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Putting a stamp on USPS's first green roof

September 14, 2011 |

The United States Postal Service uses sustainable building practices to help protect the environment. One example of this is the USPS’ first vegetated green roof, which was installed on the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center in mid-town Manhattan in 2009.
At that time, the 55,000-sf green roof, which includes a waterproofing membrane from Sika Sarnafil, was the largest vegetated roof in New York City and the entire eastern seaboard.
The Morgan Building roof totals 150,000-sf. In addition to a vegetated green roof, other roof areas were upgraded and included 55,000-sf of reflective concrete pavers and ballast, which were also placed over a Sarnafil waterproofing membrane, and 40,000-sf of EnergySmart Roof—a reflective, energy-efficient vinyl roofing system from Sika Sarnafil.
The USPS decided to go with a green roof to replace a major section of a failed built-up roof, and the first task was finding a roofing system that would meet requirements for performance as well as budget and Return on Investment. Sika Sarnafil has been waterproofing green roofs and other landscaped areas for more than 25 years, with more than 15 billion square feet of roofing and waterproofing membrane installed worldwide
For the vegetated green roof, gypsum roof board and the Sarnafil membrane were installed over three-inch polystyrene insulation. A Sarnafil protection sheet was installed over the membrane to protect it from construction traffic and various green roof components. The area was then covered with a drainage layer and a water retention mat. Four to eight inches of green roof soil media and sedum/ grasses were installed on top.
Postal officials estimated that the green roof system would reduce the building’s annual storm-water discharge by 51%, and that sustainable upgrades to the overall roof would save the agency $30,000 annually on heating and cooling costs.
More green roofs and fewer dark colored roofs equals a cooler city. In cities where ambient temperature can be up to 10 degrees hotter than the surrounding areas, green roofs help to bring the overall temperature down. Further, a green roof protects the waterproofing membrane from damaging UV rays, freeze-thaw cycles and repeated foot traffic, extending its lifespan.
The USPS has been incorporating sustainable practices into virtually all phases of its operations in an effort to protect the environment. The Morgan Building roof will help to curb water pollution, save on energy costs, and work to mitigate the urban heat island effect.
Sika Sarnafil has been active in federal government procurement for more than 25 years and dozens of federal agencies rely on the performance of Sika Sarnafil roofing and waterproofing systems.
Products from Sika Sarnafil exceed “cool roof” requirements and are compliant with DOD Unified Facilities Criteria and U.S. Postal Service Building Design Standards.
Millions of square feet of Sarnafil vinyl roofing have been installed on postal service facilities around the country, including numerous Processing and Distribution centers.
For more information contact: Jay Thomas, marketing director, Sika Sarnafil, 800-451-2504, thomas. or visit BD+C

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