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Metro Newsroom

Construction Begins on City Green Roof

Wednesday September 3, 2008

Construction of the first green roof on a Louisville city-owned building is underway, and city engineers expect the new roof to reduce energy costs and improve insulation. The roof over the Metro Development Center at 444 S. 5th Street will be planted with hardy vegetation and trees. Contractors expect to complete the project in December.

“This is an exciting project for us, one that continues our focus on Go Green Louisville and on improving energy efficiency in the city,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “Green roofs are an innovative way to beautify the city, improve air quality and decrease energy use.”

Green roofs insulate buildings and absorb most rainfall, reducing the amount of storm water that goes into the sewer system. Green roofs also are visually pleasing – creating a green oasis in the sky while reducing the urban heat island effect.

The Metro Development Center is a former parking garage and needed a new roof. City engineers chose this building as the site for the city’s first green roof because it is large (at 13,400 square feet) and flat, so it will have a large footprint and a large impact.

The Zero Company, a Tecta America Company, won the contract for installing the roof. “We’re seeing a huge increase in demand for green roofs,” said Pat Dorsey, project manager for the Louisville office. “More and more people are realizing the enormous benefits of a green roof – on both residential and commercial buildings.”

The Metro Development roof will be planted mostly with sedum, which is a hardy, drought-resistant succulent. Four planters will include green hawthorn trees surrounded by prairie dropseed grass.