative benefits and incentives to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled.