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Starting at the Top

Sedum, other perennials to boost Will County’s ‘green mission’

JOLIET, Ill. — Will County continued its commitment to “going green” this week, as workers installed a green roof on the County Office Building at 302 N. Chicago St., Joliet.

The green roof, which seeks to reduce energy costs and offer other environmental benefits, is the first of its kind in downtown Joliet.

As part of a $3.1 million grant from the United States Department of Energy, through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, Will County was able to complete this project. The 5,920 square feet GreenGrid® roof contains sedum and other perennial plant life pre-planted in 2 by 4 foot trays. Approximately 740 of these modular sections will cover a large portion of the rooftop.

Will County Executive Larry Walsh said this project is another piece of the County’s larger green initiative program, which also includes an aggressive retrofit of county buildings, a gas-to-energy plant at the Will County-owned Prairie View Landfill in Wilmington, and a variety of educational efforts directed toward students of all ages across the county.

“Will County is very progressive in its plans to embrace ‘green practices’,” Walsh said. “The installation of this green roof will be both an environmental and an economical benefit for the County.”

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, funded for the first time by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, represents a presidential priority to deploy the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable energy technologies across the country.

The program is modeled after the Community Development Block Grant program. It is intended to assist local communities to develop, promote, implement, and manage energy efficiency and conservation projects and programs designed to:

• Reduce fossil fuel emissions

• Reduce the total energy use of the eligible entities

• Improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building, and other appropriate sectors

• Create and retain jobs

Weston Solutions, Inc., in Vernon Hills, Ill., supplied the GreenGrid® modular trays filled with the plants and Bennett and Brosso, a company based out of Romeoville, was responsible for the physical installation of the trays. The seven different species of plant life used in this green roof are low maintenance, functional foliage designed for this type of project.

Green roofs assist in storm water management by absorbing excess water and delaying water runoff. The roofs also help lower cooling costs by providing an extra layer of insulation.

“This is a win/win project,” Walsh said. “Not only will this green roof save taxpayer dollars, it is environmentally responsible. Most importantly, we are using local labor for this project.”


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