Sustainability remains an Emerging Market. Like other such markets, it offers opportunities; but the costs and benefits are not well defined, and there are still wide gaps between dedicated Green design approaches and the day-to-day concerns of building owners, developers and property managers.
Amber researched and co-authored a report for Michael Baker Corporation and the DC Office of Planning on the efficiency of financial incentives for the creation of public open space and improved stormwater management. After completing this analysis, Amber began working with General Foam Plastics Corporation of Virginia and Freedom Garden Products of Maryland to promote the use of Aqualok Cool Green Roof panels for commercial building retrofits.
Aqualok panels are lightweight, foam panels that can capture up to 2.5" of stormwater and yet weigh only 10 pounds per s.f. fully saturated. They can be installed planted (green) or unplanted (cool) with a white reflective coating. Most property owners undertake green retrofit projects to achieve energy savings. Aqualok panels cool the roof by over 40 degrees in the summer and provide additional insulation year-round. Thus, they can lower air-conditioning and heating bills in addition to generating credits against impervious area charges and grant funding such as green roof rebates.
The MD Department of the Environment has approved Aqualok as meeting the Environmental Site Design (ESD) criteria for a green roof practice. A 12,000 s.f. Aqualok roof has been completed at American University in Washington DC using the DDOE Green Roof Rebate Program. Further demonstration projects are planned for DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Aqualok has been featured on The Emerald Planet TV. See link below for show on water harvesting and energy savings analyses.