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UConn uses green roofs as part of new experiment in green initiative

Campus Correspondent

Published: Friday, November 30, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 17:08

Laurel Hall’s green roof, developed in 2009 and located next to the Student Union, is the site of an experiment in green initiatives being conducted by the department of natural resources and the environment.

The study will encompass all aspects of the green roof system, from whether it will improve the air quality and reduce toxic metal content to whether it will help regulate environmental controls in the building.

According to the website of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, “A green roof system is an extension of the existing roof which involves a high quality water proofing and root repellant system, a drainage system, filter cloth, a lightweight growing medium and plants.”

The green roof project at UConn was projected to earn silver ratings from the Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for reducing water consumption by 48 percent and improving energy efficiency by 47 percent.

However, what are some of the tangible benefits of having green roofs? According to a paper written by Jack Clausen, a professor of natural resources and the environment and Bruce G. Gregoire. “Roof top surfaces contribute heavily to pollution (excess nutrients and toxic metals) in standing water supplies. The goal of the green roof is to reduce water runoff, which will reduce air and water pollution as well as by retaining water, reduce water consumption.”

At this point not enough data has been collected, but in an email Clausen writes that “the bottom line for [Laurel Hall] is that we are retaining 54 percent of rainfall.”


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