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green roof

Green Roof Slows Runoff, Lowers Building Costs

green roofThe Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has installed a green roof at its Racine Avenue Pumping Station, which MWRD says will slow stormwater runoff and result in lower operating costs for the building.

The Racine Avenue Pumping Station houses main sewage pumps that pump wastewater to the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant.

Instead of replacing the most recent roof — a 19-year-old tar roof with numerous leaks and worn-out repairs — with heavy, impermeable tar, the new roof is a combination of asphalt and plantings. Low-maintenance, native Sedum plants were installed because of their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

In addition to slowing runoff, MWRD president Mariyana T. Spyropoulos says the new vegetative roof will absorb heat. It will also help insulate the building, resulting in lower electrical and operational costs.

Green roofs and green walls will grow from a $5.3 billion market in 2011 into a $7.7 billion market in 2017, driven by mandates and incentives in cities worldwide, according to Lux Research.


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