Commercial Buildings Ford_June2006(1)

Published on October 21st, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


Ford’s Green Roof Growing Strong 10 Years Later

Ford created a garden on the roof of its Dearborn truck factory.


That was 10 years ago, when green roofs were unpopular in the U.S. (there were fewer than  50 at the time, according to Detroit Free Press). According to the same source, there are over 10,000 of them. Such an immense surge  in popularity!

A year ago, when a 2,500 square foot portion of the Ford headquarters needed to be redone, Ford resorted to water absorbing plants.

“Ford was incredibly courageous and forward thinking when they evaluated and moved forward with a green roof,” said Clayton Rugh, manager of Xero Flor America in Durham, N.C., whose parent company in Germany worked with Ford on the project. “They became a well-recognized pioneer.”

Other companies and places which installed green roofs include the Nintendo headquarters in Redmond (Washington), the Empire State Building, and a FedEx building at O’Hare International Airport.

Learn more about the history and details of Ford’s project.

Source: Detroit Free Press

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

3 Responses to Ford’s Green Roof Growing Strong 10 Years Later

  1. Amber Ponce says:

    Thank you for including a photo of the LiveRoof brand green roof system. So that your readers aren’t confused, I’d like to clarify that the pictured green roof is actually atop the Haworth Corporate Headquarters in Holland, Michigan. Haworth installed their green roof six years ago, and it’s still looking fantastic. Like Ford, this Michigan company was pioneering in adopting a green roof, this one on a significant slope, which presented engineering challenges which the design team overcame beautifully as this football-size green roof only requires about 8 hours of maintenance each year by the facility manager.

  2. The Ford green roofs, on the Truck Plant and their headquarters building, were installed with the Xero Flor Green Roof System.

    The Ford Dearborn Truck Plant green roof, measuring 454,000 square feet, is the largest green roof on a single, freestanding building in North America and one of the largest green roofs in the world. Photos of the Ford Truck Plant green roof can be accessed at

    An interview with an official at Ford who was on the original project team for the truck plant green roof has recently been published as a guest feature article on (

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