Massive Green Roof Helps Postal Service Deliver Big Energy Savings

WASHINGTON, DC — Green roofs, green buildings and an energy management system have put the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on the fast track to achieve its energy reduction goal.

The USPS said Thursday it is more than two-thirds of the way to reducing energy use by 30 percent by 2015.

An impressive component of the agency's multi-pronged energy strategy is its green roof topping its Morgan mail processing facility in Midtown Manhattan. Covering nearly 2.5 acres, the year-old green roof is the largest of its kind in New York City.

The roof is meeting or exceeding the agency's initial estimates for performance. For example, it is on track to reduce polluted stormwater runoff by 75 percent in the summer and 40 percent in the winter. The facility is enjoying a 40 percent per month reduction in energy use, with average monthly energy expenses about 15 percent lower than previous levels, also due to the replacement of 1,600 windows and other energy-saving measures.

"A year ago, the Postal Service projected the green roof would help the Morgan facility save $30,000 in annual energy expenses," Tom Samra, vice president of facilities, said in a statement. "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."
 
On top of savings it is delivering, the green roof will also pay dividends over the long run since it will last 50 years, twice as long as its predecessor.

USPS also credits its newly implemented Enterprise Energy Management System (EEMS) with helping it manage and measure energy data, saving some $400 million since 2007. Combined with other green building practices, such as its LEED certifications, the USPS has cut energy intensity 21 percent since 2003.

The USPS has long worked to trim its greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to reduce its overall carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2020. Aside from its buildings, the agency has focused on its giant fleet with an eye toward replacing inefficient models with those that use less fuel or alternative fuels.