Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch
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Project Name: Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch
Year: 2010
Owner: City of Milwaukee
Location: Milwaukee, WI, USA
Building Type: Library
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 33000 sq.ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public
Submitted by:

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Architect: Hammel, Green & Abrahamson (HGA)
Contractor: F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co., Inc., a Tecta America Company
Greenroof System: TectaGreen, by Tecta America
The Milwaukee Public Library's green roof lies above the Business and Periodicals Room. Engineered with moisture barriers and insulating features to reduce heating and cooling costs, minimize the urban heat island effect and protect the library underneath, the prime advantage of the green roof is its ability to absorb rainwater. Reducing storm water runoff lessens the load on MMSD sewers, lowers the risk of flooding and basement back-ups and reduces combined sewer overflows into Lake Michigan. The roof is planted with chives and Karl Forester Reed Grass and 12 varieties of sedum.

The Milwaukee Public Library worked with the City of Milwaukee's Office of Enviornmental Sustainability, We Energies, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and Focus on Energy to create the greenroof on their Central Library annex. Tecta America Corp. installed the vegetative roof and solar photovoltaic system. A crystalline solar photovoltaic roof system with a capacity of 30kW was combined with an extensive greenroof, projected to generate 40,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of power per year for the next 40 to 50 years.
All non-path, non-pv areas north of major paths have been planted with four kinds of sun-loving sedums; all non-path, non-pv areas south of major path are planted with four kinds of shade-loving sedums and chives; ornamental grasses also were planted, and the major path is composed of crushed red granite gravel.

Scheduled Green Roof Tours of Milwaukee Public Library’s Central Library are offered Wednesdays at 12 noon and Saturdays at 10 a.m. from mid-April through the end of October and on advance request. The free tours include an introduction to Green Ideas on the first floor, followed by a tour of the roof on the deck area that is surrounded by the green plantings.

Additional thumbnail photos:

The Milwaukee Public Library is located at 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233. Visit the Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch Green Roof page. For more information on the tours, contact the library at 414.286.2797. See the Library's solar case study Milwaukee Public Library Rooftop Goes Solar by Niels Wolter with Focus on Energy. Read the July 25, 2014 Central Library's green roof takes root by Bobby Tanzilo in OnMilwaukee.com; the May 18, 2011 Central Library renews environment via green roof by Bobby Tanzilo in OnMilwaukee.com; and the May 8, 2010 Milwaukee Public Library installs green roof by Don Behm from JS Online. See photos here.

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