RiverSmart Rooftops

Residential Green Roof - 13th St. NE

Green roofs play an essential role in protecting, preserving and restoring our watershed. Covered with soil media and plants, green roofs provide tremendous benefits for our communities, neighborhoods and individual property owners. Every municipality in the watershed is encouraging green roofs and AWS is here to help you learn more and get them installed. 

Green Roofs Benefits

  • Improved stormwater management for buildings – through retention and purification
  • Reduces the heat island effect
  • Improved health - for people, plants and animals
  • Energy conservation and noise reduction year-round
  • Reduced demand on the municipal sewer systems and potential reductions in fees
  • Extension of roof life
  • Reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions

Green Roof Tools

Previous Applicants

Click on the PDFs below to see the green roof projects which have been installed using financial assistance from RiverSmart Rooftops since 2009:

Click here (PDF) for projects from 2009-2011 

Click here (PDF) for projects from 2011-2012. 

Click here (PDF) for projects from 2012-2013.

Click here (PDF) for projects from 2013-2014

Click here (PDF) for projects from 2014-2015

Green Roof on Susan Bensch's Property

“Designing and building my green roof was a joy. Even better is the now-daily pleasure of watching it grow - and eating produce from it including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, lettuce, basil, even asparagus. I planned the roof with a friend. Together we started by reading (there are 5 books on green roofs in the DC public library!) and surfing the web. We drew a design for the roof, and we got our building permit from the DC Regulatory Agency. With another friend, I drove to Baltimore to get most of the materials we needed - felt to spread over the roof, and large plastic panels for drainage. Those were easy for two of us newbies to install together. Our "green roof medium" or soil was delivered by dump truck, and we did get help to move all of that onto the roof. I made the planting design myself - not difficult with the help of books and gardening friends - and did all the planting in a couple of days. Now, after just two years, it is so lush and vigorous that I've got plants to give away. Sedums, anyone? Strawberries? I am also happy to show my green roof to those who are interested, and to help other do-it-yourselfers who want to build their own.”

-       Susan Benesch

 Project Summary Sheet

These and other efforts have resulted in the installation of numerous green roof projects across the District. We have identified a small group of Showcase Green Roof Projects [PDF] – each of which provides practical green roof data and contact information for site visits or further investigations.

Apply Today for the District's 2016-2017 RiverSmart Rooftops Program

We are currently accepting applications for the District Department of Energy and Environment's RiverSmart Rooftops program which provides rebates for the installation of green roofs within the District of Columbia. Rebates of $10-$15/square foot are available to eligible projects based on roof size and property location.

To be eligible for this new rebate amount, projects must register after October 1, 2017. Rebates are available for new green roofs on existing buildings of any size. 

*For renovations larger than 5,000 square feet or new construction green roof applications must be submitted to Anacostia Watershed Society before applying for building permits.

Applications for recently completed or existing green roofs will not be accepted. You must start the rebate process before you have received a permit for the green roof.

Please review the “Application & Rebate Process” (PDF) and complete the Registration Form below. If your roof area is under 2,500 square feet, you can also apply for a structural engineer rebate.

Once we receive and approve your completed registration form, we will send an Application. Projects will be placed in the rebate funding queue only after AWS receives a completed Application Form with all supporting documents.

The RiverSmart Rewards Program and Stormwater Retention Credit trading program may increase your savings for installing your green roof. DOEE RiverSmart Rewards and Clean Rivers IAC Incentive Programs

Interactive Targeted Subwatershed Map

Step 1: Learn More about the Program and Find a Greenroof Contractor
 Green Roof Rebate Program Flyer – Overview of the program and Green Roof Benefits.

Application and Rebate Process- Download this for more detailed information about our program.

Structural Engineering Rebate for Buildings under 2,500 sq. ft. – Includes a description of rebate. A list of potential engineers can be found on the Green Roof Contractors pdf below. 

 Green Roof Contractors – Download this for a preliminary list of contractors in the DC area. You can use any licensed contractor you want – whether they are on this list or not. 

Step 2: Fill out and submit registration form*
Registration Form – Download and complete this form to begin the application process. 

*Applications for recently completed or existing green roofs will not be accepted. You must start the rebate process before you have received a permit for the green roof.

Step 3: Receive application form from us and send back completed

Step 4: Apply for a Discount on your Stormwater Fee

DOEE RiverSmart Rewards and Clean Rivers IAC Incentive Programs

Additional information about the District Department of Energy and Environment’s (DDOE’s) Green Roof Rebate Program is available at DOEE’s Green Roof Website.

RiverSmart Rooftops in Washington, DC from Sandy Cannon-Brown on Vimeo.


DOEE logo






Montgomery County

Property owners in Montgomery County can receive technical assistance and funding for Green Roofs and other Landscape Improvements through the Rainscapes Program. AWS is also available to help. Learn More

Prince George’s County

Prince George's County Council unanimously passed bill (CB-45-13) that established a Clean Water Act Fee in 2013 to fund projects that reduce polluted water run-off.  
Stormwater is one of the county's biggest challenges as it causes flooding, property damage and polluted streams. For more information about support for Green Roofs and other LID practices through their RainCheck Program, click here.

If you have questions please contact us by calling 301-699-6204 ext.122 or via e-mail at greenroofs@anacostiaws.org.





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