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Green Roof on the Business Instructional Facility (BIF) (Completed)

Recent Project Updates


A green roof was constructed on the Business Instructional Facility as part of the overall green initiatives used in the construction of that building. Rooftop over the auditorium and a 1200-square foot section on the fourth roof were constructed to be green roof. Unlike conventional flat roofs, green roofs have a layer of substrate in which native plants are grown. This roof type has several benefits. Firstly, less water is discharged since the substrate detains water instead of merely draining it. The water that is discharged is also cleaner, since the plants work as a filtration system. Green roofs are more effective insulators than conventional roofs and remain cool in warm weather, which reduces the burden put on the building's heating and cooling system.

This project also has a component of student involvement, as faculty and students from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will be studying data from the roof to see how well it performs in comparison to a traditional roof. Professors Arthur Schmidt and Charles Werth installed monitoring equipment on the building with the help of a team of students. The amount of precipitation that falls on each roof, how much of that precipitation runs off into storm drains, and how much water is stored on each roof will be measured. Sensors in the soil on the green roof will show how moisture moves across the green roof and how quickly it returns to the atmosphere. Automated samplers will test of the quality of the water from both roofs and the insulating capacities of both roofs will be measured by monitoring air temperatures.

Half the green roof was decontructed several years after to make space for new offices. Solar panels were eventaully put on top of these offices as a replacement sustainable addition to the building.   

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