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J.W Winco Launches Green Roof Project

The company’s remodeling project has been approved and will take approximately three weeks to be completed.

Posted: July 15, 2013


State-of-the-art roof is the latest in the company’s pro-environmental efforts.

J.W. Winco, Inc. (New Berlin, WI), a leading supplier of standard industrial machine components, will begin installation of a green roof system on its Wisconsin facility this month. Benefits include recycling of rainwater and savings on cooling costs.

The company’s remodeling project has been approved under the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) Regional Green Roof Initiative. The green roof project will take approximately three weeks to be completed.

“Our existing conventional roof system was installed in 1993 and needed to be replaced, so we researched the possibility of installing a fully vegetated green roof system,” said Mark M. Winkler, chief financial officer of J.W. Winco. “The addition of the green roof is part of the company’s effort to be a leader in environmental stewardship by reducing our carbon footprint and managing rain water efficiently, while at the same time cutting energy costs,” he added.

The MMSD Regional Green Roof Initiative provides incentive funding to increase green roof coverage within its service area. Green roofs hold rainwater where it falls, thereby diminishing the risk of sewer overflows and improving the overall water quality in the region. According to company officials, the cost of installation for the new roof system is approximately $11.25 psf, with payback estimated to be about five years.

Conventional roofs, on a summer day, can be as much as 90 degrees hotter than green roofs. The vegetation on green roofs reduces heat retention, thereby lowering energy usage. Additional benefits include improving air quality, increasing urban green space and wildlife habitat, extending roof life by protecting the roof from harmful ultraviolet rays and temperature extremes, and providing urban green space and educational opportunities.

Incorporating technologically advanced products, the company’s green roof system is on the cutting edge of storm management and retention. The roof, designed by the Milwaukee-based company Hanging Gardens, both slows down storm water during events of heavy rainfall and stores significant amounts for reuse.

Storm water is stored in a retention zone beneath the roof, and then used for self-irrigation of the roof via a capillary system. Thus the roof is maintained by rainwater rather than municipal tap water.

The company’s vegetated roof project will be viewed annually by an estimated 3,000 people, as well as 300,000 online viewers via a webcam broadcast on the company website. It will also be visible on a closed circuit camera system broadcasting live on a large monitor in the building’s main lobby.

The green roof system project is the latest effort to make the company’s buildings and property more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. In 2011, J.W. Winco retrofitted its entire warehouse with LED lighting.

Skylights were installed and windows added to reduce the electricity needed for lighting, with the additional benefit of enhancing the working environment with more natural light. In areas of the warehouse used less frequently, motion-sensor lighting was installed to conserve energy.

In recent years, the company expanded its recycling effort. Along with recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans, metal shavings produced in J.W. Winco’s manufacturing process are recycled. Whenever possible, cardboard boxes received in shipping are repurposed.

The company has switched to environmentally friendly water-based coolants for use on its manufacturing and secondary machining equipment. In 2007, the company’s building expansion incorporated windows and wood from an older building, along with recycled floors and carpets.

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