DETROIT (AP) – An observation area is planned to allow visitors to Cobo Center in downtown Detroit to view the facility’s living green roof.

Cobo Center officials say installation of the observation area is scheduled sometime next year.

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The 10,000-square-foot (929-square-meter) green roof was installed as part of a $279 million renovation of the convention center. It creates a natural habitat for birds and insects. The roof also provides insulation to cool and heat the building.

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A dozen varieties of flowering plants grow over a waterproofing membrane with layers of root barrier and natural drainage. Runoff rainwater is reused and distributed through the irrigation system to water the roof.

Cobo Center has 723,000 square feet (67,169 square meters) of exhibit space and is home to the popular North American International Auto Show.

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