Monday, March 26, 2007

This is really going green !

Going green is a hot topic these days but this gives a whole new meaning to the topic and may be a bit "over the top". The complete article from the Connecticut news report has been included here...

The Middletown Press
March 26, 2007
Jeff Mill, Press Staff

Green top suggested for Lowe's building

CROWMELL - An environmental analysis of the proposed Lowe's store has suggested the store have a "green" roof - have grass, plants, and/or flowers growing on the roof.

Lowe's is preparing to resubmit its application to build a 152,000 square-foot store on the north side of Route 372. The North Carolina-based home improvement company is scheduled to go before the Inland Wetlands Commission Wednesday as it renews its request for approval.

A similar proposal last year fell just short of approval.
As part of the preparation for the submission to Inland Wetlands, a copy of the Lowe's proposal was submitted to the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District for review and comment.

The district responded with a four-page analysis of the proposal, and included a series of recommendations intended to reduce the amount of storm water runoff that is discharged into surrounding water courses.

Included in the analysis, near the top of page 3, is a suggestion that "serious consideration should be given for a vegetated roof...for at least a portion of the building."

The analysis notes the roof of the proposed building is equal to 3.3 acres.
"Vegetation on a roof captures a significant amount (of) rainfall, thereby reducing runoff."

A "green roof" can mean just that a roof painted green. Or, it can mean what is in essence a lawn or a garden growing on the roof.

There is even a Web site - - that explains the concept.

There are two types of green roofs: intensive or extensive, the Web sites explains.
There are also potential real economic values to such a concept: covering a roof with grass or a mix of flowers and grass can serve as natural insulation. It can prevent the breaking down of a standard roof membrane through prolonged exposure to the sunlight and serve as an acoustic barrier to dampen noise.

There are also psychological and aesthetic considerations mentioned which can be achieved through the use of a green roof. But perhaps the greatest benefit comes in tempering the rainfall runoff, the web site suggests.

While the most exotic, the green roof proposal is by no means the only suggestion from the council about how Lowe's - and the town - can minimize the impact of storm water runoff.

The review suggests reducing the number of required parking space and constructing a portion an outdoor display area of a "pervious material" rather than asphalt.

The report proposes that the runoff from the parking lot "will be collected in catch basins or a vegetated swale," while roof runoff will be directed into an underground system that will overflow into Cole Brook."

The council said its recommendations are "intended to help minimize potential adverse impacts such as sedimentation due to uncontrolled soil erosion, the degradation of downstream receiving areas by non-point pollution courses such as road deicers, fertilizers, pesticides and heat/thermal changes," as well as "the loss of stability or function of wetland systems."

The report is intended as an advisory document to assist the town's land-use commissions in their analysis of the plan.

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