From street level the Army Navy Building, a historic twelve-story office building located on Farragut Square and just two blocks from the White House, looks much as it has since it was built in 1912. But 157 feet up there are unexpected features on the building’s roof. Instead of the assorted mechanical equipment typically found on commercial rooftops, the Army Navy Building sports a more natural feel, with a collection of raised bed gardens and a beehive. And by incorporating the building’s compost waste program, these projects combine to demonstrate the new ways that historical buildings can showcase sustainable practices in the urban ecosystem.
WashREIT implemented these projects in partnership with local businesses Love & Carrots for the garden and beehive and with The Compost Crew for compost services.
A beehive located on the roof helps to pollinate the rooftop garden and the surrounding landscape. While helping to combat the loss of honey bee colonies, with the hive typically supporting over 50,000 bees, it also produces honey that is harvested twice per year.
A 700 square foot raised bed garden is installed on the roof. Our garden partner, Love & Carrots, coordinates with the executive chef of the Army Navy Club to plant and harvest produce to be used in the Club’s restaurant. The menu incorporates a wide range of produce: tomatoes, salad greens, herbs, edible flowers, sweet peppers and hot chilies.
We provide collection within each tenant space in the building for compost waste. Any organic waste produced in the building—such as food waste, coffee grounds, paper and cardboard products—can be disposed of for composting, diverting these waste streams from landfill.
Our compost partner, The Compost Crew, collects the compost waste and transports it to an off-site facility where the waste material is composted. To complete the loop, the material that left the building as waste returns as organic soil material for the rooftop garden.