Mega green roof minimizes stormwater runoff

What was once an old drive-in theater in Upper Providence, Pennsylvania, has recently been converted into a 400,000-square-foot shopping center. The much-anticipated shopping center houses some of the largest retail giants in the country, helping to meet the growing community's shopping needs. Developers and local officials took considerable time in planning the large facility in this semi-rural and forested area. One key concern was the amount of stormwater runoff it would create...

Feb 5th, 2008

UPPER PROVIDENCE, PA, Feb. 4, 2008 -- What was once an old drive-in theater in Upper Providence, Pennsylvania, has recently been converted into a 400,000-square-foot shopping center. The much-anticipated shopping center houses some of the largest retail giants in the country, helping to meet the growing community's shopping needs.

Developers and local officials took considerable time in planning the large facility in this semi-rural and forested area. The goal was to improve the community, and not burden it with such a large structure. One key concern was the amount of stormwater runoff it would create.

Historically, forested areas such as Upper Providence could naturally absorb stormwater runoff after a rainfall event. However, as these areas are covered with buildings, streets, and shopping centers, the runoff must be piped into sewer systems, many of which are ill equipped to treat the contaminated runoff.

To help ease this burden, developers decided to cover the 2.3-acre roof of the shopping center with a Green roof. They selected the modular Green roof manufactured by GreenGrid®, a business of Weston Solutions®.

The GreenGrid modules are preplanted with engineered soil and hearty, drought-resistant plant media. The lightweight modules are then delivered to the facility, where they are laid out on top of the roof. As many as 4,000 square feet can be installed in one day.

"This Green roof is an integral part of the project's stormwater Best Management Practices," says Jared Markham, a project manager with Weston. "And now that it is installed, it will retain and detain significant amounts of rainwater year-round...easing the facilities impact on local water treatment facilities."

GreenGrid® Green Roof System is a business of Weston Solutions, Inc -- a leading environment and redevelopment firm delivering comprehensive solutions to complex problems for industry and government worldwide.

###

More in Urban Stormwater