A beacon of green

American Roofing & Metal installs a high-profile vegetative roof system

People looking toward the Ohio River from many of the tall buildings in downtown Louisville, Ky., can catch a glimpse of the six-story American Life & Accident Insurance Co. building—and the largest privately owned vegetative roof system in Kentucky, which recently was installed on the building by Louisville-based American Roofing & Metal Co. Inc.

Even before the vegetative roof system was installed, the 40-year-old American Life & Accident Insurance building was somewhat of a Louisville landmark. It was designed by well-known German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who died during its construction; the building is known as his last piece of art.

When it came time to replace the building's ailing roof system, which was more than 20 years old, the building owner contacted Louisville-based Turner Construction, which contacted American Roofing & Metal.

"We originally were asked to provide budget numbers to reroof with a two-ply polymer-modified bitumen roof system," says Troy Huffman, American Roofing & Metal's project manager. "The building owner is environmentally conscious and asked for a cool roof coating. After the budget numbers were approved, we were asked to look into vegetative roof systems.