In late 2009, NSA launched its most ambitious "green initiative" to date. The Green Roof Project covers the roof of one of the Fort Meade campus buildings with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. This project included removing 2.7 million pounds of concrete roof pavers and replacing them with a state of the art waterproofing sealant, expansion joint system and a combination of green roof (vegetative ground cover) and hard surface pavement. The project was completed in 2013.
Removing the concrete pavers provided a unique recycling opportunity for the Agency. Partnering with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the NSA identified a reuse option that would benefit the Chesapeake Bay: using them to create an artificial reef. As a result, the pavers were transported and loaded onto a barge in the Severn River and dropped at a location selected by the Maryland Artificial Reef Program and the MDNR.
Artificial reefs have been constructed for the purpose of enhancing fish populations in Maryland's tidal waters for the past 40 years. The Maryland Artificial Reef Program was implemented to provide:
- Enhanced habitats for fish and benthic organisms associated with reefs
- Increased reef biological carrying capacity
- Enhanced biological diversity
- Increased fish populations
- Sustainable fishing opportunities
This project improved storm water management, cut down on the "heat island" effect, and provided membrane longevity. The green roof areas offer amenities such as picnic tables and wall seating, a trellis garden structure, shaded pavilions, walking paths and relaxing landscaping. This renovated space creates a calming outdoor atmosphere for the workforce.