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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-12-03, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
Mr. Embargo
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Ford Installs World’s Largest Living Roof On New Truck Plant

Ford Motor Company today completed installation of a plant-covered roof atop its new Dearborn Truck Plant final assembly building and earned global distinction for its achievement with a Guinness World RecordsTM designation for the World’s Largest Living Roof!

The 10.4-acre living roof is part of Ford’s ongoing redevelopment of the Ford Rouge Center, which includes a number of progressive environmental initiatives. The roof is composed of a drought-resistant perennial groundcover, called sedum, which is planted into a specially layered bed. Virtually maintenance-free, it can absorb up to 4 million gallons of rainwater annually and is part of a broader storm-water management system installed at the Rouge.

In addition to absorbing rainwater and carbon dioxide, the sedum roof produces oxygen and provides natural overhead insulation for the final assembly building, thereby reducing energy costs. It also is expected to last twice as long as a traditionally constructed roof.

“The living roof at the Rouge is living proof of Ford’s ongoing commitment to being an environmentally conscientious corporate citizen,” said Tim O’Brien, vice president, Corporate Relations. “Ford has taken a progressive stance on environmental issues, and with our redevelopment of the Rouge Center, we are putting our words into action. In addition, the roof and other environmental initiatives we're implementing are cost effective. Year after year, they will save us money, as well as conserve resources.”

“The living roof and the restoration of natural areas and habitats within this 600-acre complex are part of an intricate storm-water management system,” added Jay Richardson, Rouge Center redevelopment manager. “This system will provide an added benefit to the southeast Michigan community by improving the quality of ground water and storm-water runoff flowing into the Rouge River.”

Other than the watering required during its early growth stage, the living roof is maintenance free, requiring no mowing or trimming. On average, the succulent sedum plants grow only 6 inches tall and spread horizontally, crowding out weeds and other undesirable plants. When fully developed, the roof will resemble a meadow with varying lengths of growth and small red, white, yellow and purple flowers.

Rather than being planted in loose soil, sedum on the living roof grows on a four-layer, mat-like system that is only 3 inches thick. The bottom layer is a root-resistant membrane, followed by a drainage layer, a fleece mat, a vegetation blanket of semi-organic material and finally sedum plants.

When rain falls on the living roof, it is absorbed or filtered through the plant roots and soil bed. Excess runoff then is directed into an intricate storm-water management system composed of filtering rock beds and ground-level plantings; ditches filled with greenery, called swales; porous pavement installations; retention ponds; and underground storage basins.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-12-03, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
Mr. Embargo
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Ford Motor Company’s new Rouge Visitor Center was awarded Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Gold certification is based on the Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™. It recognizes the Ford Rouge Visitor Center as a facility that is energy efficient, good for the environment and good for the people who work and visit there – in other words, a "green" building.

The 30,000-square-foot Visitor Center was designed and constructed using sustainable design practices to create an environmentally sound and resource-efficient building. The center is one of only a few facilities nationwide to be recognized at this level through the LEED rating system.

Designed and constructed by Ford Land, the real estate arm of Ford Motor Company, the Visitor Center is the third Ford Land-constructed facility to receive LEED certification. The two other LEED-certified facilities are the Premier Automotive Group’s North American Headquarters in Irvine, Calif., and the Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility in Allen Park, Mich.

"Ford incorporates LEED practices because they’re environmentally friendly and are good business. They deliver long-range cost benefits, promote the conservation of resources and complement the development of natural habitats," said Tim O’Brien, vice president, Corporate Relations. "The LEED practices support values that are essential to our corporate mission. Environmental responsibility has long been a key value of Ford Motor Company."

Some of the green design features incorporated into the Ford Rouge Visitor Center include:

Vertical landscaping – vegetation is growing on trellises mounted to the sides of the facility. The plants shade the building, provide a layer of natural insulation and offer a literal "green" expression to the outside world, helping to return natural elements that may have been displaced when the building was constructed.
Gray water system – a 12,500-gallon cistern collects rainwater and recycles it for exterior irrigation and flushing toilets, eliminating the need for municipally supplied water for those uses.
Solar array – photo sensory cells capture sunlight and convert it to energy for use in the center.
Recycled and recyclable materials – more than 50 percent of the building’s materials are made of recycled content.
Among the most significant green features propelling the Visitor Center to its Gold status were the Innovation and Design credits. Most notable is Ford’s ability to educate the anticipated 250,000 annual visitors about environmental sustainability through its permanent displays, theater presentations, observation deck and tours of the adjacent Dearborn Truck Plant.

"Ford Motor Company is generating more than tangible benefits for the environment through its facilities," said Christine Ervin, USGBC president and CEO. "This Visitor Center also will accelerate market interest in green design through a high-impact educational program."

Since March 2000, the USGBC, through its LEED Green Building Rating System™, has recognized buildings that meet specific sustainable design criteria. To date, nearly 800 projects have registered their intent to certify under the LEED rating system.

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