CLE first city building to install “Green Roofs”

June 22, 2017

Press Releases

Ohio EPA awarded CLE a grant to make it possible

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) was awarded a 2012 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency under provisions of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act to install two demonstration vegetative (or green) roofs at CLE. 

WHO: Airport Director Robert Kennedy 

WHAT: Press conference and video opportunities of CLE’s new Green Roof 

WHEN: Friday, June 23rd, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. 

WHERE: Concourse A, Gate A5 

Media wishing to attend the event need to RSVP by the COB Thursday, June 22nd to Michele Dynia at This event is on the secure side, without proper clearance you will not be permitted to attend the event. 

Opened in 1925, this historic, publically owned airport is the perfect location for the first green roof project on a City owned building because of its importance to the environment, community, and visibility to visitors in high-traffic locations at CLE. 

This project contributes significantly to implementing the Cleveland Climate Action Plan and the Sustainable Cleveland Municipal Action Plan, as well as CLE’s storm water management and sustainability goals for its own operations. 

Furthermore, Sustainable Cleveland 2019 is a 10-year initiative to engage people from all walks of life to create a “green city on a blue lake.” This U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA Clean Water Act grant funded project was initiated in 2015, the “Year of Clean Water” and completed in 2017 the “Year of Vibrant Green Space” for the Sustainable Cleveland initiative. This will serve as a demonstration project, serving as an inspiration for individuals, private companies, and other cities in Northeast Ohio to help clean our waterways, air, and living spaces. 

CLE installed a combined total of 7,300 square feet of green roof space on two roofs which will capture 120,000 gallons of storm water per year, while also reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from non-point sources (NPS) from entering the Rocky River. In addition, due to natural carbon sequestration by plants, 300,000 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent would be removed from the air each year, helping to mitigate climate change. 

Currently, all airport storm water runoff flows into Abram Creek and the Rocky River which are impaired with nutrients, pathogens, and sediment. The Rocky River then flows into Lake Erie. A decrease in NPS pollution from a green roof will reduce pollutants to Lake Erie. Furthermore, the Rocky River Watershed Action Plan, endorsed by the state of Ohio in 2006, labels storm water runoff in the Main Stem subwatershed a Priority Concern. The Action Plan has a goal to reduce the effective impervious surface area from 39.45% to 15%. 

The two green roofs, manufactured and installed by Rooftop Green, will be visible from the terminal as well as by airline passengers taking off or landing, creating a unique airport experience for passengers. Educational signs will be installed in the terminal next to the green roof sites describing the significance and beneficial aspects of the green roofs, such as decreasing storm water runoff and cleaning the water, decreasing air pollution, lowering the heat island effect, decreasing heating and cooling costs within the respective buildings. 

Rooftop Green is a Cleveland-based manufacturer, that used approximately 117,000 recycled plastic bottles remanufactured in Cleveland by Fiberworx and seeded and assembled the trays in Cleveland. The entire Rooftop Green tray is a filter, enabling water to seep through the tray while maintaining the plant media, decreasing the weight of the green roof and reducing amount of underlayment needed for the trays.