Columbia Green partners with Firestone, lands big sale

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Columbia Green Technologies, ecoroof, Wal-Mart

The 100,000 square-foot ecoroof underway in British Columbia

New mandates in markets throughout the hemisphere are requiring the construction of ecoroofs as a way to handle stormwater runoff. Portland startup Columbia Green Technologies Inc. is getting a piece of that action, thanks in part to a private-label reseller agreement with roofing materials giant Firestone Building Products.

Columbia Green's ecoroof technology, sold by Firestone under the name Skyscape Vegetative Roof System, is being installed on a 100,000 square-foot ecoroof on a Wal-Mart outside Vancouver, British Columbia.

"It's a very large project, both for us and for Firestone," said Vanessa Keitges, CEO of Columbia Green.

The Wal-Mart ecoroof, a $500,000 project, is one of several large sales Columbia Green has in the works with Firestone.

The boon is prompting Columbia Green to seek a $500,000 private equity round to hire employees and keep up with demand from both existing and potential partners.

"We're the technology house," Keitges said. "We're writing standards and developing new technology and working with cities to help them understand ecoroof performance. You can put grass sod on a roof but that's not a stormwater management system."

Five-employee Columbia Green is also working with Portland State University on ongoing monitoring of ecoroof systems. PSU is monitoring a Southeast Portland ecoroof using Columbia Green technology that features solar panels.

Terry O'Connor, national business manager for Firestone Canada, said he's now looking at a half-dozen ecoroof projects in Canada with the Columbia Green roofing system.

"Columbia Green pushes the stormwater aspect of their system," O'Connor said. "That's definitely of interest to Canada."

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