Vegetative Rooftops Come Alive

A Vegetative Roof in Toronto

Green roofs are growing in more ways than one. More commercial businesses are opting for green vegetation over traditional flat-roof materials on both new and existing buildings.

These green roofs have long been popular in Europe — especially in Germany, Switzerland, and France. Now many North American cities are livening up their rooftops, including Toronto, Chicago, Cincinnati, Portland, Seattle, Manhattan, and Washington D.C. In fact, the U.S. capital has set a goal of 20 percent green roof coverage by 2020.

The popularity of green roofs, while fueled by tax incentives, also provides economic and environmental benefits. Soil and vegetation helps insulate roofs, keeping buildings cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Plus, green roofs dramatically reduce storm water runoff. Consider how rainwater hits a traditional roof, flowing into gutters and, eventually, storm drains. With a green roof, that water is captured and utilized for nurturing plant growth.

Green roofs are also becoming faster, easier, and more cost-effective to construct. Loading heavy soil onto rooftops of multi-story buildings once required moving bagged or bulk soil mix to rooftops by crane, man-lift, or service elevator. Today, more construction crews are using high-powered blowers and hoses.

Express Blower, Inc., of Fairfield, Ohio, manufactures a range of equipment used for the construction of green roofs. The company's truck-mounted machines include five self-contained models powered by John Deere Final Tier 4/Stage IV diesel engines.

Express Blower's medium-duty and heavy-duty models are ideally suited for green roof construction. Using long stretches of hard pipe or hose, they deliver soil and aggregates to rooftops more than 30 stories high to place the material right where it’s needed — no extra handling required.

The mighty machines were used to install green roofs for several large projects, including the Target Center in Minneapolis and the Liberty Center in Fairfield.

Express Blower equipment has long been used for landscaping, erosion control, and seeding. The company also holds a patent that allows the calibrated injection of seed, fertilizer, and granular additives into the stream of soil, called Terraseeding®, which can also be used on rooftops.

"There are different types of green roofs," explains Jason Wedmore, national account manager for Express Blower, Inc. "Our customers have found pretty diverse ways to use blower trucks, and having high-horsepower engines powering our machines gives them a lot farther range."

Express Blower knows that whether on the ground or 30 stories high, John Deere gets the job done.

Our customers have found pretty diverse ways to use blower trucks, and having high-horsepower engines powering our machines gives them a lot farther range.

Jason Wedmore
National Account Manager for Express Blower, Inc.