What the Brooklyn-based Furbish Company did was essentially what all businesses hope to achieve – create a higher-performing product that saves the customer money. Added bonus, their product is good for the environment.
About four years ago, Maryland’s storm water regulations become more stringent. Civil engineers began calling for thicker green roof systems to achieve greater storm water retention. A green roof is a roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation overtop a waterproof membrane. It is great for storm water management, but the thicker systems called for under the new regulations put greater loads on building structure and cost more.
To counter this, Furbish developed and patented EcoCline, an enhanced green roof system that doubles effectiveness – it is only three inches thick but retains water as well as a traditional eight-inch system, said Michael Furbish, company president. “EcoCline saves weight, reduces installation time and, more importantly, reduces costs.”
Traditional systems rely on engineered growth media to both retain storm water and support resilient plant growth. EcoCline splits the two functions apart. The company’s internal team helped to conceive, test and design EcoCline. Since its introduction three years ago, the company has sold over one million square feet.
“Living systems offer elegant solutions to many of (the world’s) pollution and energy problems. Green roofs were crying out for better performance so this (product) was an easy focal point for us,” Furbish said.
The company continues to pursue innovation and is now working on an ultra-thin green roof that stores water above the plants rather than below.