Molded Grating Adds to Sustainable Building
In 2014 a new green rooftop was introduced on top of the Gordon Persons Building in the capital city of Montgomery, Alabama. This rooftop is part of a new urban trend called “green roofing,” which cities are pursuing to revitalize urban areas while reducing the carbon footprint of buildings. The low rise building is occupied by one of the largest pension companies in the world, Retirement Service of Alabama.
The sophisticated rooftop was designed by PWBA Architects and installation was done by J.J. Morley Enterprises, Inc. This project is one of the largest green roof installations in the southeast. The green roof design encourages sustainable building by absorbing storm water runoff, adding extra insulation to buildings for the summer and winter months, improving air quality, and reducing the urban heat island effect. Although green roofs are more expensive than traditional roofs initially, they also are expected to last fifty years – twice as long as traditional roofs.
To ensure maximum durability and versatility, the support structures for this roof were comprised of EXTREN® ¾” angle and 5”, 6”, 8”, 12” I-Beams, accompanied by biomass platforms made of 1”x 1” x 4” DURAGRATE® molded grating. DURAGRATE® was chosen because it would meet the specifications to support green roof trays, plants and media in planters while ensuring proper drainage.
Although steel was originally specified for the job, contractor J.J. Morley Enterprises, Inc. decided material that is noncorrosive, lightweight, and easy to handle would be a better choice. Additionally, steel would have posed a tremendous logistical challenge to transport, modify, and move through the urban terrain of Montgomery. Strongwell FRP turned out to be the ideal solution and will act as a model for future roofs of this kind.
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