US Postal Service Recognized for Environmental Innovation
Largest Vegetated Green Roof in New York City Wins Design Excellence Award
January 24, 2012 – CANTON, MA – Sika Sarnafil, the worldwide market leader in thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes, is pleased to announce the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Morgan Processing and Distribution Center, New York, NY is a winner of the 2011 RoofPoint™ Excellence in Design Awards. The Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing recognizes design excellence through the RoofPoint program, a voluntary, consensus-based green rating system developed by the Center to provide a means for building owners and designers to select commercial roof systems based on long-term energy and environmental benefits.
URS Corporation of Wayne, NJ was the architect and construction manager for the project. The RoofPoint awards distinguish excellence in 10 categories and the USPS Morgan Processing and Distribution Center project won Excellence in Water Management. The USPS Morgan Processing and Distribution Center roof is the largest vegetated roof in the city of New York and is a Sika Sarnafil and J.P. Patti, Tecta America project. The reroofing project totaled more than 109,000 sq. ft. with a vegetated green roof of 68,000 sq. ft. – one of the largest in the U.S.
A Columbia University study has shown the new USPS Morgan Processing and Distribution Center roof dramatically reduces the amount of water runoff into the city’s municipal water system – one of the biggest benefits of green roof systems. Vegetated green roofs slow the runoff from heavy rainfall that can cause sewer overflow, water pollution and pressure on storm water infrastructures, oftentimes reducing municipal fees on water discharge. The Columbia study measured water retention for the roof at 75 to 97 percent – significant retention that greatly lessens erosion and storm water burden on the New York City sewer system.
The USPS Morgan Processing and Distribution Center was the very first vegetated green roof installed on a USPS facility and was part of a new era of proactive environmental leadership and a USPS “greener facilities” strategy, which includes a goal to reduce energy use by 30 percent by 2015.
Other advantages to the USPS Morgan Processing and Distribution Center roof, both environmental and economic, include:
• Combining the vegetated green roof with reflective vinyl roof membrane, pavers and ballast. These will keep the building’s envelope cooler, and the vegetated green roof is also considered an effective insulator. The USPS estimates that the roof will result in an annual savings of $30,000 in heating and cooling costs.
• The vegetated green roof and other reflective roof areas were designed to help to mitigate the urban heat island effect prevalent in big cities. Dark roofs absorb and retain heat while plants naturally cool their surrounding environments.
• Vegetated roof coverings protect the roof membrane from damaging UV rays, from the freeze-thaw cycle, and from repeated foot traffic. These factors can significantly extend the roof membrane’s lifespan as compared to conventional roof surfaces.
• The project minimized waste and environmental impact since nearly 90 percent of the building’s original roof was recycled. Additionally, the new Sika Sarnafil vinyl roof membrane contained 10 percent recycled content and can be recycled at the end of its service life, further diverting additional materials from the waste stream.
Sarnafil roofs continue to stand the test of time and provide customers with cost-effective and long-lasting solutions. Long-lasting roofs need to be removed and replaced less frequently, saving money in replacement costs and reducing the amount of waste destined for landfills.
The Morgan Building was built in 1933 and named for Edward M. Morgan, the postmaster of New York from 1907 to 1917. It is the main processing and distribution center for the city of New York and was designated a historical landmark in 1986. At 2.2 million square feet, it takes up an entire city block and handles up to 12 million pieces of New York City’s mail every day.
Sika Sarnafil has installed millions of square feet of vinyl roofing on USPS facilities and has been waterproofing green roofs and other landscaped areas in the United States for over 25 years. With over 15 billion square feet of roofing and waterproofing membrane installed worldwide, architects, specifiers and building owners know they can depend on Sika Sarnafil for proven products and system performance.
The project participants included Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects (EKLA), Brooklyn, NY; roofing contractor J.P. Patti Company, Inc., Saddlebrook, NJ, a Tecta America company; and Tecta Green of Rosemount, IL, the long-term maintenance contractor for the vegetated green roof.