“Greenroofers” at the Greenest of the Green: Greenbuild 2010

November 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm


Lovely Chicago is simply the greenest of the green cities, and there’s no doubt that Greenbuild is the greenest of the green conferences!   See this short and fun video, “Generation Green: Redefining  our Future”  with tons of cool photos around town.   It asks us to “Re: think Chicago” and is all about the merits of the Windy City –  its 25 miles of public waterfront, for example, and how it’s “Re-evolutionizing the Building Industry” by greening everything from to parks and buildings to schools and jobs:

 

Thousands of building enthusiasts and  professionals from across the globe participate at Greenbuild for three days of  informative educational sessions, renowned speakers, green building tours, seminars, and various networking events.   Chicago’s LEED-certified McCormick Place West on  Lake Shore Drive – with its 96,000 sf Green Roof Blocks™ modular system greenroof that retains about 77,812 gallons of stormwater that would otherwise flow into Lake Michigan – is the host for this  exciting annual event.

Held from November 17 through November 19, 2010, retired U.S. General Colin L. Powell kicked off Greenbuild 2010 this morning at the Greenbuild Opening Plenary:  

General Powell inspired the packed room – filled with roughly 12,000 Greenbuild attendees – with messages of leadership and optimism – and a great sense of humor! ~ Greenbuild 2010

Showcasing the latest in innovative products and services, the Greenbuild International Expo is the world’s largest expo hall devoted completely to all forms of green building, including greenroofs and greenwalls!   We try and attend at least the Expo every year, but weren’t able this  time because of our heavy travelling schedule (Mexico City in October and Singapore at the beginning of November), but if you’re there you can:

Support Greenroofs.com’s Advertisers by visiting them on the Trade Show floor:

Advanced Building Products, Inc. – Booth# 595
American Hydrotech, Inc. – Booth# 1345
Bison Innovative Products – Booth# 280
CETCO – Booth# 2254
Colbond Inc. – Booth# L1919
Conservation Technology – Booth# 2182
Green Innovations LTD – Booth# 1631
Green Roof Blocks – Booth# 413 – See President Kelly Luckett, also one of our Contributing Editors, The Green Roof Guy
GreenGrid / Weston Solutions, Inc.
– Booth# 939
International Leak Detection (ILD) – Booth# 2222
LiveRoof, LLC – Booth# 2279
rooflite / Skyland USA, LLC – Booth# 1588
Sika Sarnafil – Booth# 930
Tecta America Corp. – Booth# 378
Tremco – Booth# 423
VAST Enterprises – Booth# 2094
Xero Flor America – Booth# 781

And Green Roofs for Healthy Cities has had a booth there for several years now, promoting the North American Green Roof Industry Association.   Make sure to visit them at Booth # T24 and pick up a Green Roof Tour Map showing all their members’ booths, and get ready to attend the 8th  Annual Green Roof and Green Wall Conference – CitiesAlive! in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. on November 30 – December 3, 2010.

 

Of course, the International Expo is just one great component of this great green show of shows, so for more information about this wonderful city, the line up of speakers, educational programs and activities for 2010 Greenbuild, please visit: http://www.greenbuildexpo.org/

Happy Greening in Chicago! ~ Linda V.

GPW: The U.S. Postal Service, Morgan Processing and Distribution Center

March 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Since 1995 the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been honored with more than 75 major environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle awards for environmental stewardship, and the 2009 Climate Change Champion of the Year Award for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.   Consistently looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact,  last  July the USPS opened its first greenroof facility atop the seven-story Morgan Processing and Distribution Center  (P&DC) in midtown Manhattan, one of the largest mail processing facilities in the country at 2.2 million sf.   Part of a larger facility modernization scope, construction of the project began in September 2008 and was completed less than a year later in July, 2009, and on budget.   At the opening ceremony, Sam Pulcrano, Vice President of Sustainability said:

“Not only does it provide employees with a beautiful, serene outdoor environment, the green roof will help us meet our goal to reduce energy usage 30 percent by 2015.”

Currently the largest in New York City, the 2.5 acre living roof also serves as a park of sorts for employees who have access to the eco-friendly recreational space.   For example, planters and benches of the dense tropical hardwood Brazilian ipe wood, certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council, provide areas for relaxation and require no sealants or staining – which in turn reduces VOC’s from entering the atmosphere and the stormwater system.   High Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) value concrete utility pavers and roof ballast aggregate  were used,  and the light poles and bollards meet cutoff standards for light pollution.   In addition to providing a spectacular panoramic view of midtown Manhattan and the northern New Jersey shore, the Morgan P&DC greenroof is expected to  reduce the amount of stormwater runoff by as much as 75% in summer and 40% in winter, and is projected to save the Postal Service $30,000 yearly on heating and cooling costs.

