Green City, Blue Waters: Roofs Going Green in Philadelphia


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Creating a Giant Sponge

The Wharton Street Lofts received a grant from the Philadelphia Water Department and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation to promote green storm water management practices. The Stormwater Management Incentives Program was the city’s idea to transform large, impervious properties that generate high volumes of storm water runoff and burden the sewer system and waterways into buildings that instead help mitigate storm water.

The Wharton Street Lofts is a residential building that converted what was once a public, then a parochial, school into 45 apartments with 38 parking spots. For urban dwellers who want an environmentally friendly living space, the project offers a green roof deck
open to all residents.

More Than GrassLeo Addimando_Philly_120p

A green roof is more than just grass on top of a building. It is a rainwater capture and management system. “This should be viewed as a model of how to take a large building in a residential neighborhood, work with the neighbors to get a zoning variance, and then successfully redevelop it,” says Leo Addimando, managing partner with Alterra Property Group of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s plan envisions transforming the city into an oasis of rain gardens, green roofs, treescapes, and porous pavements. “We are taking that (old, grey infrastructure) barrier down, and are stopping the water from ever hitting the system,” says Howard Neukrug, the Philadelphia Water Department’s Director of the Office of Watersheds. The City has produced a video that explains how this green vision will be accomplished over time.

To Learn More:

To read the complete story, click on Roofs Going Green.

Click on Green City, Clean Waters (Video): Philadelphia Manages Rainwater with “Green Infrastructure”

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