Cedar Rapids’ First Green Roof

KCCK’s Clean Up Your Act interviews landscape architect Ruth Fox about Cedar Rapids’ first green roof recently installed atop the Water Tower Place condominiums in downtown. The green roof is estimated to mitigate 80 percent of storm water runoff from the building and is hoped to spur other green roofs in the city. Several new and renewed civic buildings due to the flood are either planning or considering to incorporate green roofs, including the new public library, and potentially the new federal courthouse and Veterans Memorial Building (City Hall). Ruth points out that its important to cover a substantial area of a building’s roof to produce significant environmental benefit.

> KCCK Clean Up Your Act: Cedar Rapids’ First Green Roof
> Full interview with Ruth Fox
> Clean Up Your Act Podcasts


  1. Is that actually a functioning water tower? [I should probably listen to the podcast for the answer to this question, but] what do they actually do with the storm water? Does it get collected, or does it only irrigate the plants on the roof?

  2. Brady Dorman

    October 22, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I’m not certain of its functionality, but am pretty certain the water tower is not currently in use. The rainwater is simply absorbed by the new plant material on the roof as opposed to “running off” the building into the storm sewer / river. There is no additional water collection in this project, though it is certainly a possibility for gray water use.

  3. Hey, thanks for the exposure for Clean Up Your Act!

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