Seattle’s new streetcar line, First Hill, is expected to be completed in early 2014 and will boast a green roof atop its newly constructed maintenance facility. Installation of the LiveRoof® green roof system by GreenFeathers® began on Sept. 25.

The 10,000-square-foot facility roof will be planted with sedums. These drought-tolerant plants require little care, thrive in full sun with good drainage and suppress weeds. This green roof is just one of the features of this building to certify it under the LEED silver program. Certified LEED buildings cost less to operate and are a physical demonstration of the values of the organizations that own and occupy them.

Terrance Plumb, senior project manager with Seattle Department of Transportation, said, “The green roof is expected to last two to three times as long as a traditional tar or rubber roof, and it will help keep polluted water out of local waterways by absorbing excess rainfall.” The maintenance and operations facility's function is housing operation personnel, as well as storing and maintaining the streetcars.

Naomi Morgan, sales representative at GreenFeathers, notes that while people will be going about their business using the new public transportation system, the living roof system will be quietly and constantly working above providing ongoing benefits. “Green roofs help reduce urban temperature, noise pollution, minimize water runoff, and provide wildlife habit to birds and bees,” she said. “These systems can be sustained for decades." 

Seattle's first streetcar line, South Lake Union Line, began operation in 2007. When completed, the First Hill Streetcar will be an important connection in the regional transit system. The streetcar line will stop in Pioneer Square, Chinatown/International District, Central Area, Yesler Terrace, First Hill and Capitol Hill. This route will link diverse residential neighborhoods, business, arts, sports and entertainment districts, as well as educational and medical centers.

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