Green roof for Uptown Station in Normal
NORMAL -- A blanket of sedum now covers the east side of the third-floor roof at Uptown Station in Normal.
While "green" roofs are common in such places as Chicago, this is a first for Normal.
"It's very colorful," said Uptown Development Director Wayne Aldrich. "There's no public access to the roof but it will be visible from the fourth-floor council chambers."
The roof treatment could earn extra points toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, but that wasn't the impetus for doing it.
"We thought it would be good thing to do," Aldrich said.
Uptown design standards require all larger new buildings to reach the minimum level of LEED certification. A LEED building is very energy efficient, practices water conservation and provides healthy indoor air quality.
The rest of the roof at Uptown Station will use LEED recommended materials, Aldrich said.
Town Planner Mercy Davison said a green roof helps seal in heat in the winter and keep out the sun in the summer. It also absorbs storm water.
"We're excited," said Davison. "This will be a real example of a green roof . and viewable by the public ."
The blend of about seven types of sedum, a succulent, was produced by LiveRoof in Spring Lake, Mich.
Aldrich said materials, installation and labor were about $50,000.
LiveRoof grows the plants in trays, said Nancy Ballantine, sales specialist for the company. When the plants are mature, the trays are taken to the job site and placed side by side to make a seamless carpet over the roof.
Ballantine said sedum was chosen because it grows well in dry conditions, like a cactus. That also means it won't need to be watered, and because it is a perennial, it will come back every year. Each variety has a different color flower and some of the foliage also is multicolored.
Twin City residents could get a chance to see the "green" roof in mid-June. That's tentatively when the town's administrative offices plan to move from City Hall at 100 E. Phoenix Ave. to the second through fourth floors of Uptown Station. The first floor of the building will serve Amtrak, bus and taxi passengers.
A dedication of the new facility is planned for July 14.