Up on the (Living) Roof

Literally! During the recent Association of Professional Landscape Designers Annual Meeting, hosted here in Detroit, I, and the other attendees, had the opportunity to visit The Living Roof at the Ford Rouge Plant, the largest “green roof” in the U.S.

Constructed over twelve years ago and totaling over ten acres, the roof looks more like a beautiful meadow than the roof of a 1.1 million square foot manufacturing facility. Most people view the roof from an observation tower when they visit the facility, but we had the opportunity to actually walk its perimeter. It has a drip irrigation system, but that wasn't needed often this year since we had more rain than normal.  As sedum is a plant that likes dry conditions anyway, the four varieties planted there are an excellent choice. Having vegetation on the roof helps keep the building cool, protects the roof structure, controls HVAC and maintenance costs and safely filters rain water.

What a treat it was!