Improving Sustainability in Buildings Using Molded Gratings

A new green rooftop was installed in 2014 on top of the Gordon Persons Building, a low rise building located in Montgomery, Alabama (Figure 1). This type of rooftop is termed as ‘green roofing,’ which is being pursued by cities to lower the carbon footprint of buildings as part of their effort to transform urban areas. Retirement Service of Alabama, one of the largest pension firms in the world, occupies the Gordon Persons Building.

Green rooftop on the Gordon Persons Building

Figure 1. Green rooftop on the Gordon Persons Building

Advantages of Green Rooftop

The green roof design promotes sustainable building through absorption of storm water runoff, improvement in air quality, extra insulation to buildings during summer and winter seasons, and reduction of the urban heat island effect. Although the initial investment required for green roofs is higher than conventional roofs, the expected service life of green roofs is 50 years, i.e., almost double the life of conventional roofs.

Role of Strongwell Materials

PWBA Architects designed the sophisticated rooftop at the Gordon Persons Building and J.J. Morley Enterprises, Inc. performed the installation. This project is among the largest green roof installations in the southeast region. For this roof, the support structures used were made of EXTREN® ¾" angle and 5", 6", 8", and 12" I-Beams to obtain optimum durability and versatility (Figure 2).

The support structures for the green roof on the Gordon Persons Building feature Strongwell materials

Figure 2. The support structures for the green roof on the Gordon Persons Building feature Strongwell materials

The green rooftop also features biomass platforms made of 1" x 1" x 4" DURAGRATE® molded grating. DURAGRATE® was selected because it would satisfy the requirements to support green roof trays, plants and media in planters with proper drainage. Steel was the material initially specified for this project but not considered due to problems associated with modification and transportation, especially through the urban terrain of Montgomery.

Hence the contractor J. J. Morley Enterprises, Inc. decided that the better option would be a lightweight, noncorrosive, and user-friendly material. Strongwell FRP became the ideal solution and will serve as a model for future green roof projects. The technical data is given in the following table:

Product: : Roofing Structure
Process : Pultrusion, Molded Grating, Fiberglass Fabrication
Materials : EXTREN® fiberglass reinforced polyester
DURAGRATE® fiberglass reinforced polymer molded grating
Sizes: : EXTREN® ¾" angle
EXTREN® I-5", I-6", I-8", and I-12"
DURAGRATE® 1" x 1" x 4" rectangular mesh
User : Gordon Persons Building in Montgomery, Alabama

About Strongwell Corporation

Strongwell has been pultruding fiber reinforced polymer composite structural products since 1956. Today, with more than 65 pultrusion machines and 647,000 square feet of manufacturing space in three plant locations, Strongwell has unequaled capacity, versatility and flexibility to meet the needs of its customers and allied partners. All Strongwell pultruded products are made in the USA. Click here to learn how Strongwell’s pultruded products out perform traditional materials.

The company is financially strong, total quality oriented, technically advanced, and customer focused. Strongwell's customers include Fortune 500 industrial and commercial firms, major architectural and engineering firms, leading contractors and distributors, and many other companies - both large and small - in a variety of markets.


This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Strongwell Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Strongwell Corporation.


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