Counting Up, Another Way of Getting to Netzero

Make an immediate positive contribution to the environment by designing healthy habitats for all life in urban settings.


Most sustainable architectural practices seek to mitigate the environmental impact of building and operating projects, but there is another way that designers can make a positive contribution to the environment - by maximizing habitats on project sites. Rather than counting down the negative impacts, count up the number of ways that a site can improve conditions for the web of life in the city, including for humans.

Washington, DC is one of the most ecologically diverse and habitat rich cities of its size in the world. How can this resource be supported? This panel of designers and ecologist will discuss the ecology of the District, the practices that contribute to the health of our habit, how positive impact can be measured, and case studies that illustrate methods for creating healthy urban habitats such as recreating native communities of plants and biomimicry practices for green roofs and green walls.

In partnership with AIA|DC

Learning objectives

  • Discuss and gain an increased understanding of the ecology of Washington, DC
  • Explore the concept of "habitat value" and methods of measuring it
  • Explain how to become familiar with green roofs, green walls and other building technologies that provide habitat in dense urban settings
  • Describe models of collaboration between architects, landscape architects, and ecologists
User rating:
Average: 4.1 (130 votes)
 $50  non-member
 $35  member
1.50 LUs
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • Joe Chambers

    Joe Chambers


    Principal | Landscape Architecture Bureau

    Joe is a licensed Landscape Architect with over twenty-five years of experience creating landscapes...
  • Holly Lennihan

    Holly Lennihan


    Director of Sustainable Design | Hickok Cole Architects

    Holly serves as Director of Sustainable Design for Hickok Cole Architects' high-performance...
  • Robert McDonald

    Robert McDonald


    Lead Scientist, Global Cities | The Nature Conservancy

    Dr. Robert McDonald is Lead Scientist for the Global Cities program at  The Nature Conservancy. He...
  • Damien Ossi

    Damien Ossi

    Wildlife Biologist, Fisheries and Wildlife Division | Department of Energy and the Environment 

    Damien Ossi is a senior wildlife biologist in DOEE's Fisheries and Wildlife Division. He provides...