Chicago’s Nine Largest Green Roofs

#1 Millennium Park

Spanning roughly 24 acres, the 1,067,220 square foot Millennium Park is considered one of the largest green roof projects in the world. Completed in 2004, the $475 million project includes landscape art, full grown trees, interactive water fountains and a skating rink in the winter. What many people forget is that the roof actually covers two parking garages, a transit center and the 1,525 seat Harris Theater.

#2 Soldier Field

Situated in Chicago’s museum campus lies Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears. The stadium serves as a memorial to soldiers who have passed away in previous wars. The field itself sits at grade over a parking garage and is approximately 239,580 square feet.

#3 FedEx O'Hare

The roof atop the FedEx O’Hare sorting facility is a component of the O’Hare Modernization Program. At 175,000 square feet, it is the largest green roof on a free standing building in the Chicago area. Intrinsic Landscaping, Inc developed the structure that requires special requirements for foreign object debris in an active airspace.

#4 McCormick Place West

The McCormick Place West expansion created a facility that would allow a unique experience for every visitor beneath an impressive 150,000 square foot vegetative roof. The approximately 20,000 vegetated trays help reduce the heat island effect as well as heating and cooling costs.

#5 Menards (Humboldt Park)

Completed in May 2009, this Humboldt Park Menards store is one of several extensive roof structures in the city. The 104,556 square foot green roof was the last part of the building to be completed. Construction delays created a small time frame for the roof to be installed, which had to be finished prior to its grand opening. The roof was completed in just ten days, equal to more than 10,000 square feet per day.

#6 Quinlan Life Sciences

The Quinlan Life Sciences Center houses the department of biology at Loyola University. Within this building, research instrumentation includes a complete microscopy facility, digital imaging equipment and coincidentally, greenhouses, an insectary and artificial streams. The science center is topped by a 100,000 square foot green roof.

#7 Fletcher Jones Mercedes Benz

The Fletcher Jones Mercedes Benz dealership is an 80,000 square foot facility with state of the art, environmentally friendly technology. The building is also LEED silver certified and has low-flow water features and regional building materials. The 80,000 square foot green roof was completed in 2009 using custom-made vegetated mats.

#8 Aqua

The 80,000 square foot garden at the base of Aqua provides residents with a natural, eco-friendly landscape that is both functional and attractive. The garden uses a drip irrigation system to water the low evergreen and deciduous plantings. In addition, a continuous drainage layer allows excess water to flow under soil, gravel and concrete walls to drains and pipes. It also fights the heat-island effect during the hot summer months by lowering ambient temperatures.

#9 ABN Amro Plaza

The 74,700 square foot green roof at ABN Amro Plaza was built initially for use by employees of the international financial firm. Half planted area and half pavers, the plantings include a mix of trees, perennial plants and annual flowers. The trees were planted fairly large and have grown quickly, so the green roof looks mature and gives a true garden feel.

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One Response to “Chicago’s Nine Largest Green Roofs”
  1. Val says:

    I didn’t realize Soldier Field’s space was that large? I also would like to see the one at Fed-Ex O’Hare. Too cool.

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