Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Greening the William J. Green Federal Building

Last night around 10pm the special lady and I were walking up 7th street back from Washington Square to Old City when we noticed some conspicuous activity up the street. Squad cars had blocked off 7th between Market and Arch and an improbably tall crane, lit by intense spotlights was hoisting large bundles of something from the street up to the roof of the Willam J. Green Federal Building, which houses the local offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Entering the immediate area on foot, we noticed a flatbed truck with a dozen or so bales of 'green roof media' which the crane was lifting one-by-one up to the roof of the building. A little Google-searching reveals this stuff is used to grow grass on building rooftops.

So, a couple of thoughts: 1) way to go on the FBI for greening a building. Not what I expected of a conversative Federal agency. Are they doing this elsewhere? 2) Is a sky-high crane really the best way to do this? I've heard crane rentals start around $10K/day, but it seems to me a few trips in the freight elevator could accomplish the same task. I'd like to see the cost-benefit analysis in energy savings making this a worthwhile endeavor, though in spirit I probably agree that it is no matter the installation costs.

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