Fox Tire Planning Green Roof, and More
Mr. Fox Tire Co. specializes in new and used tires plus performance tires and custom wheels. They consider themselves the premier custom wheel retailer in Western New York, offering over 20 brands of custom wheels in stock. Mr. Fox Tire also offers automobile service and repairs. It is not the type of business typically associated with having a âgreenâ environmental focus. Eric Fox, who owns two hybrid cars, is no ordinary owner.
Thanks to co-owner Eric Foxâs passion about the environment, his business and neighborhood are about to âgo greenâ in a big way.
This summer the independent retailer will be installing one of Western New Yorkâs first âgreen roofsâ on a large storage warehouse, one of seven buildings at 1035 William near Metcalfe Street.
As the name implies, green roofs (also known as living roofs or eco-roofs) are planted gardens built on top of a conventional roof. Fox is working with Beautiful River Landscape Design and architectural and engineering firm Kevin Connors & Associates on the plans for the 9,920 sq.ft. installation. Installing a green roof was Ericâs idea, as he puts it, âto be on the frontline of green.â
The green roof is expected to reduce rooftop, building and ambient air temperatures, reduce the rate and volume of storm water runoff, filter pollution, and reduce energy use and utility costs according to Kevin Connors & Associates Principal, Kevin V. Connors.
Under Connorsâ plan, a rubberized roof will be installed, topped by a root barrier, a drainage board and moisture retention mat, 2-6â of growing medium, and finally hardy succulent groundcover that will grow 4-8â in height and thrive in wet and dry conditions. Ivy is planned at the edges to drape over the side of the building.
Connors expects to have several different patches of plantings to create a living laboratory to gauge what performs best locally. Little maintenance is required. A green roof is cut once or twice a year and weeded as necessary and is expected to last as long as a traditional roof.
A green roof is more expensive than a conventional roof, sometimes two or three times as much due to labor and material costs. In the case of Fox Tire, $20,000 to $30,000 more. Foxâ interest goes beyond matters of dollars and cents; it is something important to him.
Up-front costs do not tell the whole story however. Installing a green roof can be sound business as they can have a noticeable impact on a building's heat gain and loss thereby saving on utility costs.
Eric Foxâs roof may be the first green roof installed on a private building in Erie County. âEric is definitely breaking new ground locally,â says Connors. Fox is not only focused on his own property, he is turning his attention to nearby neighborhoods.
To be continuedâŚ.
The complete story on Ericâs plans can be found in the May print edition.