Steele Memorial Library adds green roof
It's a movement that's getting more creative by the day. People are finding new ways to go green to help the environment. Our Vince Slomsky tells us how the Steele Memorial Library in Elmira is taking their initiative to new heights.
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- The final touches were completed on a garden Wednesday at the Steele Memorial Library in Elmira, but this is no ordinary garden. It's on the roof.
"The past few days we've been laying down a sedum turf and put a nice green texture to the roof system," said Bill Norton, Vice President of Charles F. Evans Roofing.
It's called a green roof and the director of the library says he's excited to be leading the way in a new environmental technology.
"We needed to be proactive. I think five to ten years from now you're going to question why people aren't doing green roofs," said Ronald Shaw, Director of the Chemung County Library District.
The roof is made of sedum plants, which do not require a lot of maintenance. They do however serve several purposes.
"It helps you with the heat in the summer and the winter with cooling and the temperatures. It also helps contain rain runoff, it controls it more," said Norton.
They think this is the first roof of its kind in Chemung County, which is pretty cool. But something that Chemung County taxpayers are going to think is even more cool is how much money they're about to save because of it.
"If you figure the cost to replace the roof is about $820,000. Ninety percent of that is being covered by the recovery act, that's going to save the taxpayers in Chemung County a great deal of money," said Shaw.
That great deal of money comes out to be around a half million dollars, which would have been the cost to replace it with a traditional flat roof, with no help from the federal government, where as other roofs may last around 20 years, this roof could last up to 50. Making it apparent that green is here to stay.
All the sod for the new roof is laid. The entire project will wrap up by the end of this week. It will actually take about two years for the sedum plants to be fully grown.