I dream of a home with a green roof.
My recent trip to Michigan for the 2014 Ford Trends conference (Go Further with Ford) re-ignited my interest in how green roofs work.
Although the event was mostly about vehicle trends (I even got to test drive a few cars on Ford’s official test track and build my own Green Diva pinewood derby car), the highlight for me was the green roof atop the Dearborn F-150 plant.
Ford’s green living roof at one time the largest green roof evva in the world.
It has since been surpassed as largest in the world, but is still the largest living roof in North America at 454,000 square feet (10.4 acres).
As a green diva, of course I love that green roofs are beneficial to the environment. But you don’t have to be a green diva (or dude) to find green roofs appealing—they’re aesthetically pleasing and provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other creatures.
Ford built the green roof to reduce runoff from the factory and parking lots—vast impervious surfaces—which ended up in the nearby Rouge River (not as clean water, mind you!).
Here’s a great infographic with some cool facts about Ford’s green roof…
In summer, depending on the plants and depth of growing medium, green roofs retain 70-90 percent of the precipitation that falls on them; in winter they retain between 25-40 percent. For example, a grass roof with a 4-20 cm (1.6 – 7.9 inches) layer of growing medium can hold 10-15 cm (3.9 – 5.9 inches) of water. (source: greenroofs.org)