Hospital Roof Goes Green
Instead of a traditional roof, one of Metro Health Hospital’s main buildings is covered in a roof of living plants. The 48,500-square-foot green roof, in keeping with Metro Health’s focus on innovative ways to protect the planet, is lower in maintenance and provides greater insulation, while offering a more therapeutic environment for patients.
Research suggests that access to natural scenery from patient rooms may significantly decrease their length of stay and medication use. The majority of our 208 patient rooms have a view of the roof and its vegetation which changes as each season unfolds to provide a colorful display year-round.
Specially-selected plants offer many environmental benefits as well, such as improving air quality, providing increased insulation, minimizing storm water runoff and reducing peak temperatures. Incorporating this sustainable design feature helps Metro Health provide the best experience for its patients, employees and physicians as well as a better environment for our neighbors.
Metro Health uses the green roof as a demonstration and education project to teach about the advantages and feasibility of applying sustainable activities. Thanks to the success of our green roof, Metro Health is able to share some of the numerous benefits of sustainable development with our entire community.
Green Roof Plants
Six different types of drought-resistant plants, including five varieties of sedum, cover the roof, which is larger than an acre. The types of sedum selected work well on green roofs because they hold onto and store water while growing in just four inches of soil. Flowers bloom in the summer and winter, and some of the plants turn beautiful shades of burgundy, amber and purple. The only non-sedum variety on the roof is alliums, which are very hardy and have big pink blossoms in the summer.