For more information about U.S. Postal Service sustainability projects, contact [email protected] See the U.S. Postal Service news release “U.S. Postal Service Opens First Green Roof” of 7.22.09 here, and their Green Roof Fact Sheet here. See the Sika Sarnafil Project Awards profile dated 3.17.10 here. Read Linda Velazquez’s Sky Gardens Blog post of 3.28.10 GPW: The U.S. Postal Service, Morgan Processing and Distribution Center; the World Landscape Architect “Interview with EKLA: U.S. Postal Processing Facility Green Roof” by Damian Holmes of 7.29.09 “Post Office Plants 2.5 Acre Park With Green Roof” by Roberta Cruger of 7.24.09., and the NYTimes.com “Postal Service Unveils Large ‘Green’ Roof” of 7.22.09 by Jennifer 8. Lee here. Learn more about the project from the landscape architect, Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects, here: http://www.eklastudio.com/.
The U.S. Postal Service dedicated its first and New York City’s largest green roof high atop the Morgan mail processing facility on July 22, 2009. “Built in 1933, the 2.2 million square foot facility located in midtown Manhattan became a historic landmark in 1986. Its roof was constructed originally to serve as an additional mail processing location, supporting 200 pounds per square foot. When the roof was scheduled for replacement in 2007, it was deemed strong enough to support the weight of the soil, vegetation and other requirements of a green roof. The living roof has non-native and native vegetation, 14 benches and an FSC sustainable wood art wall. The plan fit perfectly into the Postal Service’s commitment to create sustainable spaces and facilities wherever possible. The facility is undergoing the LEED-certification process.
“At nearly 2.5 acres, and safely perched seven stories above the city, the Morgan green roof offers a spectacular panoramic view of midtown Manhattan and the northern New Jersey shore. Its 14 orange-hued Ipe Brazilian wood benches are made from lumber certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council. Native plants and trees include Calamagrostis, a lush, maintenance-free grass.
“The roof will last up to 50 years, twice as long as the roof it replaced. It will also reduce the amount of contaminants in storm water runoff flowing into New York’s municipal water system. The agency projects the reduction of polluted runoff to be as much as 75 percent in the summer, and up to 35 percent during the winter months.
“The Morgan green roof is the largest in New York and one of the largest in the country,” said Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability. “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.” The Postal Service has been honored with more than 70 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,” (U.S. Postal Service news release).
Although the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center greenroof cost $4.4 million, which is twice as much as a traditional roof, it is expected to last twice as long According to Elizabeth Kennedy who was interviewed by the New York Times (see below), the cost of the engineered soil and its installation is about $120 per cubic yard and the cost for the project installation was about $30 per square foot.
Skyland USA provided the growth media for this project, just over 855 cubic yards of rooflite extensive blend. In addition to grasses, greenroof plants include the following Sedums: ‘Coral Carpet,’ ‘John Creech,’ ‘Weinhenstephaner,’ ‘Immergrunchen,’ ‘Fudaglut,’ and ‘Red Carpet.’ The USPS realizes the greenroof is more energy efficient than a traditional roof, and the Morgan Facility is projected to save the Postal Service $30,000 yearly on heating and cooling costs; the facility has been submitted for LEED certification (USPS).