What You Didn’t Know About Green Roofs

By Lynn Hasselberger

Green Roofs

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.

Photo: Lynn Hasselberger

Photo: Lynn Hasselberger

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…


ford 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)

This infographic lays out some other cool facts about green roofs…

green roof infographic

Listen to the latest Green Divas myEARTH360 Report here.



About The Author

The Green Divas share low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green through a weekly radio show, podcasts, videos and blog posts. Working with talented partners and credible sources like myEARTH360 the Green Divas produce content on a variety of topics relating to a healthy green lifestyle. Visit The Green Divas website to learn more, and check out The Green Divas on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter too!




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