FedEx Express hosts largest green roof at any
United States airport
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp.,
opened the new package sorting center at Chicago’s O’Hare International
Airport, which conducts operations under the largest continuous
vegetated roof at an airport in the United States – or the size
of three football fields.
At just under 175,000 square feet, the roof is plainly visible
from planes as they land at one of the world’s busiest airports.
The recently-opened building is also the largest green roof on
a freestanding building in the greater Chicago area.
FedEx is already known for its green initiatives, such as the
addition of all-electric trucks into its fleet (including six
currently making deliveries in the Chicago Loop) and the purchase
of fuel-efficient Boeing 777s. But green roofs at FedEx and elsewhere
at O’Hare are more than just a pretty tapestry of greens, pinks
and gold foliage.
These roofs also benefit the environment by:
•Reducing air pollution
•Reducing storm water runoff
•Extending the average life of a roof from 15-20 years to 40-50
•Lowering energy costs by 35 percent a year
•Reducing airport noise
“The cooperative effort between FedEx and the Chicago Department
of Aviation’s O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) is a prime example
of how to immediately reduce the environmental impact of airports
and create value for business and for the community,” said Don
Colvin, vice president, Properties and Facilities at FedEx Express.
“The creation of the green roof space is a key component of going
green across the City of Chicago, and at O’Hare and Midway International
Airports,” said Rosemarie S. Andolino, commissioner of the Chicago
Department of Aviation.
FedEx and the OMP are also pursuing LEED Gold certification for
the facility, extending the company’s intent announced earlier
this year of LEED certification for all new US FedEx Express
The FedEx Express facility is the latest success in what has
been years of initiatives to make O’Hare greener, such as building
LEED certified airport facilities, recycling construction materials
on the airfield, utilizing clean emission vehicles and construction
equipment, installing energy efficient lighting, and even providing
a habitat for honeybees with the nation’s first on-airport apiary.