Skip to main content


Ford plant arial photo. Many buildings with green roofs.The 10.4 acre green roof on the Ford Truck Assembly Plant in Dearborn, MI was installed in 2002 in part to mitigate stormwater runoff

Green Roofs as a Means of Pollution Abatement

Green roofs involve growing vegetation on rooftops and are one tool that can help mitigate the negative effects of pollution.  This review encompasses published research to date on how green roofs can help mitigate pollution, how green roof materials influence the magnitude of these benefits, and suggests future research directions.  The discussion concentrates on how green roofs influence air pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, carbon sequestration, longevity of roofing membranes that result in fewer roofing materials in landfills, water quality of stormwater runoff, and noise pollution.  Suggestions for future directions for research include plant selection, development of improved growing substrates, urban rooftop agriculture, water quality of runoff, supplemental irrigation, the use of grey water, air pollution, carbon sequestration, effects on human health, combining green roofs with complementary related technologies, and economics and policy issues.

Rowe, D.B.  2011.  Green roofs as a means of pollution abatement.  Environmental Pollution 159(8-9):2100-2110.

A lush green roof with ford logo in the background.  Primarily red and green in color.
Ford green roof (July 2009)