Innovative Green Roof

green roof

Green Roof Installation in Milwaukee, WI

American Rivers has recently completed a 4,000 square foot green roof in Milwaukee’s Kinnickinnic watershed, at the Energy Exchange. This project will reduce the amount of stormwater runoff, and result in decreased stress on Milwaukee’s aging sewer system. The roof was completed through funds provided by MMSD’s Green Roof Initiative, and a match by American Rivers.

The project is one of the most innovative green roofs in the country. The roof provides the opportunity to view four national vendors of growing media and green roof materials on one site. Three different extensive systems are on display, as well as a state of the art intensive section. Each section will be monitored for performance, and various water quantity and quality parameters.

LiveRoof, Etera and Xero Flor all provided extensive growing media for the roof in the form of mat, tray and plug systems. White Oak Farm provided soil media for an intensive section of the roof, which has a soil depth of 12 inches. Mayfield Nursery provided plantings which include coneflowers, burning bush, juniper and native grasses.

The roof is estimated to hold over 4,000 gallons of water per rain event, and will conserve 35% of heating and cooling costs over the course of the year. The roof will also filter airborne particles, while reducing Urban Heat Island Effect.

The Energy Exchange is a showcase for proper installation of Stormwater Best Management Practices. The Energy Exchange displays over 7,500 square feet of permeable pavement, 4,000 sq. ft. of green roof, 1,100 sq. ft. of bioswales/rain gardens, two 1,000 gallon rain harvesters and rain barrels. The Energy Exchange and newly built green roof are open for public tours; please contact Sean Foltz at for more information.