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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

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Postal Service's NYC Green Roof Getting Results

An update on the 2.5 acre green roof project at the USPS Morgan Mail Processing Facility in Manhattan, NYC. There making progress with this project - and fast.

There's a great deal of research happening on the energy efficiency benefits provided by green roofs. While there are no incentives available for that purpose (yet), projects like these are showing that the savings can be significant.

From USPS News Release: Postal Service Surpasses Green Facilities Goals

Energy Use Decreases by Trillions of BTUs

WASHINGTON — One year after officially opening its first green roof in midtown Manhattan, the Postal Service announced it continues to exceed its energy savings targets, placing the agency more than two thirds of the way to achieving its goal to reduce energy use by 30 percent by 2015.

The green roof, atop the Morgan mail processing facility, covers 109,000 square feet, or nearly 2.5 acres. During construction, approximately 90 percent of the original roof was recycled and reused on the new roof. The green roof is the largest in New York City, and is one of the Postal Service’s largest environmental projects to date. It will last 50 years, twice as long as the roof it replaced, and is part of the Postal Service’s greener facilities strategy. To see time–lapse construction video of the Morgan green roof — one year in 25 seconds — click:  USPS Green Roof Time Lapse Video.

“A year ago, the Postal Service projected the green roof would help the Morgan facility save $30,000 in annual energy expenses,” said Tom Samra, vice president, Facilities. “We’re pleased to have surpassed that goal, saving more than $1 million since the implementation of the green roof and other energy–saving measures at Morgan.”

The Postal Service also projected the green roof would help reduce polluted storm water runoff 75 percent in summer and 40 percent in winter. According to Samra, the Morgan facility is on track to meet those goals, and is taking steps to monitor additional building performance measures including water quality, bio–diversity and urban heat island effect.

Samra attributes the accelerated rate of savings to a 40 percent per month reduction in energy use and an average decrease in energy expenses of 15 percent since the green roof’s opening. The Morgan facility replaced 1600 windows, deployed other energy–saving enhancements, and is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and High Performance and Sustainable Building (HPSB) certifications.

Current LEED–certified postal facilities include Post Offices in Denver, CO, and Southampton, NY; and mail processing centers in Greenville, SC, and Troy, MI. Across its 33,000 postal–owned facilities, the Postal Service is making great strides reducing energy use as it implements energy–saving projects across its inventory — impacting up to a total of 287 million square feet.

In 2009, the Postal Service implemented its Enterprise Energy Management System (EEMS) which allows the Postal Service to monitor, manage and measure facility energy data and performance. Matched with a ‘culture of conservation’ among postal employees, EEMS has helped validate the Postal Service’s decrease in energy use by 10.8 trillion British thermal units (Btus) since 2005, and avoid more than $400 million in energy costs since 2007.

“We’re working greener every day,” said Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability. “Our total energy use is down and to date, the Postal Service has reduced facility energy intensity by more than 21 percent based on a 2003 baseline, well ahead of the federal goal of 12 percent.”

Long considered a sustainability leader, the Postal Service has won more than 75 environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle, 10 Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year, Climate Action Champion, Direct Marketing Association Green Echo, and the Postal Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year, 2009.

For more information about the Postal Service’s sustainability initiatives, visit the greennewsroom and The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.