2006 Harley Davidson F-150 Environment
|“The living roof at the
Rouge is living proof of Ford’s ongoing commitment to being an
environmentally conscientious corporate citizen.”
O’Brien, Vice President, Corporate Relations
The 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-150 will be produced at the
Dearborn Truck Plant, part of the historic Rouge Center in Dearborn,
Mich. The world-famous plant also happens to be the award-winning
home of “sustainable manufacturing.” Boasting a “living roof”
the ability to turn paint fumes into fuel, the Dearborn Truck Plant
symbolizes the Ford approach to maintaining environmental
Raising Groundcover to the Roof
The 10.4-acre roof of Dearborn Truck Plant’s final assembly
building has been designated as The World’s Largest Living Roof by
Guinness World Records™.
Composed of a drought-resistant perennial groundcover, sedum, the
“garden” is planted in a specially layered bed. It requires
virtually no maintenance. Among its functions, the bed of sedum is
part of a storm-water management system that can absorb up to four
million gallons of rainwater annually that otherwise would drain
through the manufacturing campus and into the nearby River Rouge.
The sedum also serves to absorb carbon dioxide.
Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant – part of the historic Rouge
Center complex – reveal layers of the perennial groundcover
atop the roof of the facility that produces the 2006 Ford
In addition, the sedum produces oxygen and provides natural
overhead insulation for the final assembly building, thereby
reducing energy costs. It also is expected to last twice as long as
a traditionally constructed roof.
“Ford has taken a progressive stance on environmental issues,”
says Tim O’Brien, vice president, Corporate Relations, “and with our
redevelopment of the Rouge Center, we are putting our words into
action. In addition, the roof and other environmental initiatives
we’re implementing are cost effective. Year after year, they will
save us money, as well as conserve resources.”
While the sedum required watering during its early growth, the
living roof requires no mowing, trimming or further watering. On
average, sedum grows to a height of just six inches and spreads
horizontally, crowding out weeds and other undesirable plants. When
fully developed, the roof will resemble a meadow with varying
lengths of growth and small red, white, yellow and purple flowers.
plants and filtering rock beds support the Dearborn Truck
Plant’s unique storm water management
The sedum is not planted in loose soil. The rooftop bed consists
of a four-layer, mat-like system only 3 inch thick. The bottom layer
is a root-resistant membrane. Above that is a drainage layer,
followed by a fleece mat. The top layer is a vegetation blanket of
semi-organic material in which the sedum roots.
Rainfall is filtered through the plant roots and soil bed.
Runoff, the excess water, is managed by an intricate system composed
of filtering rock beds and ground-level plantings; ditches filled
with greenery, called swales; porous pavement installations;
retention ponds; and underground storage basins.
Clearing the Air, Creating Electricity
The paint shop of the Dearborn Truck Plant can use better
quality, better adhering paint because of its revolutionary
fumes-to-fuel process. Instead of using non-renewable natural gas to
burn paint fumes, the paint shop captures the volatile organic
compounds found in paint fumes and concentrates them into a rich
mixture of hydrocarbons, which are a source of fuel. The mixture
then is fed into a reformer that turns it into a hydrogen-rich gas.
From there, the gas is fed into a stack of solid oxide fuel cells,
where a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen creates
electricity, water vapor and a trace amount of carbon dioxide.
At full capacity, the process will be able to generate more than
100,000 watts, enough to operate 200 average homes.
“When fully developed, this system has the potential to save Ford
millions of dollars by reducing the cost of incinerating paint fumes
in natural gas-fired furnaces, as we do now,” explains Mark
Wherrett, Fumes-to-Fuel project leader and principal environmental
engineer, Ford Environmental Quality Office. “It also costs much
less to install and maintain, virtually eliminates carbon dioxide
emissions and enables us to continue using solvent-based paints
which produce a better quality finish than powder- or water-based