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ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture Awarded LEED Platinum Certification

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 by: 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 by: Jacquelyn Bianchini)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Center for Landscape Architecture in Washington, D.C. was recently awarded LEED Platinum certification. Mahesh Ramanujam, CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 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,” Ramanujam said. “Achieving LEED Platinum for their renovated headquarters in Washington, D.C. is another sign of their commitment to creating sustainable spaces that prioritize the health and well-being of people. Their leadership in the development the SITES certification system and dedication to healthy, sustainable landscapes is vital to promoting a better quality of life for us all."

The ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture, the headquarters of the American Society of Landscape Architects, is a showcase for sustainable design. 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 architecture firm Gensler and landscape architecture firm Oehme van Sweden to build a new center that embodies the mission, vision and values of ASLA.

ASLA advocates for land use practices that conserve and protect water resources and eliminate water pollution. To that end, the green roof was created in 2006 — one of the first of its kind in the District of Columbia. 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 incorporated a water-harvesting system to collect stormwater for reuse in the irrigation system. The 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 ASLA's green roof is captured in a ground-floor, 700-gallon cistern and used to irrigate the green roof and the new outdoor patio space, which is filled with native plants and green walls.

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The American Society of Landscape Architects has previously been recognized for best workplace practices. ASLA was recently named a Platinum Employer Ambassador by the D.C. Department of Transportation's goDCgo initiative, which honors organizations that provide staff with innovative benefits and incentives to reduce vehicle miles traveled.

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