December 9, 2009 CONTACT: Tony Mancuso, Director Property Management
St. Louis County Courthouse
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Duluth, MN 218-725-5085
St. Louis County “Green Roof Project” Receives County Conservation Award
from Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC)
At its 2009 Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) Annual Conference being held in Minneapolis this week, St. Louis County’s Green Roof Project received the AMC County Conservation Award. AMC partnered with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, to offer the award for the first time in 2008 to recognize leadership, innovation, and excellence by counties in protecting or improving their natural resources.
Saint Louis County is nearing completion of its first green roof project. The Green Roof Project recognized by AMC, located on top of the county’s downtown Duluth motor pool garage, now has a vegetated green roof that is only requiring stairway installation for completion. Half of the roof is planted with sedum in thin soil designed for rain water retention, UV protection for the roof membrane, protection from the cycle of freeze/thaw (expansion/contraction), added insulation for the building, temperature stabilization at the roof level, all of which will provide an extremely long roof-life. The roofing system is not interactive nor is it designed for frequent or heavy foot traffic.
The other half of the area contains raised planting beds, designed with an access stair from the alley. The planting beds will be maintained and tended by the Duluth Community Garden Club. For easy access between the beds, pavers made of recycled tires have been installed, which weigh less than traditional materials. This half of the roof possesses all the same attributes as the other side, but this portion is interactive, user friendly, so to speak.
Background on the motor pool garage:
In 1957, the county’s motor pool garage, at the corner of 4th Ave. W. and 2nd Street in Duluth, was not built with energy conservation in mind. As a result, this particular structure had become one of the biggest energy wasting buildings owned by the county. Problems included: no insulation in the concrete roof, which was later paved with six inches of asphalt for parking vehicles; an over abundance of glass brick windows, many north facing; and a poor heating and ventilation system causing condensation build up in cold weather and mold growth throughout the structure. Moisture dripped from the ceilings onto the interior parking decks, cars, trucks, equipment and supplies. Any heat generated inside the structure was lost through the uninsulated walls, windows, and roof, costing taxpayers much more money than any other building. Prior to the green roof project, the surface was inspected by a structural engineer and decertified for vehicle parking. Work to bring the motor pool garage up to date started with the green roof in the spring of 2008. The work continues today with expected completion in spring of 2010.
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