American Psychological Association

Serving as a respite from the city and nearby Capitol Hill, the vegetated roof and labyrinth on the American Psychological Association’s building covers 3,600 square feet (334 m2) and cost $170,000. It has benches for reflection and provides a journal in which visitors can record and share their thoughts. The labyrinth, a circular walking path thought to enhance right-brain activity and provide a sanctuary for contemplation, is a seven-circle design, such as those found in ground-level parks. Under normal rainfall conditions, water and sewage from downtown Washington flow to a treatment plant and then into the Potomac River. During heavy storms, however, the sewer system becomes overloaded and polluted water and raw sewage run into local rivers and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. This vegetated roof and others like it help capture some of that runoff. The roof was funded by APA; Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Norfolk, Va.; TKF Foundation, Annapolis, Md.; and World Resources Institute, Washington, whose offices occupy the top 2 stories of the 8-story building. PROJECT SUBMITTED BY WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE, WASHINGTON, D.C., WWW.WRI.ORG