Ford’s giant green grass roof celebrates 10th anniversary

15 November 2013
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
The giant green roof of Ford's truck company started the sustainable building revolution

The giant green roof of Ford's truck company started the sustainable building revolution [Credit: Karen Chung]

The largest living roof in North America, and once the largest green roof in the world, is celebrating its 10th birthday, aiming to prove green roofs last longer than conventional ones.

Designed in 2003 by American architect William McDonough, the 42,178m² green roof covering Ford Motor Company’s historic River Rouge truck assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan, paved the way for a revolution in sustainable architecture.

While there were fewer than 50 green roofs across the USA when the Ford project was developed, nearly 10,000 have been built since – many of them at prestigious buildings such as the Empire State Building, FedEx facility at Chicago O'Hare International Airport or the Nintendo headquarters in Richmond.

The roof, about the same size as eight football fields, is made from drought resistant sedum and sustains a dynamic ecosystem of over 35 insect, spider, and bird species and 11 plant species. Within five days of the living roof being installed, local killdeer had nested and laid eggs in the sedum.

Ford's living roof represented a progressive ecological innovation, and ten years after completion, the benefits are even more readily apparent. All original plant species have survived, largely on rainwater, and after over a decade of operation no replacements have been necessary.

"The building serves a number of human purposes, while looking quite beautiful and being relatively simple to maintain. This has been a great roof to go back and see, because it just gets better and better," said the projects godfather William McDonough.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1604

"Should the UK's engineers be in or out of Europe? The IET sets out its official position on the EU referendum this week - will you agree?"

->

E&T jobs

  • Solutions Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Mechanical Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Software Renewals Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Preston, Lancashire, England
    • Negotiable

    Software Renewals Manager Would you like to work in a resourceful and developing role within IT Services? We currently have a vacancy for a Software Renewals Manager at our site in Preston Channel Way. As a Software Renewals Manager, you will be responsi

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Technical Manager

    Aggregate Industries
    • Hulland Ward, Ashbourne
    • Attractive salary plus comprehensive benefits

    A key Technical Manager role driving product improvement and compliance with Aggregate Industries, market leader in Construction Solutions.

    • Recruiter: Aggregate Industries

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    Intel
    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Engineers and Scientists

    European Patent Office
    • Munich and The Hague
    • See job description

    We are looking for Engineers and scientists in various technical fields for our locations in Munich and The Hague.

    • Recruiter: European Patent Office

    Apply for this job

  • Director of Product Management

    EMS Recruitment Group
    • West Yorkshire
    • Circa £70,000 PA + car allowance, excellent benefits including lucrative bonus scheme

    Our client is the undoubted world leader in their field. A highly innovative and progressive specialist electro-mechanical product manufacturer....

    • Recruiter: EMS Recruitment Group

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer

    Premium job

    Scottish Prison Service
    • Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
    • £40,654 to £48,579 plus annual supplement of £10,000

    Build Your Engineering Career. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an Agency of the Scottish Government, working in partnership.....

    • Recruiter: Scottish Prison Service

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Installation and Commissioning Engineer

    Premium job

    Crest Solutions
    • Corby
    • Competitive

    You will be involved in installation, commissioning & servicing of printing and machine vision related solutions.

    • Recruiter: Crest Solutions

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T