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Sept. 7, 2009: U.S. Postal Service Dedicates Its First Green Roof

September 7, 2009
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NEW YORK - The U.S. Postal Service has dedicated its first and New York City’s largest green roof atop the Morgan mail processing facility.

Built in 1933, the 2.2 million-square-foot facility located in midtown Manhattan became a historic landmark in 1986. Its roof was constructed originally to serve as an additional mail processing location, supporting 200 pounds per square foot. When the roof was scheduled for replacement in 2007, it was deemed strong enough to support the weight of the soil, vegetation, and other requirements of a green roof. The plan also fit the Postal Service’s commitment to create sustainable spaces and facilities wherever possible.

The green roof also addresses practical concerns. The roof will last up to 50 years, twice as long as the roof it replaced. It will also reduce the amount of contaminants in storm water runoff flowing into New York’s municipal water system. The agency projects the reduction of polluted runoff to be as much as 75 percent in the summer, and up to 35 percent during the winter months.

At nearly 2.5 acres, and perched seven stories above the city, the Morgan green roof offers a panoramic view of midtown Manhattan and the northern New Jersey shore. The vegetation includes Calamagrostis, a lush, maintenance-free grass.

“The Morgan green roof is the largest in New York and one of the largest in the country,” said Sam Pulcrano, vice president, sustainability. “Not only does it provide employees with a beautiful, serene outdoor environment, the green roof will help us meet our goal to reduce energy usage 30 percent by 2015.”

According to the Postal Service, the Morgan green roof is the latest example of its greener facilities strategy, which includes the use of environmentally conscious building components, renewable materials, energy-efficient lighting and HVAC, low volatile organic compound parts, low-water use fixtures, solar photovoltaic systems, and a LEED-certified facility to open in Long Island.

For more information, visit www.usps.com.

Publication date: 09/07/2009

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