Thursday, September 04, 2008

Peco Finds Conscience, Unveils Massive Green Roof On Its Philadelphia Headquarters

peco green roof philadelphiaGreen-diggity.
What’s more than 45,000 square feet, can reduce the summertime temperature of a dark roof by 60 to 80 degrees, saves on heating and cooling costs, and grows without conventional soil?

Simple, PECO’s soon-to-be planted green roof.
Go on.
PECO [recently] unveiled the first phase of a five year major environmental initiative aimed to make the company more environmentally friendly through energy efficiency and other cutting edge efforts.

The comprehensive program – totaling more than $15.3 million of work – includes the opening of PECO’s first ‘green building’ in West Chester, the installation of a green roof and a new Crown Lights system at the company’s Center City headquarters, work to secure Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for many company work sites, and environmental and energy efficiency community and customer support.
Wow. An energy company actually putting its money where its mouth is.
Most of the Peco roof garden will be covered with a four-inch thick lawn, planted with delightfully named vegetation, including sedum sexangulare and sedum album coral carpet.

Native grasses and perennials, including asters, will cover an eight-inch thick, 2,000-square-foot section of the roof.

One plant is echinacea, but the company isn't saying whether it will include teas from the plant in an employee benefit package to help with minor colds.

The company touts all sorts of advantages to the roof.

One is a lowering of the hot rooftop temperatures, which Peco says can reach 150 degrees, contributing to smog formation. The new roof will be 60 to 80 degrees cooler.

The vegetation will delay roof replacement and maintenance costs because it will protect it from stresses caused by the sun.

Besides absorbing pollutants, the vegetation can absorb up to 85 percent of the 1.5 million gallons of rainwater that fall on Peco's roof. During intense storms, peak runoff into the city's drainage system will be reduced by 50 percent.
The roof is to be completed by the end of the year.

peco green roof philadelphiaBonus round: PECO also just donated 50 large to the Free Library so they could get Moshe Safdie to put a green roof on the already amazing rooftop terrace of the Parkway Central branch. (Safdie, you may recall, is designing the central branch expansion.)

An underutilized space if there ever was one, we hope this greening — to be finished by October 2008 — helps the rooftop terrace once again become the vibrant public space it should be.

Related:
PECO To Build Largest Green Roof On An Existing Urban Building in Pennsylvania; Company to donate $50,000 to Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation green roof project [ PECO – Official Site ]
PECO to boost curb appeal with rooftop garden [ Philadelphia Inquirer ]
Parkway Central Goes Green [ Free Library Blog ]

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