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Postal rooftops


Postal rooftops

Ian Kerr

Australia Post has just unveiled what it says is the largest single-roof solar panel installation in Australia. Let's have a look at what's happening on sorting centre roofs around the world.

Australia Post's massive solar panel installation

Australia Post has installed over 11,000 square meters of solar panels at the Sydney Parcel Facility in Chullora (pictured above), at a cost of $3 million.

The project is set to save over $800,000 in energy costs and 2,200 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

The solar panels will directly power Australia Post's busiest parcel sorting centre.

"This installation is the 49th solar-equipped site within Australia Post's network, which combined will generate 5,000MWh of renewable electricity every year – enough to power over 820,000 homes." - Australia Post Group Chief Financial Officer, Janelle Hopkins

Australia Post's investments in improving energy and cost efficiency of its buildings have already saved $40 million.

La Poste rooftop farming

France's La Poste is taking part in an initiative to set up over 100 hectares of rooftop gardens and planted walls across Paris. Of this, one third will be devoted to urban farming. 

A 900 square metre rooftop farming project has been set up on top of a La Poste facility in northern Paris. 

Members of the centre's 500-strong workforce grow fruit and vegetables including lettuces, eggplants (aubergines) and tomatoes, as well as - wait for it - breeding chickens on 90 tonnes of earth deposited on the roof.

USPS New York City rooftop garden

The United States Postal Service transformed the rooftop of its Morgan Processing and Distribution Centre in New York City into a rooftop garden. The work was completed in July 2009.

The seventh-floor rooftop of the 1930s building is now a recreational space for its employees, with benches, an art wall, and a view of the skyline that includes the Empire State Building.

The new roof is expected to last 50 years, and provides better insulation than the roof it replaced. The landscaping on the new roof was expected to help reduce storm-water runoff into the sewage system by as much as 75 percent in the summer and 40 percent in the winter.

It was predicted that the new roof would cut heating and cooling costs by about $30,000 a year. The results of the green roof and other energy saving enhancements have surpassed that estimate, saving more than $1 million per year. The savings are attributed to a 27.5 percent reduction in energy use and an average decrease in energy expenses of 15.8 percent.

Here are some photos of the rooftop garden:

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