Our Milwaukee Global Headquarters Green Roof

Our Milwaukee Global Headquarters Green Roof

As a visible part of our commitment to sustainability, Rockwell Automation installed a green roof on our Milwaukee global headquarters building in 2010. A green roof is a layered roof system consisting of soil and plant life designed to reduce storm water runoff, save energy costs and extend the life of the roof.

Storm water continues to be a challenge for the City of Milwaukee. Large storm events cause the local sewerage district to experience overflow events — where untreated sewage is discharged into Lake Michigan. Rockwell Automation wants to be part of the solution. Before green roof installation, more than 1.3 million gallons of storm water ran off our roof into the Milwaukee sewer system. Estimates indicate the green roof will reduce water runoff by at least 50 percent.

The green roof was financed in part through a grant received from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District.


  • Size: 48,500 square feet of green roof with pavers on a 71,800 square feet space
  • Construction Period: June 2010 to October 2010
  • FJA Christiansen (a TectaAmerica company) installed the roof. Installation highlights:
    • Plant species include 12 varieties of sedums and 12 varieties of native perennials
    • Custom-blended growth media engineered to be lightweight, retain water and promote growth
    • Leak detection system, which uses electro-vector mapping
  • Data monitoring system designed to measure the following:
    • Deck temperature
    • Green roof temperature
    • Water moisture content
    • Rain events and estimated water retention


  • Prevents pollutants from entering Lake Michigan. Designed to manage 1.3 million gallons annually:
    • Captures up to 1.4 inch rain events and about 50% of a 24 hr 2 year rain event
    • Includes a passive irrigation system with drainage layer to capture water from cooling towers on the roof
  • Reduces heating and cooling demand due to the added insulation which results in reduced energy costs and indirect greenhouse gas emissions
  • Extends life of the roof by protecting it from harmful ultraviolet rays and temperature fluctuations
  • Increases aesthetic value of our meeting and office space
  • Demonstrates sustainable construction practices:
    • Gravel removed from existing roof was recycled for clean fill purposes
    • Soil derived from a local supplier
    • Water retention fabric is made using recycled plastic bottles

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