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Green Roof, Greenhouse Makes College Greener

July 05, 2011

Category: Environmental Science


By: Carrie Gonnella, 2011 EDF Climate Corps Public Sector Fellow

Center for the EnvironmentThis summer I am lucky to have a fellowship at Catawba College's Center for the Environment. I was fortunate to start just in time to learn about two initiatives the Center is pursuing: a green roof for the science building and a new high efficiency greenhouse.

I learned all about green roofs from Chuck Friedrich of Stalite Co. Stalite makes a green roof growing medium that is durable, lightweight, and easy to apply. There are many important steps involved in creating a luscious, healthy, and sustainable living roof, and Chuck gave us many things to consider, including:

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  • There are two green roof options: extensive or intensive. An extensive roof has 2-4 inches of growing material, supporting sedum and other low-lying foliage. Intensive is 6 inches or more, and can support a greater range of plants, including trees. ;
  • Why remain flat? Subtle rolling hills can be created on green roofs based on the location of roof ballasts. They can support a thicker growing medium. ;
  • A green roof can extend the life of your roof by threefold!
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