Stay on top of the Greenroof & Greenwall World by subscribing here: http://bit.ly/1HAbujW. In 2000, the 600-acre, billion Ford Rouge Center near Dearborn, Michigan, underwent major redevelopment of its 1917 complex, laying the groundwork for sustainable manufacturing at one of the world’s largest and oldest industrial icons. With William McDonough + Partners as design architects, numerous pilots of advanced environmental concepts were constructed alongside the nation’s largest ecologically inspired living roof on the new assembly plant. In 2004, the 10.4 acre Ford Truck Plant green roof was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest living roof and helped jump-start the early North American green roof industry. The green roof was a critical part of the overall comprehensive landscaped system plan, and after visiting Germany, pre-vegetated mats from Xero Flor using the drainage component from Bonar (formerly Colbond) were chosen by Bill McDonough and team due to their thin and light properties. They were installed with just 1.25 inches of growing medium integrated into the mats, and weigh less than ten pounds per square foot when fully saturated. The original mats retain a very healthy appearance with a dynamic mix of plant varieties. The most recent plant coverage study, conducted in 2010 by Michigan State University, found that 13 of the 15 original species were thriving with 93 to 98 percent coverage of hearty vegetation thriving across the roof. In addition to serving as a habitat for nesting birds, the green roof provides insulation for the truck plant, and according to Ford, it keeps the roof an estimated 10 degrees warmer in winter and 10 degrees cooler in summer, reducing energy costs significantly. The River Rouge Plant is open for tours and visitors can see the living roof from an 80-foot observation deck atop the LEED® […]
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