De Pere Goes Green on City Hall Roof

DE PERE, Wisc (WBAY) An update today about De Pere "going green" on the City Hall rooftop.

We were there last fall when crews began covering the flat roof with eight inches of soil and plants known as sedum.

That 8,000 square feet of space looks totally different today.

"Really happy with how the green roof turned out here on top of City Hall, it's been going well, we haven't had any problems with it and we're hoping that as years go one it continues to get a little bit more full and provide a little bit more value to the city," says Marty Kosobucki, De Pere Parks, Rec & Forestry Director.

At a cost of $250,000, the city expects the roof to pay for itself within 20 years, by reducing heating and cooling costs throughout the year, and extending the life of the roof itself.

"The average roof is going to last us somewhere around 20 years before either we have to replace or do major renovations with it and when we looked at the green roofs the studies and the knowledge and the technology that's out there indicates that green roofs can last as much as 50-plus years," says Kosobucki.

After this first year, Kosobucki estimates the roof is at about 75-percent of it's growth potential, and other than occasional weeding, is maintenance free.

He also points to the environmental benefits.

"All of the storm water now gets sucked into this green roof and it's utilized and it's not being dumped into our river, so there's a value there we can't necessarily put a dollar to," says Kosobucki.

A financial and environmental win-win that De Pere hopes becomes a trend around the area.

"That was one of the goals is to be a role model for this type of technology, not only for other municipalities, but for businesses as well," says Kosobucki.