For those of you looking to remodel your homes with sustainability in mind, these roof designs by up-and-coming architect William McDonough (of Cradle-to-Cradle fame) might just might be the next big thing. Already lauded for their multiple environmental-friendly uses (providing insulation, habitat, and storm-water management), McDonough is determined to take his green roof designs to the corporate world.

Check out this McDonough design for Ford:

The only downside is that the price tag is still a bit on the hefty side: McDonough put together this Ford design for $13 million, and green roofs typically cost about $8-$10 per square foot (vs. $4-$6 for a typical tar roof). Tax incentives and requirements that buildings using city financing must have green roofs have increased their popularity in urban centers (like Chicago), but for the present, you’re still more likely to see vegetation in corporate/business districts than private homes.

5 thoughts on “Green roof makeover”

  1. I like this project very much because it demonstrates key elements of modern green roof technology developed in Europe nearly 30 years ago. For instants in Germany you find an annual new green roof construction of more than 100 million square foot since the 80’s.
    This project is a very good promoter for green roofs but it has nothing to do with a “green” philosophy of the company. Even this size of green roofs is virtually nothing comparing to all Ford’s facilities and buildings. I could name many European car manufacturers who have at least 20 times more green roofs by area and also buildings with a much smaller footprint from the beginning.
    In the US many companies, architects and contractors use (abuse) green roofs to demonstrate a “green” image and to show-off their innovation but it isn’t new at all and they shouldn’t take it to the world – actually they took it from there.
    However the key is doing things right and not creating more costs for the client in the long run (i.e. maintenance, watering etc.). This requires much more than a green mindset – it requires acknowledging and understanding state-of-the-art from around the globe. While we are reinventing the wheel we can’t reduce cost, increase quality or maximize longevity with function.

  2. Since my last comment there is some time past. Enough time to add some more thoughts about this green roof project and the costs.
    In the last three years Ford had approx 200,000 visitors on the green roof. Considering the marketing value (visitors and direkt markting with presentations) the green roof already paid for itself. Actually most green roofs owner in the country experienced the same return of investments which is hardly mentioned in any docu.


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