Parts of the world’s largest sloped green roof collapsed the day before Valentine’s Day in 2011 after record snowfall and two weeks of freezing temperatures finally began to subside. At the time, it was thought that ice had prevented meltwater from escaping, putting too much weight on the roof. Now Aquascape, a garden pond and construction company located in St. Charles, Illinois, has sued nine different companies for a total of $13 million in damages.

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The 240,000 square foot roof atop a custom built structure was planted with native Illinois tall grasses. It was the largest sloped green roof in the world. But then a 700 x 50 foot section of the roof, or roughly one quarter, collapsed just as ice began to thaw after two weeks of below-freezing temperatures. Luckily this happened on a Sunday and no one was hurt.

Two years on and Aquascape has filed a suit against nine architects, contractors and construction companies for the damage, which subsequent studies show could have been prevented with better design and engineering, according to Green Roof Technology.

The companies involved in the lawsuit include Artisan Design Build LLC, Senekteks, Tricon Construction, Olsson Roofing, Tecza Environmental Group, Applied Ecological Services, Metallic Building Company, Area Erectors and Dewberry Architects, The Daily Herald reports. Let this be a lesson for companies throughout the United States that are rushing to add their own green roofs. Make sure your designer has good credentials!

+ Aquascape

Via Green Roof Technology

Lead image by Aquascape via The New York Times, image of intact green roof via Earth911