Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Additional Resources

St. Elizabeths is located off of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue in Ward 8 in SE Washington, DC 20032. Visit the GSA’s Development of St. Elizabeths Campus website. Read Visiting U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Base National Capital Region. Also see the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s DHS Consolidated Headquarters Program Specific Recovery Act Plan of May 19, 2010.

For further information, contact Todd Skopic of the Henry Company at: and 410.960.3059; visit the Tilson Group at:

Read about the following companies in The Directory: rooflite®Emory Knoll Farms; and Stalite Environmental.

Case Studies

GSA; Clark Construction as well as here; GSA Sustainability Report of July 11, 2011; Perkins + Will; and Andropogon.


Watch the 1:56 U.S. Coast Guard HQ, DHS St. Elizabeths Campus – Project of the Week 7/4/16 video from on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube. Project of the Week video photo credits: All courtesy of © Clark Construction (with graphics © by Perkins+Will).


November 26, 2018 Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Boasts One of World’s Largest Green Roofs by Tiffany Coppock in Roofing Magazine; February 7, 2014 Coast Guard Headquarters Is Striking, Surprising, and Sustainable by Kim A. O’Connell in AIArchitect; July 29, 2013 DHS Opens New Headquarters on St. Elizabeths Campus press release from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In an effort to provide a more unified, secure campus to bring together its executive leadership and operational management, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) consolidated its headquarters in the National Capital Region at the 176-acre St. Elizabeths Campus. The multi-award winning United States Coast Guard Headquarters is the first project at the new DHS St. Elizabeths Campus and its portion alone involved the largest excavation project in D.C. history, creating 1.6 million cubic yards of dirt. While the U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States, it is the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security.

On November 13, 2013 the U.S. Coast Guard renamed the building and dedicated their headquarters in Washington DC the “Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building” by act of Congress. US Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas Albert Munro was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery at Guadalcanal on September 27, 1942.

Formerly a government-run hospital for the insane which opened in 1855, the St. Elizabeths Hospital site is a National Historic Landmark. Located in the Anacostia neighborhood of southeast Washington, D.C., the new complex unites more than 40 buildings spread out within the area while honoring the natural and historic site. The largest construction project in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since the Pentagon was built during World War II, eventually up to 14,000 DHS employees will be working on site.

Phase 1 delivered in 2013, Phase 2 will deliver in 2014, and Phase 3 was completed in 2016. During construction, the General Services Administration increased its green building requirements for all newly constructed federal buildings from LEED Silver to LEED Gold. Despite the change, the team secured the Gold Certification earned in December, 2013.

Despite its massive scale, the use of glass to provide natural light and eight planted interconnected courtyards unite this very site-specific building. Completed in the summer of 2013, the Phase 1 U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters features several construction and operating measures in accordance with LEED v2.2 Gold certification, including:

  • Over 400,000 square feet of green roof above grade used for stormwater management and energy efficiency – the remainder covers over-structure courtyards, which altogether will form the second largest green roof system in the nation.
  • Additional stormwater management system includes wet ponds, bio-swales and step pools to handle stormwater runoff for entire campus; the design team estimates that this entire system reduces onsite stormwater runoff by 47%.
  • Enhanced commissioning of all building systems for maximum efficiency.
  • Use of green housekeeping measures after completion and occupancy.
  • Use of low-emitting construction materials and furnishings.

The project includes an 11-story office building providing 1.2 million square feet for 3,860 employees, a separate central utility plant, and 2 seven-story parking garages. The whole project is built into a hillside and the elevation changes 120 feet on the 176-acre site.

“Complicating matters further were the discovery of two aquifers running through the hill, which would have been severely impacted by construction. Working with Philadelphia-based landscape architecture firm Andropogon, the design team developed an 11-level facility in which only the top two levels are above grade. The remaining nine levels are built into and extend out of the landscape, cascading down the hill almost as if Frank Lloyd Wright had transposed Fallingwater into a million-square-foot government facility…

“Each green roof and courtyard is both a literal and abstract expression of five local eco-regions, from the Piedmont uplands down to the coastal plain. There are 200,000 plants, more than 300 native trees, and about 100 varieties of sedum. One courtyard even features a “dry river bed” that mimics the actual bends of the Potomac as it stretches up toward Washington from the Chesapeake Bay.” ~ AIArchitect, 2014

In addition to 25,000 Sedum plugs, about 233,000 grass and native perennials were provided by Wayne’s Wholesale Nursery and include: Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed); Aster ericoides (Heath Aster); Aster oblongifolius (Fall Aster); Baptisia tinctoroa (Yellow Wild Indigo); Danthonia spicata (Poverty Oat Grass); Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple Love Grass); Eupatorium hyssopifolium (Thoroughwort); Trandescantia ohiensis (Ohio Spiderwort); and Allium cernuum (Nodding Wild Onion). Baker Environmental Nursery supplied equally as large a plant list.

Due to the variety of plants ranging from shrubs to grasses to Sedum mats from Sempergreen, there are four different soil blends on the project. Rooflite® growing media was specified, with Roofmeadow as the growing media consultant. The greenroofs and on structure courtyards of the project used close to 10,000 yards of various rooflite® blends by the time Phase 1 was completed in 2013. Stancills, Inc. Skygarden Division also provided 2,500 yards of the s4 requirement for the job which was a collaboration with Carolina Stalite.

In all, 18 roofs, nine courtyards, and two parking garages are covered with living roofs.

The Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters, DHS St. Elizabeths Campus project has received numerous awards; see the list from Clark Construction.


Our Sponsors