The US Postal Service can now add another notch to their sustainability belt – a huge green roof on top of their Morgan mail processing facility in NYC. The roof taps in at 2.5 acres of native, drought tolerant vegetation and is one of the largest green roofs in the nation. The seven story facility built in 1933 was originally built for the roof to serve as an extra mail processing location, and because of this was deemed strong enough to support a green roof. The new roof not only serves as a park and open space for employees, but will also save energy for the USPS and reduce stormwater runoff.
The new 2.5 acre park sits on the seventh story of the 2.2 million square foot facility. The new roof will last 50 years, which is twice as long as the roof they just replaced. Polluted stormwater runoff will be reduced by up to 75% in the summer and 35% in the winter. The roof will also help the facility reduce its energy use by 30% by 2015. Native plants and trees are used on the roof and emphasize drought tolerant and low maintenance species, which will be watered with collected rainwater. Planted species include coral carpet, Calamagrostis grass, John Creech, Immergrunchen and Fudaglut sedums. The landscape of the roof was designed by Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects.
The new green roof is just one of the many sustainable projects the USPS has taken on. They recently announced their plans to buy 1,600 fuel efficient vehicles, which makes them the largest fleet owner of alternative fuel vehicles in the nations. They also use Cradle to Cradle certified packaging, energy reduction programs, extensive recycling efforts and new LEED mail facilities.