Monday, August 3, 2009

Special Delivery - NYC's largest green roof courtesy of USPS

Manhattan's largest green roof is perched atop the Morgan mail processing facility. The USPS facility on West 28th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues is not just NYC's largest green roof it is also one of the largest in the nation at 2.5 acres in area.

“The Postal Service is taking the lead when it comes to making a positive impact on the environment,” said Tom Samra, vice president, Facilities said at yesterday's launch. “We’re proud to dedicate our first green roof, and we are pleased to showcase this environmental oasis today in New York City.”

Green roofs are noted for the ability to reduce the energy load of the buildings they sit atop.The Morgan green roof will help the USPS meet its energy reduction target for the facility of 30 percent by 2015. Contaminants in storm water runoff that empties into city sewers will be reduced by 75 percent in the summer months, dropping to 35 percent during winter.

When built in 1933 the roof of the historic landmark was originally expected to serve as an extra mail processing station. Able to support 200 pounds per square foot the roof was deemed strong enough to withstand the added load incumbent with a green roof. Not only is the project environmentally friendly it is financially sound. Another benefit of a green roof is that it extends the life of a roof. In the case of the Morgan site the life expectancy of the roof - 50 years - is twice as long as that of a conventional roof.

Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability stated that the roof provides employees with a beautiful outdoor environment. Sitting seven stories above midtown Manhattan, the 2.2 million square foot roof offers breathtaking vistas. Landscaped with native plants and trees the postal park comes furnished with 14 certified-sustainable Brazilian wood benches and maintenance-free grass.

Sky-high accomplishments aside the USPS has also expanded its recycling program at NYC outlets. Since adding mixed paper and cardboard the post office is recycling 400 tons of materials per month. With more than 2700 tons recycled that is nearly three times the amount recycled prior to last October.

In the last 12 months, the Postal Service also has expanded its recycling program in New York City to include mixed paper and cardboard, resulting in nearly 400 tons of materials recycled each month. Since last October post offices in New York City have recycled 2,770 tons of mixed paper and cardboard, an increase of 1,861 tons, or nearly triple what was recycled in the same period the previous year.

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