Roofing: Maximizing Benefits of Vegetative Roofs
Vegetative roofs offer several benefits to not only the facility, but also the organization and the community.
Reaping the benefits
Properly maintaining vegetative roofs can lead to a host of benefits for a facility, an organization and a community. For the university, the biggest goal and the biggest benefit of its vegetative roofs has been in the handling of stormwater.
The university, an urban campus with limited space for stormwater mitigation, has its own separate storm sewer systems. It obtained a federal permit that allows it to regulate point sources of pollution.
“As part of our permit, we are required to complete a certain amount of environmental site design (and) stormwater mitigation, and green roofs is one of the places we can do that, especially on new structures,” Carmichael says. “Besides that, the energy efficiency of a green roof helps provide insulation value to the structure, and beyond that I would say that there is the teaching and learning aspect to it.”
In 2016, the facilities management department partnered with the university’s plant sciences department to install a green roof structure on the Edward St. Johns Union building. The partnership gives students and researchers open access to study and learn about specific vegetation.
“The opening of the Edward St. Johns facility specifically included a space that was negotiated with the plant sciences department to engage students in that department and other departments in plant sciences,” Petroff says. “The plan was to have an active green roof where students could have instruction and interact with the plant material.”
Standing on the roof also provides an aesthetic benefit when viewing nearby buildings. “It really becomes the landscape foreground, and it really becomes the view, she says. “It is the vista. Our green roofs not only function for stormwater mitigation. They also are an aesthetic amenity on the site provided maintenance is properly observed.”