My first exposure to green roof was in Europe in the 1990’s. It was exciting to hear about the potential of these roofs to reduce stormwater flooding and reduce river erosion. Some of the green roofs are over 40 years old. Perhaps you might ask the same question I did, “Why?”
If you look from the view of a drone in urban and suburban communities you see just how much grassland, cropland, and forest disappear as communities grow. It’s rewarding that people and business want to join your community. However, with all growth there are challenges.
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to bring a friend for an inspection up close of the green roof on the Ford Rouge Plant. It’s the world’s largest green roof (10.4 acres) atop the world’s largest automotive factory. Ford investment in the plant was an ecological investment as well as practical investment. Storing rainfall in the substrate of the 15 varieties of sedum plants stopped the flooding of the factory, saved money in cooling bills, and made modifications to the River Rouge Treatment plant unnecessary. Of course there is the tremendous reduction to pollution as well.
The green roof weighs 12 pounds per square foot and it was very soft to walk on. Friday, it was blooming with lavenders and yellow. It was beautiful.
Here’s a quick interview with Don Russell. Don was a part of the design and installation team of the green roof. He inspects the roof and makes recommendations to Danny for its maintenance.