Ford Motor Co.’s Green Roof:
Saving Money While Protecting the Environment
A vegetated, living roof installed atop Ford Motor Co.’s massive Rouge plant, in suburban Detroit, was the largest project of its kind when completed in 2003. The living roof conserves energy and reduces stormwater runoff, which is a major problem for the nearby Rouge River.
The 10.4-acre living roof was part of a $2 billion makeover that was aimed at making Ford’s Rouge truck manufacturing facility more environmentally friendly. The project demonstrated that corporations could conserve energy and reduce stormwater runoff by installing living roofs on large manufacturing facilities. Rain and snowmelt carries pollutants to the Rouge River, where oil, grease and chemicals can harm fish and other aquatic life and the green roof will help absorb these pollutants to reduce their presence in the river
Resource Challenges Addressed
- Stormwater runoff
- Polluted runoff
Results and Accomplishments
The living roof, which keeps the factory cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, decreased energy use at Ford’s Rouge plant by 7 percent. The living roof was also a cornerstone of green infrastructure that can filter up to 20 billion gallons of stormwater annually at the manufacturing facility.
FORD ROUGE PLANT LIVING ROOF
Location: Dearborn, Mich.
Approximate cost: $18 million
Key partners: Ford Motor Co., William McDonough & Partners (architect), ARCADIS (environmental consultant), Michigan State University and several companies that provided plants and construction materials.
Types of jobs created: Architects, landscape designers, plant and soil scientists, chemists, biologists and civil engineers.