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Ford water treatment with a green roof

Challenge

Find a sustainable alternative to a water treatment plant.

Problem

Ford was faced with adding a US$50 million mechanical water treatment facility to their River Rouge plant to deal with rainwater run-off.

Solution

The 100,000 sq m Dearborn truck assembly plant was covered with more than 40,000 sq m of living green roof. The roof holds back and cleans rainwater, and helps to save energy by helping to control the internal temperature of the plant. The roof is part of a US$18 million system; a US$32 million saving on the conventional solution.

Benefits

Predicted 7% decrease in energy use
Provides 25% of the productive habitat of an undisturbed green site
Improvements in air quality above the roof of 40% (through dust absorption and the decomposition of hydrocarbons)
Roof membrane protected from thermal shock and UV degradation, thereby extending its life from 25 years to 50

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