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Sustainability

Green roof living up to its potential

October 12, 2011
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SKOKIE, IL — A green roof installed by Tecta America Corporation on top of the U.S. Postal Service''s (USPS) Morgan Processing and Distribution Center in New York has been found to limit stormwater runoff, according to a press release.

A study by Columbia University tracked rainfall throughout June 2011 and found that the vegetative roof of the Morgan facility prevented 77 percent of all rainfall on the facility from entering the New York City sewer system in the form of runoff, the release stated.

"The findings of this study are important to building owners given the stronger emphasis more cities are placing on the management of stormwater runoff," said Angie Durhman, Tecta Green manager.

"In addition to the environmental benefits, minimizing stormwater runoff can save building owners thousands of dollars in reduced fees and tax-based incentives," Durhman added.

According to the release, limiting stormwater runoff can help prevent debris, chemicals and other pollutants gathered on pavement and building surfaces from entering a sewer system, and eventually lakes, streams and rivers.

"Not only is this the largest green roof I’ve ever studied, but the depth of the soil substrate and how effective it has proven to be in managing rain water truly set it apart," said Dr. Wade McGillis, the Columbia University Lamont research professor overseeing the study.

Other results of the study found that the green roof was able to neutralize the effects of acid rain, altering the pH level of initial rainfall from four to more than eight once passed through the plants and soil atop the roof, the release noted.

Click here to read the complete release.

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