Built in 1933,  the Morgan P&DC was designated a historical landmark in 1986.   When the previous 109,000 sf roof needed replacing, engineers deemed the structural loading capacity strong enough to support the additional weight of the growing medium and vegetation needed for  a greenroof, so the USPS decided upon a pilot project.   J.P. Patti Company, a TectaAmerica company, was contracted to re-roof the Morgan Building.   During construction only about 15,000 sf needed to be removed and replaced, and nearly 90% of the original roof was recycled and reused on the roof.   The new roof system consists of a Sika Sarnafil ® 80 mil membrane and gypsum roof board over several layers of extruded polystyrene insulation.   Materials were loose laid over the existing roofing and selected roof areas were covered.  J.P. Patti blew the engineered soil  up to  a height of 95 feet and across  the 300 foot-wide roof area.   The original 176 copper column caps, now green due to natural oxidation, continue to define Morgan as a historic building among the grasses and sedums.   The new roof is expected to last at least 50 years.

The firm  in charge of  the design of the new  safe and sustainable rooftop with the  beautifil swaying native Calamagrostis, trees,  and other vegetation is Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects (EKLA), a multidisciplinary firm, who was brought in as the greenroof  designer in 2007.   In July of last year, Damian Holmes of World Landscape Architect  interviewed Elizabeth J. Kennedy, Principal of EKLA, about the Morgan Processing facility.   EKLA and junior landscape architect Sigal Ben-Shmuel, who served as  project technical coordinator for the greenroof, were responsible for the rooftop layout,  media and plant selections, and planting plan.   The EKLA team also worked closely with  the engineering firm, URS Corporation,  to adhere to strict budget limits.  Elizabeth stressed their  goal in keeping the  “concept to a simple, elegant solution that could be completed on time and within budget without sacrificing the essentials of good design.”

Additional  U.S. Postal Service greener facilities strategies include using hybrid electric vehicles and other alternative fuel technologies.   With nearly 220,000 vehicles traveling more than 1.2 billion miles a year in their fleet (the largest civilian fleet in the world), they plan to meet  their goal of reducing fuel usage by 20% over the next five years.   The Postal Service also has expanded its recycling program in New York City to include mixed paper and cardboard, resulting in nearly 400 tons of materials recycled each month.   And last November they unveiled their revamped usps.com/green website, which provides a myriad assortment of useful info to help consumers make environmentally responsible decisions about their mail.   Did you know that the Postal Service is the only mailing and shipping company in America to be Cradle to Cradle™ certified for the environmental and health standards of its packaging?   They state that their packaging supplies are so green, the half billion pieces provided to customers last year prevented more than 15,000 tons of carbon emissions!

Here are some USPS  environmental achievements in 2009:

“¢ Saving $3 million and nearly 100 million kilowatts in an agency-wide energy challenge
“¢ Avoiding $1.05 million in costs via green information technology initiatives
“¢ Helping customers divert 24,000 tons of paper from landfills by recycling in 6,000 Post Office lobbies
“¢ Increasing alternative fuel use 61 percent since 2005
“¢ Using electric, propane and natural gas delivery vehicles and retiring 10,000 non-energy efficient vehicles

Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx and now principal of Majora Carter Group, was on hand at the July 22, 2009, dedication ceremony and commented how this roof was not just a roof. “This is going to be the type of education center that teaches people from around the country,”  she said.  And Tom Samra, Vice President of Facilities, reiterated:

“The Postal Service is taking the lead when it comes to making a positive impact on the environment. We’re proud to dedicate our first green roof, and we are pleased to showcase this environmental oasis today in New York City.”

Submitted for LEED certification, the U.S. Postal Service Morgan Processing and Distribution Center  serves as a shining example of federal agency environmental leadership and commitment to green initiatives  in New York and the  rest of the U.S.   Read more about the U.S. Postal Service’s  sustainability efforts in the January 27, 2010 “Statement by Vice President of Sustainability Samuel M. Pulcrano to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs”  here.

Happy Greening!   ~ Linda V.