Largest Living Roof
The 454,000 square foot roof, roughly the size of 10 regulation size basketball courts, was turned into a 10.4 acre garden. This is the world's largest living roof. The plant underwent a green makeover in 2004 but the primary function of the installation of this green roof was to manage storm runoff. Not only does it collect rainfall but it also helps lower the temperature inside the building by up to 10 degrees. It absorbs up to 4 million gallons of rainwater a year while converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.
In the lower left hand corner of the photo above you can see an orchard of fruit trees. There are several beehives in the orchard which house bees to help pollinate the trees. The honey made by the bees is available for sale.
In addition to the human benefits to green-scaping this industrial area it also now provides habitat for birds and insects. According to the docent, birds started nesting within 5 days of the living roof installation. Some of the animals that are seen here are dragonflies, bees, moths, spider wasp, monarch butterflies, bumblebees, killdeer, barn swallows, peregrine falcon, mallards, Canada geese, and robins.
There are also landscaped areas around the plant which include white coneflower, Russian sage, wild grasses, Queen Anne's Lace, American cranberry and cattails.
This green roof system and surrounding plants and watershed makes for a refreshing site among all the gray of the industrial complex and gives new life to this area.
The photos, with the exception of the last two, were taken from the 80 foot high observation room which provides a good view of the Rouge complex and the living roof.