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Washington was created to be and is our capital, the place where the functions of government take place at the highest level. In planning any part of Washington's monumental core, I believe we'd all agree that one highly desirable result would be winding up some new features or tools that would let us govern ourselves even a little bit better: Tools that would let the three branches of our government work together better; ...more »
The current owner of the land that the plaza part of L'Enfant Plaza occupies plans to replace it with yet another office block. A far higher use of this land and one in keeping with the objectives of this project would developing it as an extension of the Mall that would provide would provide a sheltered space for the sort of activities currently conducted on the Mall itself (festivals, etc). GSA: Get creative in working ...more »
Asking your forbearance (I'm not an engineer or architect), but imagine if the Forrestal Building were re-modeled into two cuboids (3-dimensional rectangles) or towers on either side of 10th Street. These two towers could be connected by an enclosed bridge/walkway (or bridges/walkways) whose walls would be largely glass. DOE would give up the office space that is elevated above 10th Street but they would regain it ...more »
A "Green Decathlon" could be a crown jewel for the Ecodistrict. Like DOE's Solar Decathlon (which is being moved this fall to a site adjacent to the FDR Memorial) the contest would harness huge amounts of free talent and energy from universities around the world in a competition to design and build the "best" green housing units. "Best" would be defined by the contest sponsors (DOE? HUD? Modular, or Manufactured Housing ...more »
Since one of the main goals of the Ecodistrict project is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, all possible energy sources should be evaluated. While geothermal is probably the most promising, there are a few places in the Ecodistrict that could might be able to produce modest amounts of energy with vertical wind turbines. In general average wind speeds in the Washington area are low but there are a few places where ...more »
Tap private donations to pay for improvements. We are in an era of increasingly tight resources. If someone is willing to make a big donation to help pay for a park and decking over I-395 let them have their name on the park located there. If someone else were willing to pay for a green roof with public access let them pick the name for that feature. Smaller donations could go for things like permeable, resilient ...more »
There are copious amounts of water available year-round at a steady temperature of somewhere between 54 and 57 degrees (Fahrenheit) underneath the Southwest Eco-district. The payback period for installing geothermal heating and cooling has varied between 4 and 12 years in Silver Spring Md and New York City. Nationally, one-sixth of our energy use is devoted to heating and cooling buildings. In 2009 about 35% of our ...more »
This elevated freeway is a huge source of noise pollution in a very densely populated area (much more densely populated than Virginia and Maryland suburbs for which sound barriers were built.) Also, last I checked SW DC was an air pollution hot spot.
PROPOSAL: Build sound barriers covered with plants that will reduce air pollution in this area.