This in-progress research project evaluates the carbon impacts of an iconic 2.5-acre living roof designed by SWA almost 20 years ago. The study uses a three-part evaluation system to measure social, environmental, and economic benefits, with a focus on the project’s carbon footprint. The research team is using life cycle assessment (LCA) models and sequestration calculators to generate insights related to plant selection, soil engineering, material sourcing, and green roof assemblies. With the green roof market expected to grow by nearly 80% over the next four years, it is important for landscape architects to understand the carbon impacts and sequestration potential of this project type. The study was funded by the Landscape Architecture Foundation through a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Arts Works grant. The project continues SWA’s work on post-occupancy assessment.


Gustavo Coronilla, UC Berkeley
Nate Kauffman, UC Berkeley
Matt Roberts, UC Berkeley
Jonah Susskind, XL research and innovation Lab at SWA


Nikol Francis Soluski, California Academy of Sciences
Tony Promessi, California Academy of Sciences
Megan Barnes, Landscape Architecture Foundation
John Loomis, Zachary Davis, and Joe Runco, SWA
Anya Domlesky, XL research and innovation Lab at SWA


Landscape Performance Series Case Study Brief: California Academy of Sciences