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PBS Green Roof Maintenance Keeps Program in Bloom

| Lance Davis, Sustainability Architect for GSA’s Office of Design and Construction
Post filed in: Green Buildings

The General Services Administration's Public Buildings Service (PBS) is committed to combating climate change and ensuring the long-term sustainability of our local and global communities. PBS uses green roofs to help reduce the temperature of building roofs and cool the surrounding air. Green roofs improve air quality, increase energy efficiency, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

PBS has over 80 buildings around the country equipped with green roofs, covering a little over 2.2 million square feet (or about 50 acres). This inventory also includes the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, with 557,000 square feet of tenant-accessible green roof. In a report published in 2011, GSA noted that installing and maintaining green roofs can lower energy costs, lead to less frequent roof replacement due to greater durability, and reduce storm water management costs.

PBS is currently implementing a comprehensive plan to ensure the maintenance and functionality of green roofs. The plan includes:

  • Updating computerized maintenance systems so that building managers are notified on the frequency of green roof maintenance requirements. This includes mandating green roof inspections during routine reviews.
  • Performing an annual review of the maintenance system to confirm that green roof maintenance is being completed.
  • Providing green roof training so that GSA employees and contractors understand their responsibilities in maintenance and program support.
  • Incorporating a life cycle assessment during the design of green roofs.

Through the implementation of the action plan, PBS will ensure that green roofs maintain a  functional and beautiful role within the GSA federal inventory.

More information on the location of GSA’s green roofs can be found using the Green Roof Tracker.

Information regarding required life-cycle costing during green roof design for GSA properties can be found in the PBS P100, Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service.