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Morgan Processing and Distribution Center Green Roof

 

Atop a huge United States Postal Service (USPS) building in Manhattan, one of the largest green roofs in the U.S. opened in July 2009. 

The green roof of the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center is expected to save the USPS $30,000 per year in heating and air conditioning costs—and it provides postal workers with an urban oasis of grass, trees, and flowers on what was once a typical tar-and-stone-covered urban roof.

WSP USA, in joint venture, provided construction management services for the 2.5-acre green roof. Other energy-saving measures we helped the USPS implement at this facility included installing 1,600 double-glazed windows and replacing 58 air handling units which, together with the green roof, qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. 

Ninety percent of the original roof was retained and topped with a new polyvinyl chloride roof and a drainage mat that re-circulates the water. Roof vegetation is supported by a thin layer of soil. The soil and vegetation act as a large sponge that cools the building and reduces storm water runoff significantly. Most of the vegetation is self-sustaining.